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Pennies from Heaven (1981)

R  |   |  Drama, Musical, Romance  |  1 January 1982 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 3,971 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 36 critic

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.

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Title: Pennies from Heaven (1981)

Pennies from Heaven (1981) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Vernel Bagneris ...
...
Mr. Warner
...
The Detective
Jay Garner ...
The Banker
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:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Around the time that this movie was made and released, the film's two lead stars Bernadette Peters and Steve Martin were in a personal relationship. 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 The 39th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Sin to Tell a Lie
(1936)
Written by Billy Mayhew (uncredited)
Performed by Dolly Dawn with George Hall and His Orchestra
Courtesy of RCA Records
Mimed onscreen by Jessica Harper (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bravo!
4 May 2001 | by (Kansas City, MO.) – See all my reviews

Unusual story combining drama, musical numbers and fine performances by all concerned. This had to have been one of the first times that Steve Martin was allowed to show that he is so much more than just some guy with an arrow through his head, a fact that has been demonstrated time and time again over the past 20 years.

This film physically depicts the depression era in beautifully muted tones and powerfully evokes the desperate feelings of people trying to make ends meet during hard times. Martin gives a dead on performance of a man with nothing left in his moral bank account. Arthur does and says whatever it takes to gain the instant gratification he constantly seeks.

As for the ensemble musical numbers, let me just say that even Busby Berkeley might have been envious. Martin and Peter's turn at Fred and Ginger was well beyond adequate and Walken's tap dance number is worth the price of admission.

I watched this movie the other evening after not having seen it for several years. I was amazed at how much it had improved with age. This movie could almost certainly never be made today and, in fact, I find it hard to believe it was ever made. Hollywood rarely takes chances of any kind and this movie had to have been a huge gamble, even in 1981.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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