IMDb > Pennies from Heaven (1936)
Pennies from Heaven
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Pennies from Heaven (1936) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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6.7/10   416 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Contact:
View company contact information for Pennies from Heaven on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 November 1936 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
LAUGHS...wen a vagabond troubadour yearns for a gondola in Venice and gets a rowboat in Central Park (original poster) See more »
Plot:
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
The Townsend Plan See more (14 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Bing Crosby ... Larry Poole

Madge Evans ... Susan Sprague
Edith Fellows ... Patsy Smith

Louis Armstrong ... Henry

Donald Meek ... Gramp Smith
John Gallaudet ... J. C. Hart
William Stack ... Clarence B. Carmichael
Nana Bryant ... Miss Howard
Tom Dugan ... Crowbar Miller (as Tommy Dugan)
Nydia Westman ... Slavey - Hotel Maid
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Byrne ... Boy (as Billy Byrne uncredited)
Eugene Anderson Jr. ... Boy (uncredited)
William Anderson ... Western Union Messenger (uncredited)
Stanley Andrews ... Detective Stephens (uncredited)
Frank Austin ... Old Man (uncredited)
Jimmy Barnes ... Boy (uncredited)
Georgie Billings ... Boy (uncredited)
Stanley Blystone ... Detective Gilroy (uncredited)
Jackie Butler ... Boy (uncredited)
Bobby Callahan ... Boy (uncredited)
George Chandler ... Waiter (uncredited)

Mickey Daniels ... Hay Wagon Driver (uncredited)
Frank Darien ... Chicken Farmer (uncredited)
Harry Depp ... Union Costume Supply Man (uncredited)
Helen Dickson ... Nightclub Table Extra (uncredited)

Billy Dooley ... W.F. Arbuthnot (uncredited)
Budd Fine ... Prison Guard (uncredited)
Lionel Hampton ... Band Member (uncredited)
Howard C. Hickman ... Chaplain (uncredited)
Harry Hollingsworth ... Prison Guard (uncredited)
Arthur Hoyt ... Collector of Taxes (uncredited)
Sheldon Jett ... Nightclub / Dance Extra (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ... Little Woman at Window (uncredited)
Lew Kelly ... Sheriff (uncredited)
Gus Leonard ... Nightclub Attendee (uncredited)
Jack Lindquist ... Boy (uncredited)
Louis Armstrong and His Band ... Musicians (uncredited)
Margaret Mann ... White-Haired Woman (uncredited)
Burton Cagney Miller ... Boy (uncredited)
Edward Peil Sr. ... Old Man (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Coin Tosser (uncredited)
Syd Saylor ... Sign Painter (uncredited)
Anne Schaefer ... Lady (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ... Smiling Cop in Central Park (uncredited)
Harry Tyler ... Carnival Concessionaire (uncredited)
Dorothy Vernon ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
Morgan Wallace ... Restaurant Partner (uncredited)
Charles C. Wilson ... Warden (uncredited)

Directed by
Norman Z. McLeod 
 
Writing credits
Katherine Leslie Moore (novel "The Peacock Feather") (as Katharine Leslie Moore)

William Rankin (story)

Jo Swerling (screenplay)

Produced by
Emanuel Cohen .... producer
 
Original Music by
William Grant Still (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Robert Pittack (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
John Rawlins 
 
Art Direction by
Stephen Goosson 
 
Makeup Department
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Earl Rettig .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sam Nelson .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Glenn Rominger .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
George Stoll .... musical director
John Scott Trotter .... music arranger
Howard Jackson .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Louis Silvers .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Norman Blackburn .... technical advisor
Harry Cohn .... president: Columbia Pictures Corporation of California Ltd.
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
81 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #2402) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Several cast members in studio records/casting call lists did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were (with their character names): Richard Carle (Mr. Briggs), Eddie Borden (Mr. Bilkins), Maston Williams (Prisoner) and Nick Copeland (Middle-aged Man). Reviews list Tom Ricketts in the role of Mr. Briggs. but he was not seen in movie either.See more »
Quotes:
Susan Sprague:Are you married?
Larry Poole:No, I'm sane!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
One Two Button Your ShoeSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
25 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
The Townsend Plan, 8 April 2004
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Bing Crosby was loaned out from Paramount to Columbia for this film and Columbia did no better for him in the way of budget than Paramount. Again relying on Crosby's personality to bring in the box office, if anything Columbia probably spent less money than Paramount on his films.

What they did do was give Crosby a good supporting cast, a role tailor- made for him and a good score of tunes to sing, topped by one of his immortal hits, the title tune Pennies from Heaven. This was the second of 15 movie songs introduced by Bing that were nominated for the Academy Award as best song when that award actually meant something.

Crosby's Larry Poole is a more delineated character than most of the ones he did in the 1930s. He's asked by a prisoner who's on death row to look up the family of a man he murdered and give them the key to an old house that the prisoner owned. He meets up with the family which consists of juvenile Edith Fellows and grandfather Donald Meek. He also tangles with social worker Madge Evans, but in the end all his righted.

In the real world I can't believe that civil servant Evans would ever take up with a vagabond character like Larry Poole, definitely not in this day and age. But if he's played by Bing Crosby, well.........

The film has one other interesting feature. Donald Meek mentions to Crosby a few times that while he's down on his luck now, he expects to come into a regular source of income soon. Finally Bing asks just what is this expected windfall and Meek replies, "The Townsend Plan."

Today's audience would not get that dated bit of humor, but the Townsend Plan was the brainstorm of a Doctor Francis Townsend who was a retired physician who came up with a scheme in which the elderly were to be paid in scrip (in other words money that had to be spent) and then that money would be taxed through the sales which would in turn pay for another month's scrip and so on and so on. At the time of the filming of Pennies from Heaven this plan had a lot of followers in the country which was in a depression.

Of course Townsend never got his plan passed, but a lot of historians credit him with raising such a fuss over what we did with our elderly that the result was Social Security.

One of Bing's best.

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