Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has received a number of Oscar nominations and critical acclaim since its release last year. To date, Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film has grossed over $373 million worldwide. The movie is up for awards in 10 different categories at this year’s Academy Awards.
The director loves an Easter egg and hides them throughout his movies, from planting “Big Kahuna Burger” and “Red Apple cigarettes” product placements to homages and referring back to his own characters.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is no exception but there’s a couple of seriously subtle references even dedicated Tarantino aficionados might have missed.
When ageing movie star Rick Dalton (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) abandons Hollywood in favour of Italy, where he makes a number of Spaghetti Westerns, the director seizes his opportunity to slip in some Easter eggs.
The first, noted by a Reddit user, comes when the narrator details one of the films Dalton worked on in Italy: Operazione Dyn-O-Mite!.
READ MORE: QUENTIN TARANTINO ON ‘WAR FOR MOVIES’ WITH JAMES BOND
“When I was going to have Rick go to Rome to make a Western, to actually have him start his first Western, Nebraska Jim, with Sergio Corbucci, well, that means Rick’s doing good!” he explained.
“There’s a lot of junky movies he could’ve made there but if he’s working with Sergio Corbucci, he’s working with one of the great masters of all time.
“Now, he doesn’t appreciate that!” Tarantino laughed. “Rick just thinks it’s Italian junk.
“The clip that we show in the movie Operazione Dyn-O-Mite!, that’s actually from a Sergio Corbucci movie called Moving Target,” he revealed. “But I didn’t have that one directed by Corbucci.
“I had it directed by Margheriti for the simple fact that Rick was a little bit of a jerk on Nebraska Jim, so Corbucci wouldn’t have hired him twice!”
In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Dalton acts alongside Telly Savalas, who did star in several Italian Westerns, during his time in Europe.
He also marries a fictional actress, Francesco Capucci, who he later brings back to Hollywood with him.
DiCaprio is up for the Best Actor Oscar for his role in the movie, while Brad Pitt has also received a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
In addition, it’s up for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound Mixing, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Sound Editing.