This story takes place in the year 1969. An aging actor named Rick Dalton has been stuck playing the role of antagonists in various films for several years. He was once the star of a Western television series called Bounty Law in the 1950s, but his time in the sun has long passed. He often confides to his best friend and stunt double Cliff Booth that his career is effectively over. Despite his dire situation, Rick lives in a comfortable house on Cielo Drive. He realizes he may have a second chance on his hands when two rising talents, Sharon Tate and her husband, Roman Polanski, move into the large house next door to him.
Roman Coleman is a convict who has served twelve years in prison. The crime that resulted in his lengthy sentence was the result of his severe anger issues. In a heated argument, he beat his wife, leaving her permanently brain damaged. Feeling himself to be a lost cause, he has resisted every opportunity to be reintegrated into society. In an effort to rehabilitate him, he is placed in a program run by a rancher named Myles. Their goal is to train wild mustangs so they may eventually be auctioned off.