HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Once Upon a Time Dance Stance
Year: 1944
Director: Alexander Hall
Stars: Cary Grant, Janet Blair, James Gleason, Ted Donaldson, William Demarest, Pedro de Cordoba, Howard Freeman, Vaughan Glaser, Gabriel Heater, Lloyd Bridges
Genre: Comedy, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Broadway producer Jerry Flynn (Cary Grant) is down on his luck after his last three shows have flopped, and flopped badly. Tonight's performance over, he tries to look on the bright side, but while he is backstage in his office he is paid a visit from his banker, Mackenzie (Howard Freeman), who tells him his theatre will now have to be sold. This is the last thing Jerry wants to happen, so he makes big claims to him about his next show being bigger and better than anything before - and he almost believes him. And so, out on the street on his way home, Jerry tosses his lucky nickel over his shoulder - and fate intervenes...

Yes, this film was actually made, and as if the producers were nervous about how it would be received there's a little caption that tells us that this is the best form of escapism while there's a war on, as it's a modern fairytale and please don't hate us for bringing you this ridiculous story. Well, it doesn't entirely say all of that, but there is the gist of it. And right enough, the film flopped as badly as one of Jerry's shows, as if audiences said, yes, we need escapism, but there's only so much whimsy you can take and this is a film about a dancing caterpillar for the love of God.

It's a terpsichoreanly talented creature that Jerry pins his hopes on to be the next big thing, because that nickel is picked up by two little boys, one of whom, Pinky (Ted Donaldson, briefly popular in the the Rusty the Dog series), plays the harmonica while Curly the caterpillar prances about in time with the music. Now, crucially the film seems to be attempting to teach the audience about using their imaginations, as we never actually witness the caterpillar's gyrations - in fact, we never see the beast at all and have to take it as read that it really is as spectacular as the characters say it is.

Although, like Jerry's best friend Moke (James Gleason), what we cannot imagine is exactly how tremendous a dancing caterpillar could possibly be. Indeed, Jerry finds that the media take a lot of persuading as well, and it's only when a radio presenter (Gabriel Heater, playing himself - he was a now-forgotten rival to Walter Winchell) picks up the story that Pinky's pet becomes a sensation. If it sounds like something that should have been a cartoon, then that is not lost on the script which brings drama to the situation by having Walt Disney trying to buy Curly to put him in a film.

Interestingly, Disney are presented as a rather coldhearted corporation who just want to make money, something mirrored in the personality of Jerry who has made a deal with them without the permission of Pinky. To complicate matters, Pinky's sister Jeannie (Janet Blair) is involved as she is the one who looks after him; this is because he is an orphan, to play on our sympathies even more, significant due to the amount of sentimentality that arises from the plot. How can Jerry be so callous as to exploit a little boy? Why, he's as bad as the scientists who wanted to dissect Curly. Any themes of faith are confused by the overriding and far too simplistic ones of decency, although Once Upon a Time does manage to spin out a flimsy idea with quite some confidence. But it's just too silly, and too schmaltzy, to bear the weight of the vital suspension of disbelief. Music by Friedrich Hollander.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2436 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: