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The Five Pennies (1959)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Music | August 1959 (USA)
Loring "Red" Nichols is a cornet-playing country boy who goes to New York in the 1920s full of musical ambition and principles. He gets a job playing in Wil Paradise's band, but quits to ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
'Red' Nichols
...
Willa Stutsman
...
...
Tony Valani
...
Wil Paradise
...
Artie Schutt
...
...
...
...
Dave Tough
Ray Daley ...
...
Tommye Eden
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Storyline

Loring "Red" Nichols is a cornet-playing country boy who goes to New York in the 1920s full of musical ambition and principles. He gets a job playing in Wil Paradise's band, but quits to pursue his dream of playing Dixieland jazz. He forms the "Five Pennies" which features his wife, Bobbie, as vocalist. At the peak of his fame, Red and Bobbie's daughter, Dorothy, develops polio. Red quits the music business to move to Los Angeles where the climate is better for Dorothy. As Dorothy becomes a young teen, she learns of her father's musical past, and he is persuaded to open a small nightclub which is failing until some noted names from his past come to help out. Written by Ray Hamel <hamel@primate.wisc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1920s | nightclub | fame | band | jazz | See All (39) »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las cinco monedas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Danny Kaye himself dubbed his songs phonetical into Italian in the Italian version "I cinque penny", released December 30, 1959 in Italy. The Italian track with the phonetical Italian siniging is available on the Region 2 PAL DVD in Italy only. See more »

Goofs

When Red leaves the club with Willa (after seeing Louis Armstrong the first time), he takes his cornet with him but has neglected to put it back in its case. See more »

Connections

Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #10.22 (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Hymn of the Republic
(1862) (uncredited)
Music by William Steffe (ca 1856)
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe
Performed by Danny Kaye (dubbed by Red Nichols) and Louis Armstrong at the speakeasy,
with Armstrong singing some of the lyrics
Reprised by them at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Powerful and Compelling Work of Art
27 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Danny Kaye is known for his comic roles; for his laughter, his singing, his dancing, his light-hearted humor. But this movie presents a different Danny Kaye - serious, brooding, consumed with guilt, confronted by really serious problems - and here Danny Kaye shines. This movie is proof that if he had to, Danny Kaye could have been one of the greatest dramatic actors in the history of motion pictures. There is no question about that. In this movie, Kaye puts aside the clowning to play a subdued, moody and introspective character who nevertheless is still likable and worthy of attention. And it works! In the movie he wins over the audience, he wins over his family, he wins over his friends. And who can ever forget the scene with Louis Armstrong? Kaye's character overcomes all obstacles to triumph and to be loved. Only a highly skilled and sensitive actor could have done the job, and in this movie Danny Kaye proved that he had the requisite qualities to transform what could have been little more than a sudsy soap opera into a powerful statement about a man who, along with his family, not only survives but sets an example for others. For this reason, this movie is a powerful and compelling work of art.


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