Once Upon a Time was shot over the summer of 1922, while the actors were on holiday from the theatres. According to both Drouzy (1982) and Neergaard (1940), the shoot was beset by practical problems. The producer Sophus Madsen had rented the recently closed Astra-Film studio on Taffelbays Allé in Hellerup, north of Copenhagen, but the lease was not signed until a month after construction of the sets was supposed to have begun. That delayed the shoot in relation to the actors’ holiday and made it exceedingly difficult to plan the available days for shooting.
The exterior scenes were shot around Frederiksborg Castle – in the castle yard and on the lake – and in the scenery around the village of Nøddebo. In an interview with the B.T. newspaper (13 Sept. 1922), Dreyer mentions Gribskov, Stenløse and Lillerød as locations.
In a 1938 newspaper interview, the producer, Sophus Madsen, says that the film was planned to cost 90,000 kroner but ended up at 222,000 kroner, even though the most expensive scene, of the marketplace, had been eliminated.
By Lisbeth Richter Larsen | 3 June 2010