6.5/10
4,232
59 user 38 critic

Pennies from Heaven (1981)

Trailer
3:06 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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:

Writer:

(written for the screen: based on original material by)
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Pennies from Heaven (TV Mini-Series 1978)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Cheryl Campbell, Bob Hoskins, Gemma Craven
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A writer for a greeting card company learns the true meaning of loneliness when he comes home to find his girlfriend in bed with another man.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Steve Martin, Charles Grodin, Judith Ivey
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Film noir parody with a detective uncovering a sinister plot. Characters from real noirs appear as scenes from various films are intercut.

Director: Carl Reiner
Stars: Steve Martin, Rachel Ward, Alan Ladd
Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Steve Martin comedy about brain transplantation.

Director: Carl Reiner
Stars: Steve Martin, Kathleen Turner, David Warner
All of Me (1984)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A dying millionnaire has her soul transferred into a younger, willing woman. But something goes wrong, and she finds herself in her lawyer's body - together with the lawyer.

Director: Carl Reiner
Stars: Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin, Victoria Tennant
Grand Canyon (1991)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Grand Canyon revolved around six residents from different backgrounds whose lives intertwine in modern-day Los Angeles. At the center of the film is the unlikely friendship of two men from ... See full summary »

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Steve Martin
Leap of Faith (1992)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Fake faith healer Jonas Nightingale is stranded in a small town where he finds he can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Director: Richard Pearce
Stars: Steve Martin, Debra Winger, Lolita Davidovich
L.A. Story (1991)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

With the help of a talking freeway billboard, a "wacky weatherman" tries to win the heart of an English newspaper reporter, who is struggling to make sense of the strange world of early-90s Los Angeles.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Steve Martin, Victoria Tennant, Richard E. Grant
The Jerk (1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An idiotic man struggles to make it through life on his own in St. Louis.

Director: Carl Reiner
Stars: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Catlin Adams
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
My Blue Heaven I (1990)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An all too uptight FBI agent must protect a larger than life mobster with a heart of gold, currently under witness protection in the suburbs.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, Joan Cusack
Roxanne (1987)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Based on the play "Cyrano de Bergerac", large nosed C.D. Bales falls for the beautiful Roxanne while she falls for his personality but another man's looks.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, Rick Rossovich
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Vernel Bagneris ...
...
...
The Detective
Jay Garner ...
Robert Fitch ...
Al
...
Ed
Eliska Krupka ...
The Blind Girl
...
Tom
...
The Bartender (as Frank McCarthy)
Raleigh Bond ...
Gloria LeRoy ...
A Prostitute (as Gloria Leroy)
Nancy Parsons ...
The Old Whore
Edit

Storyline

In Chicago during the 1930s depression, sheet music salesman Arthur Parker is trying to sell his products, but it's not easy to convince unwilling music store owners to buy them. Although he's already married to the somewhat drab Joan, when he meets school teacher Eileen in a music store, he falls in love with her. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There's a world on both sides of the rainbow where songs come true and every time it rains, it rains...

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 January 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dinheiro do Céu  »

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,600,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

("Follow the Fleet" dream sequence)| (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sets designed by Ken Adam for this movie included a dilapidated farmhouse, a smokey Chicago speakeasy, and an art decor bank, and an exact replica of a set used in the RKO musical Follow the Fleet (1936). See more »

Goofs

When Arthur meets the blind girl, he says that he is traveling from Chicago to Galena, IL. The police later ask about his travels along IL Route 1. IL Route 1 starts in Chicago and runs south, paralleling the Illinois-Indiana border, ending at the Kentucky border. Galena is west of Chicago, in the extreme northwest corner of the state. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Arthur Parker: Joan... Joanie? Sugar? C'mon, Joan... sugar... wake up, baby.
Joan Parker: No, Arthur, don't.
Arthur Parker: Oh, baby... come on, sugar.
Joan Parker: No, it's too early, Arthur.
Arthur Parker: Oh, Joan.
Joan Parker: Arthur, there isn't time.
Arthur Parker: Oh, there's always time for this. Joan, come on.
Joan Parker: Stop it, Arthur! No, don't!
Joan Parker: [getting out of bed] No... I said no!
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in 20 to 1: Amazing Moments in Music (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Singin in the Rain
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Sung a bit outside the movie theater by Bernadette Peters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The more I see it
12 November 2004 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

the more I am amazed. It is the film that Chicago could have been were it not for its irony. I never saw the BBC original, but fondly remember Potter's "The Singing Detective." I can understand that Hoskin's Cockney optimism would fit Pennies' lead character to a tee, but Martin gives us a hint of the fragility of the song pusher's world, like Willy Loman, out there on a shoeshine, and for Martin, a song.

The film is innovative and definitely not your father's musical, and the songs, done up not in 1981 over-orchestration but in that tinny sound of early vinyl, just blow me away. After I saw it, I went searching for Follow the Fleet just to see 'Face the Music' in reel time.

This film will not be everyone's cup of tea. It is one of those movies that I say works best when you begin with "Once upon a time."


32 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Christopher Walken dance sequence sueziq
Truly disappointing... royalgravy
Has anyone seen the original? shere73
CD music romanceh
What's up with missing Bernadette Peters on DVD 20th Anniv. discussion?? Banquo13
I missed part of the movie spare-flair
Discuss Pennies from Heaven (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?