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The Five Pennies (1959)

 -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  August 1959 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,117 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 15 critic

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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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Five Pennies (1959)

The Five Pennies (1959) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
'Red' Nichols
...
Willa Stutsman
...
...
Tony Valani
Bob Crosby ...
Wil Paradise
...
Artie Schutt
Susan Gordon ...
...
Ray Anthony ...
...
Dave Tough
Ray Daley ...
Valerie Allen ...
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 more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

5 Pennies  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While Danny Kaye worked hard to be able to accurately fake playing cornet, it was the real Red Nichols who provided all of the cornet playing for Kaye in this movie. See more »

Goofs

After Red and Willa have left the club and are traveling home, the cars seen through the rear window of the taxicab are distinctly 1940's to 1950's vehicles which were nonexistent in 1924. See more »


Soundtracks

When the Saints Go Marching In
(1896)
Music by James Milton Black (uncredited)
Lyrics by Katharine E. Purvis (uncredited)
Special Lyrics by Sylvia Fine
Performed by Louis Armstrong (uncredited) and Danny Kaye (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice Sounds In This Classic Film
11 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Five Pennies Danny Kaye plays Red Nichols, a famous coronet player of yesteryear. I found this story a notch better "fair" and nicely aided by the musical talent of Louis Armstrong. Kaye and Armstrong's duet on "When The Saints Go Marching In" is the highlight of the film.

For a classic movie, the stereo in here is amazing, especially on the songs. In one instance, there are three people singing and their voices all coming out separately on different speakers. Pretty good for just the tape. Now that a DVD has been released, I wonder what the sound on that is like?

The story starts to lag a bit near the end when Kaye starts to feel sorry for himself and this goes on and on as he retires from playing. However, there is a nice, sentimental upbeat ending.

Notes: Kaye and Barbara Bel Geddes, who plays Red's wife "Bobbie," never age in the film even though it spans 15 or more years! It's interesting to see Tuesday Weld as a teenager.


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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