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Once Upon a Time (1944)

Approved | | Comedy, Fantasy | 29 June 1944 (USA)
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

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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>

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Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

29 June 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alexander Hall's Once Upon a Time  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 4, 1945 with Ted Donaldson reprising his film role. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Being Ian: Once a Pawn a Time (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Use Your Imagination
15 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I caught this wonderful little film toady on TCM. Well, it does star Cary Grant with support from two of Hollywood's great character actor's William Demarest and James Gleason so it's not too little. Anyway, the whole plot revolves around a child who discovers a caterpillar that dances every time he plays "Yes Sir, That's My Baby" on his harmonica. The thing is that he keeps the 'pillar in a shoebox, and anytime anyone wants to see "Curly" the caterpillar dance, they have to hold the box up to an eye and peer in. And what they see is nothing short of amazing. A true life fairy tale. The viewer, however, NEVER sees Curly dance. No doubt this was due to the lack of "appropriate" special FX of the time, but I think it works so much better. Your imagination takes over and you can't help but see Curley dance! At least I could clearly "see" it. If it were remade today, they'd HAVE TO show you Curly dancing and probably speaking as well. Kids today would feel cheated and walk out of the theater in droves. And in today's world, there'd marketing of a cute character and millions of $$$ at stake. At least I THINK he was cute because that's what I saw in my imagination. The movie is even ahead of its time in respect to marketing because Walt Disney himself greedily pursues purchasing Curley to build a live action/animated feature around. Some things will never change. You'll love the obvious, but surprise ending. Yes, that's a contradiction, but just watch it for yourself. Great fantasy film and the kind they can't make anymore, because if they did, you'd probably be disappointed because Curly just wouldn't live up to your imagination.


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