Thursday, August 27, 2009
This ad for “Once Upon a Time” (1944) urges us to see it, using words like “wonderful”, “whimsical”, the questionably grammatical “chucklesome”, and “Santa Claus.”
Talking heads of Cary Grant and Janet Blair in argumentative pose don’t help much to convey what the movie is about and exactly why we should see it. We probably can’t blame the studio publicity department, though, as the plot for this “whimsical” and “chucklesome” film has to do with Grant playing a huckster who tries to make a starring attraction from a small boy’s pet caterpillar, who dances to “Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby.”
Standby character actors James Gleason and William Demarest report duty. The boy is Ted Donaldson, whom you may remember as Peggy Ann Garner’s brother in “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” (1945). This was Ted’s first film. If you’ve seen it, let us know what you think.