Thursday, July 19, 2007

Once Upon A Time (1944)

It must be Cary Grant week on TCM, because two more CG movies recorded this weekend.

This movie is nothing if not over-the-top. A little orphan boy with a dancing caterpillar? Come on! The boy bursts into tears at the drop of a hat all the way through the movie. He's like Opie on steroids.

The caterpillar spends the whole movie in a box - kind of like the original Tinkerbell being played by a beam of light - except that it's hard to take that as a modern audience - couldn't they have at least done like a puppet?

I'm used to over-the-top from CG, but both his character (the enthusiastic slightly shyster theater-owner) and the prudish love interest were played straight, not for laughs (as far as I can tell) - and that was just a bit much for me. I dare anyone but Walt Disney to remake this movie. It's like a live-action Pinnochio, actually. With a caterpillar instead of a cricket. In fact, in the movie a rep from Disney shows up to try to buy the caterpillar. That's actually interesting - that Disney was already the stand-by corporate heavyweight of the entertainment world in 1944.

Nowadays you can't even say "Disney" without their permission.

The caterpillar's name is Curly and the boy is named Pinky so I had a hard time keeping that straight. Every time someone said "where's Pinky?" I had to think if they meant the caterpillar or the boy. Also this boy has a lisp so every time he says the caterpillar's name it sounds like "Curwy" and he keeps repeating that "Curwy couldn't live wiffowt me!" It was about as much as I could take.

All-in-all, I couldn't have watched if I wasn't simultaneously online-shopping.
Would not watch again.
Two stars.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I did not really believe the whole movie was going to revolve around the caterpillar. And then it did. And I was not online shopping. It did make me laugh, though.

Favorite quotes:

"He's my pet. I've trained him from a pup."

"I don't want my brother mixed up in any fantastic ideas about caterpillars." Oh, the horror!

I really wanted to see the caterpillar... Such a symbol of imagination, hope, joy, and whatever else CG was talking about kept from me because of a lack of technology. Alas. Next time I'm feeling sad, I will just say to myself, "Remember the dancing caterpillar."