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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Is Brad Pitt Actually Driving? With a Broken Speedometer?

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Daniel Rufiange
The Tarantino film is a finalist for the Best Movie Oscar

It’s not uncommon in major Hollywood movies to see one of the film’s star get behind the wheel, either just to get from point A to B, or to engage in the time-honoured car chase scene.

For obvious reasons to do with risk and abilities, quite often professional stunt drivers are brought in for the latter type scenes. But for routine driving scenes, you can often tell that it’s the actual star at the wheel of a vehicle.

In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the latest Quentin Tarantino film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, the latter is often seen driving a car. Yet, a part of one extended scene left us perplexed as to whether the actor is driving on an actual road, or if the car has been placed on a platform.

It’s a secret of the trade that, when actors need to speak lines in a moving vehicle, it’s easier to simply place them on a trailer being pulled by a truck.

The magic of cinema…

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In the scene below, we see Brad Pitt at the wheel of a shiny 1966 Cadillac. But at the 45-seocnd mark, a close-up reveals a little detail that seems to prove that the vehicle is, at that moment, on a trailer being pulled. What's the giveaway? The speedometer sits at… 0 mph.

Of course, given the age of the vehicle, it’s possible the speedometer is simply no longer in working order. The trick would be to find another scene in the movie where we could see if the speedometer works.

Is it important? Of course not, moviemaking is full of sleight-of-hand trickery, and that’s fine. But it’s also fun as heck to dig around and spot these kinds of things!

Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists