Arthur, a sheet music salesman, has an ear for the hit tunes, but nobody will trust it. And his imagination often bursts into full song, building musical numbers around the greatest ... See full summary »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1978  
2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Musical | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Tormented and bedridden by a debilitating disease, a mystery writer relives his detective stories through his imagination and hallucinations.

Stars: Michael Gambon, Patrick Malahide, Joanne Whalley
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

During the Great Depression, a sheet music salesman seeks to escape his dreary life through popular music and a love affair with an innocent school teacher.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Jessica Harper
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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. The family turns out to be a young girl, Patsy Smith, and her ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Bing Crosby, Madge Evans, Edith Fellows
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The mysterious murder of an environmental activist leads her straight-laced father, an Inspector of the local police force, through a haunting revelation of the murkiness of the British ... See full summary »

Stars: Bob Peck, Joe Don Baker, Charles Kay
Bergerac (1981–1991)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Alcoholic and divorced father of a young daughter, DS Jim Bergerac is a true maverick who prefers doing things his own way, and consequently doesn't always carry out his investigations the way his boss would like.

Stars: John Nettles, Terence Alexander, Sean Arnold
Smiley's People (TV Mini-Series 1982)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Called out of retirement to settle the affairs of a friend, Smiley finds his old organization, the Circus, so overwhelmed by political considerations that it doesn't want to know what ... See full summary »

Stars: Alec Guinness, Eileen Atkins, Bill Paterson
Lipstick on Your Collar (TV Mini-Series 1993)
Drama | Musical | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

During the Suez Crisis of 1956, two young clerks at the stuffy Foreign Office in Whitehall display little interest in the decline of the British Empire. To their eyes, it can hardly compete... See full summary »

Stars: Giles Thomas, Ewan McGregor, Louise Germaine
Dad's Army (1968–1977)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

During WW2, in a fictional British seaside town, a ragtag group of Home Guard local defense volunteers prepare for an imminent German invasion.

Stars: Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn
Mad Love (1935)
Certificate: Passed Horror | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An insane surgeon's obsession with an actress leads him to replace her husband's hands with the hands of a knife murderer which still have the urge to throw knives.

Director: Karl Freund
Stars: Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An inventor needs cash to develop his big idea. His wife, who loves him, decides to raise it for him by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire.

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Long Day Closes is the story of eleven-year-old "Bud." A sad and lonely boy, Bud struggles through his days. With cinema as his main source of solace, he haunts the local movie-house. ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Leigh McCormack, Marjorie Yates, Anthony Watson
Karaoke (TV Mini-Series 1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Daniel Feeld is a screenwriter with pains in his gut and a new screenplay called "Karaoke", about a girl named Sandra who works in a seedy Karaoke bar and is murdered by a lowlife named ... See full summary »

Stars: Albert Finney, Roy Hudd, Richard E. Grant
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Eileen (6 episodes, 1978)
...
 Arthur Parker (6 episodes, 1978)
Gemma Craven ...
 Joan Parker (6 episodes, 1978)
...
 Accordion Man / ... (6 episodes, 1978)
Jenny Logan ...
 Irene (3 episodes, 1978)
Dave King ...
 Police Inspector (2 episodes, 1978)
...
 Headmaster (2 episodes, 1978)
Sam Avent ...
 Pianist (2 episodes, 1978)
Arnold Peters ...
 Barrett (2 episodes, 1978)
Spencer Banks ...
 Maurice (2 episodes, 1978)
Michael Bilton ...
 Dad (2 episodes, 1978)
...
 Dave (2 episodes, 1978)
Bill Dean ...
 Alf (2 episodes, 1978)
Bella Emberg ...
 Mrs. Corder (2 episodes, 1978)
Children From the Forest of Dean ...
 School Children (2 episodes, 1978)
Yolande Palfrey ...
 Blind Girl (2 episodes, 1978)
Edit

Storyline

Arthur, a sheet music salesman, has an ear for the hit tunes, but nobody will trust it. And his imagination often bursts into full song, building musical numbers around the greatest frustrations in his life. He meets an innocent young school teacher, Eileen, who seems to hear the same music, but when Eileen learns that he's married, and that she's pregnant with his child, she runs away. Arthur gives up everything to find and protect her, but fate and the music haven't finished with Arthur Parker. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tv mini series | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 1978 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Filléreső  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The BBC original was composed of six episodes, each a bit over an hour long. Their titles are: 1: Down Sunny Side Lane 2: Love Is The Sweetest Thing 3: Easy Come, Easy Go 4: Better Think Twice 5: Painting The Clouds 6: Says My Heart See more »

Quotes

Accordion man: We're all going to hell. We're all going to burn in hell. Thank you very, very much, sir. Thank you very, very much, madam. Thank you very, very much, sir.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Brilliantly evokes the hopes and despairs of humanity
18 November 1999 | by (Murray Hill, NJ) – See all my reviews

Dennis Potter's PENNIES FROM HEAVEN is a masterpiece of both style and substance. It is a masterpiece of style in that it vividly conjures the look and atmosphere of mid 1930s England. This setting perfectly complements the original recordings of Depression era songs that emerge from the characters' mouths when they try to express themselves. It is a masterpiece of substance in that it is a riveting drama, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes poignant, sometimes both simultaneously.

PENNIES FROM HEAVEN dramatizes the trials and tribulations of Arthur Parker (Bob Hoskins), a song sheet salesman who unceasingly hopes the lyrics of the music he tries to peddle will become reality. It is a compelling story not only because of the novel use of lip synching to illustrate Parker's and the other characters' fantasies, but because of Potter's stark contrast between the songs' cheery lyrics and the characters' troubled lives. PENNIES also benefits from the cast's persuasive performances, especially Hoskins, Gemma Craven as his repressed wife Joan and Cheryl Campbell as a shy schoolteacher Arthur's infatuated with. One feels great empathy for the characters, even though they are flawed, because one can easily identify with their wishes and frustrations.

On one level, PENNIES FROM HEAVEN is a chilling cautionary tale- a warning that dreams of paradise are folly because life is cruel and hard. On another level, it is an inspiring story of hope- that even when life is at its most grim, we can always lift our spirits with those same dreams. Whatever message one may perceive, PENNIES FROM HEAVEN is thoroughly moving and absorbing, a testimony to the late Dennis Potter's genius.


34 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?