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The Five Pennies (1959) Poster

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.
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The exaggerated tango Danny Kaye did with the blonde Charleston dancer (Lizanne Truex) in the nightclub scene was not scripted. The rehearsals only called for her to do the Charleston, then flit offstage. During one of them Danny suddenly grabbed her and began hamming it up, with Lizanne quickly ad-libbing. Director Melville Shavelson liked it and added it to the routine.
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Keep an eye out for a cameo by Bob Hope and the crack Danny Kaye makes about him, as he, Barbara Bel Geddes and a very young Tuesday Weld wait to get into the Brown Derby restaurant.
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Blanche Sweet's last feature film.
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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.
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Danny Kaye himself dubbed his songs phonetical into French in the French version "Millionnaire de cinq sous", released March 4, 1960 in France. The French voice dubbing for Danny Kaye was provides by Yves Furet. The French track with the phonetical siniging is available on the Region 2 PAL DVD versions released in Germany, Great Britain and France but not on the Region1 US DVD.
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Danny Kaye himself dubbed his songs phonetical into Italian in the Italian version "I cinque penny" of the film "The Five Pennies", 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.
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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.
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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 singing is available on the Region 2 PAL DVD in Italy only.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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