Once Upon a Time (1944)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Fantasy

Once Upon a Time (1944) Poster

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

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  • Cary Grant and Ted Donaldson in Once Upon a Time (1944)
  • Cary Grant, Janet Blair, and Ted Donaldson in Once Upon a Time (1944)
  • Cary Grant and Janet Blair in Once Upon a Time (1944)
  • Cary Grant and Janet Blair in Once Upon a Time (1944)
  • Cary Grant, Janet Blair, Ted Donaldson, and James Gleason in Once Upon a Time (1944)
  • Once Upon a Time (1944)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

11 September 2010 | bkoganbing
| All Great Stories Begin With......................
Cary Grant got to extend his range in Once Upon A Time and at the same time make a family film that was guaranteed box office. Not a bad win-win situation for him.

The extension was having Grant play a not very nice show business producer who is now on his uppers. The theater he built in flush times is now threatened with foreclosure. But the answer just might be in the form of a young kid played by Ted Donaldson with a caterpillar which he keeps in a shoebox who actually gets up dances to the tune of Yes Sir That's My Baby.

This rhythmically endowed caterpillar is for real all right, if only Grant can get the marketing rights to him and make the public believe. After some tries that ended in flops he gets Art Baker who played real life radio news broadcaster Gabriel Heatter to see the caterpillar named Curly and give it the kind of radio plug the New York Sun gave to an editorial answer to Virginia's letter about Santa Claus.

But an offer from Walt Disney to add Curly to his Magic Kingdom now in formation is too good to pass up. But that would involve breaking young Donaldson's heart and also Grant would be running afoul of the young lad's sister, Janet Blair. Can Cary Grant be that big a heel?

Once Upon A Time is a charming fantasy that I'm surprised no one has thought of remaking except the Japanese who did a short subject animated version of this story in the Sixties. I can certainly Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes doing a version of this story, maybe having Justin Bieber play the kid. Instead of Walt Disney they could sell him to Steven Spielberg and a known internet blogger could break the story.

I want some screen credit if someone reads this review and sells the idea to Tom Cruise. Until then this is still a fine family film that holds up well even if people today have no idea who Gabriel Heatter was.

Critic Reviews

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Plot Summary


Comedy | Fantasy


Release Date:

29 June 1944



Country of Origin


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