A few years ago, Quentin Tarantino was asked by a San Diego Comic-Con attendee (back when SDCC was an in-person event) to name his favorite scene from his movies. “That’s actually such a good question I don’t even know if I have an answer for it, especially with this pressed-for-time bullsh*t,” the filmmaker answered. “My favorite thing I think I’ve ever written is the scene at the French farmhouse at the beginning of Inglourious Basterds. Before that, it was in my very first script, True Romance, it was the whole Sicilian speech. That was the one to beat. And then when I finally wrote that scene in Inglorious Basterds, I was like, oh, I think I finally beat that one!”
Try to convince me he doesn’t have a burner Letterboxd account. You can’t.
Anyway, the Inglourious Basterds scene is still his all-time favorite, but on CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast, Tarantino named his favorite scene from his recent triumph Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It involves Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Trudi Frazer (youngster Julia Butters) talking on the phone, and if that doesn’t sound familiar, it’s because it’s not in the movie (it’s in the novelization and its trailer).
That was my favorite scene in the script. So the idea that that wouldn’t be in the movie was unfathomable… I think it was probably Leo’s favorite scene that he shot. We were in tears. It was the only time… I’ve gotten misty-eyed every once in a while when I was shooting this scene versus that scene. But that thing, I mean, Julia [Butters] was in tears every time we finished every take.
As for why the scene was excised from the final version, Tarantino explained, “It seems like an ending to the movie.” Maybe it’ll make the 20-hour cut.