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Once Upon a Time (1944)

A cash-strapped theater producer promotes a nine-year-old boy's dancing caterpillar.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Ted Donaldson ...
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eddie Acuff ...
Shipyard Worker (scenes deleted)
...
Attendant (scenes deleted)
Lionel Braham ...
Weightlifter (scenes deleted)
George Bruggeman ...
Trapeze Artist (scenes deleted)
Leonard Carey ...
English Bobby (scenes deleted)
...
Doorman (scenes deleted)
Bill Chaney ...
Call Boy (scenes deleted)
Charles Coleman ...
English Bobby (scenes deleted)
Jeff Donnell ...
Girl from Brooklyn (scenes deleted)
George Eldredge ...
Man (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Smalltime crookster and showman Jerry Flynn is desperately searching for a new act to promote in order to save him from ruin. He meets a boy on the street who claims to have a dancing caterpillar called Curly. Flynn seizes the opportunity for fame and fortune at Curly's expense. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 June 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alexander Hall's Once Upon a Time  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rita Hayworth was originally assigned the role of Jeannie Thompson, and when she refused to do it, was placed on a nine week suspension without pay by the head of Columbia, Harry Cohn, and subsequently replaced by Janet Blair. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stars of the Silver Screen: Rita Hayworth (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Yes Sir, That's My Baby
Music by Walter Donaldson
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Played often throughout the film
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A dancing Caterpillar? --- Yeah, Right!
29 July 1999 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

First, let me tell you that I haven't seen this movie for over 30 years (but remember it well). I checked the TV listings (and online services) for years waiting for it. It must not be shown often in my area. I had described the movie to friends trying to confirm the story, the title, or at the very least someone else who remembered it. No luck...

Cary Grant, as a promoter(?), who partners with a kid who owns a caterpillar that dances, but dances only to the tune of 'Yes sir, that's my baby', and charms the country. Sounds pretty incredible, doesn't it? Most people would nod at me and back away slowly, so as not to excite me, mutter-ing something about LSD trip's of the 60's and flashbacks. Seems no one heard on anything remotely like what I was describing.

But, luckily, being resourceful and having access to the IMDb, I was able to find the title and plot summary. I also was able to procure a copy of my own from a Cary Grant fan I met online. My daughter and I watched it repeatedly. It's a wonderful story for grown-ups, and a fairy tale for kids. My daughter found more laughs than I did ( I think I grew up in the meantime), but I was charmed and amused too. It was BETTER than I remembered. The redemption of Jerry Flynn (Grant) is a joy to watch.

If ever a movie was "ripe" for a re-make, this is it! My daughter's only complaint was not getting to actually see "Curly" dance. With today's state of the art effects, a believable dancing caterpillar should be child's play (and a marketing boon). A re-make would surely make "Curly" the most famous caterpillar in all of Hollywood......

PS-- I forgive Walt Disney (a brief appearance) for his complicity in the "Curly" incident......


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