7.3/10
1,337
23 user 16 critic

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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Wonder Man (1945)
Comedy | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After being murdered by gangsters, an exuberant nightclub entertainer returns as a ghost to persuade his meek twin brother to help bring his killers to justice.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Vera-Ellen
On the Double (1961)
Adventure | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

At the time of the Invasion of Normandy, an American soldier is asked to impersonate a British General in order to confuse the Nazi spies and assassins in London.

Director: Melville Shavelson
Stars: Danny Kaye, Dana Wynter, Wilfrid Hyde-White
Knock on Wood (1954)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Ventriloquist Jerry Morgan has to see another love affair fail. The reason: when the relationship reaches the point when it is time to discuss marriage, his doll Clarence becomes mean and ... See full summary »

Directors: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama
Stars: Danny Kaye, Mai Zetterling, Torin Thatcher
Merry Andrew (1958)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Downtrodden but creative English school-teacher (Danny Kaye) on archeological trip discovers joys of love and circus life with acrobat (Pier Angeli).

Director: Michael Kidd
Stars: Danny Kaye, Pier Angeli, Salvatore Baccaloni
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A town's corrupt officials think a fool is actually an investigator in disguise.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Danny Kaye, Walter Slezak, Barbara Bates
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A college volunteer at the crisis phone gets a call from a suicide caller.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Anne Bancroft, Telly Savalas
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Shy milkman Burleigh Sullivan accidentally knocks out drunken Speed McFarlane, a champion boxer who was flirting with Burleigh's sister. The newspapers get hold of the story and ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Vera-Ellen
Starting Over (1979)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A divorced man falls in love, but somehow he can't get over his ex-wife. This affects his love life in comic ways. Based on Dan Wakefield's novel.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Jill Clayburgh, Candice Bergen
Career (1959)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

More than anything in the world, Sam Lawson wants to be a successful actor. Is he willing to sacrifice his wife, happiness and personal reputation to achieve his goal?

Director: Joseph Anthony
Stars: Dean Martin, Anthony Franciosa, Shirley MacLaine
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An American entertainer impersonates a wealthy aviator and flirts with his lookalike's neglected wife.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Danny Kaye, Gene Tierney, Corinne Calvet
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A self-made businessman rekindles a romance with a former flame while their two teenage children begin a romance of their own with drastic consequences for both couples.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Richard Egan, Dorothy McGuire, Sandra Dee
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After WW2, former RAF airman Clem Morgan joins a gang of black-market smugglers-thieves but when a robbery goes wrong, Clem is caught , framed for a policeman's murder, and is sent to prison where he plots his escape and revenge.

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti
Stars: Sally Gray, Trevor Howard, Griffith Jones
Edit

Cast

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

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 (40) »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The German 1959 dubbing 5 PENNIES MACHEN MUSIK (literally FIVE PENNIES MAKE MUSIC; released 29 January 1960) carries a very special secret: in the dub Danny Kaye himself sings phonetically in German. All of Kaye's dialogue was dubbed by his regular German voice Georg Thomalla. But Danny Kaye personally went to Berlin to re-dub his vocals of some of the movies' songs into German. It's very obvious that he doesn't understand a word of what he sings at all, but nevertheless does very well. His performance is charismatic, highly sympathetic and works surprisingly fine in spite of his strong accent and pronounciation.

The German lyrics were written by Fritz A. Koeniger, who was one of the most skillful writers for dubbing dialogues in Germany ever. Koeniger also provided the German dialogue book for 5 PENNIES as well as for Kaye's KNOCK ON WOOD, THE COURT JESTER and WHITE CHRISTMAS. The German song titles are:

"Der kleine Penny" ("Five Pennies") "Wiegenlied in Ragtime" ("Lullaby in Ragtime") "Gut' Nacht, schlaf sacht'" ("Good Night - Sleep Tight") "Die Musik faehrt Karussell" ("The Music goes round and around") "Klingeling, klingeling, laeutet's immerzu" ("Jingle Bells").

Sigrid Lagemann, the German voice of Barbara Bel Geddes, also joins in singing together with Danny Kaye in "Wiegenlied in Ragtime" and sings the final reprise of "Der kleine Penny" on her own. All songs Kaye does together with Louis Armstrong remain in the original English (although Armstrong was around at Berlin that time and did a guest appearance in the 1959 film LA PALOMA !). Most likely the German songs were never released commercially on record and are exclusive to the German movie track.

The dubbing was carried out at the renowned company Berliner Synchron GmbH Wenzel Luedecke, which produced the German language versions of almost every Paramount film throughout the 50s and 60s. The dubbing was directed by Volker J. Becker. In early 1960 a German movie magazine published a picture which shows Danny Kaye and his wife Sylvia Fine at the dubbing atelier of Berliner Synchron. There is also a picture of Kaye together with company owner Wenzel Luedecke taken during his recording session. 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 »


Soundtracks

Mary Had a Little Lamb
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?