ONCE UPON A TIME
1944, Sony Repertory, 89 min, USA, Dir: Alexander Hall

Huckster showman Jerry Flynn (Cary Grant) has to come up with a quick $100,000, or he’ll lose his theater for good. As luck would have it, he stumbles upon a whimsical find that just might be the ticket out of financial woe: a singing, dancing caterpillar that the nation goes wild for. But as reporters and scientists all fight for the inside scoop about this miraculous creature, the turmoil threatens to separate Flynn from his new-found friends, the caterpillar’s ingenuous owner Pinky and the boy’s charming older sister Jeannie.


THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM
1955, Preminger Films, 119 min, USA, Dir: Otto Preminger

Director Otto Preminger defied the Production Code for the second time with this first American film about drug addiction. Frank Sinatra, in the performance of his career, plays a junkie jazz drummer and card sharp torn between love for his girlfriend (Kim Novak), a sad-eyed cashier in a strip club, and loyalty to his crippled wife (Eleanor Parker). Darren McGavin (“The Night Stalker”) is the villainous heroin pusher. Shooting in the studio rather than on location, Preminger creates a richly atmospheric, lower-depths milieu. Elmer Bernstein’s moody, compelling jazz score and Saul Bass’ seductive opening titles are memorable.


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