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Pennies from Heaven (1936)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 25 November 1936 (USA)
Larry Poole, in prison on a false charge, promise an inmate that when he gets out he will look up and help out a family. The family turns out to be a young girl, Patsy Smith, and her ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as Katharine Leslie Moore), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Susan Sprague
...
Patsy Smith
...
Henry
...
Gramp Smith
...
J. C. Hart
William Stack ...
Clarence B. Carmichael
...
Miss Howard
Tom Dugan ...
Crowbar Miller (as Tommy Dugan)
...
Slavey - Hotel Maid
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Byrne ...
Boy (as Billy Byrne uncredited)
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Storyline

Larry Poole, in prison on a false charge, promise an inmate that when he gets out he will look up and help out a family. The family turns out to be a young girl, Patsy Smith, and her elderly grandfather who need lots of help. This delays Larry from following his dream and going to Venice and becoming a gondolier. Instead he becomes a street singer and, while singing in the street, meets a pretty welfare worker, Susan Sprague. She takes a dim view of Patsy's welfare under the guardianship of Larry and her grandfather, and starts proceedings to have Patsy placed in an orphanage. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

LAUGHS...when a vagabond troubadour yearns for a gondola in Venice and gets a rowboat in Central Park (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 November 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dinero del cielo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Louis Armstrong had a #1 hit with "Hello, Dolly" which he had not heard at the time he was given the lead sheet. Jerry Herman had written the lyrics and music ©1964. Yet in "Pennies from Heaven" (1936), Louis plays "The Skeleton in the Closet" music by Arthur Johnson, and clearly plays a phrase that will become part of "Hello, Dolly!" 28 years later....."Dolly will never go away...." (repeat) It is unknown if that was in the written chart, or an improv by Armstrong. See more »

Quotes

Waiter: Hey Mister, you better get yourself a new waiter. I just figured out the checks and everybody seems to be a partner. The way it adds up, you've sold 110% of this restaurant. I agreed to work here for my tips and there aren't no tips. The only paying customer was that dame that just left. She give me a dime. Here, you take it. You might need it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Call a Heart a Heart
(1936)
Music by Arthur Johnston
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
Sung by Bing Crosby with Louis Armstrong and His Band
Played also as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slight but very charming and entertaining
11 April 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

There is not much actually that's wrong with Pennies from Heaven, other than that the story is very slight and you have no trouble figuring out how it's all going to end and that Madge Evans would have seemed more comfortable if she had more to do. Pennies from Heaven is not a lavish-looking film, nor was that needed. Besides the production values do look lovely, the Haunted House setting is inspired and it is most competently shot and directed. The score has the right amount of whimsy and energy, and the songs will definitely warm your heart. Pennies from Heaven's Oscar-nomination was more than justified as it is a truly appealing song in all respects and is heavenly sung by Bing Crosby. But my personal favourite goes to Skeleton in the Closet, which managed to be hilarious and spooky. The script is appropriately snappy with a lot of heart that doesn't resort to mawkishness. No matter how slight and predictable the story is, it still moves swiftly, it's coherent and the warmth and heart the film has is most endearing. Admittedly, yes it is sentimental, but it knows that and the sentiment is not overly-so. Bing Crosby is reason enough to see any film, and he certainly doesn't disappoint, giving a charismatic and (incredibly) appealingly heart-warming performance and singing beautifully as always. Especially in Pennies from Heaven, which he also gives a very moving quality to. He shares convincing chemistry with Edith Fellows, who does a great job being cute and sassy, she didn't seem that much of a brat to me. Donald Meek is typically wonderful, and seeing early-career Louis Armstrong in Skeleton in the Closet was surprising in a pleasant way. All in all, very charming and entertaining, great for Bing fans. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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