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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:

Melville Shavelson

Writers:

Jack Rose (screenplay), Melville Shavelson (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Danny Kaye ... 'Red' Nichols
Barbara Bel Geddes ... Willa Stutsman
Louis Armstrong ... Louis Armstrong
Harry Guardino ... Tony Valani
Bob Crosby ... Wil Paradise
Bobby Troup ... Artie Schutt
Susan Gordon ... Dorothy Nichols - Ages 6 to 8
Tuesday Weld ... Dorothy Nichols - Age 13
Ray Anthony ... Jimmy Dorsey
Shelly Manne ... Dave Tough
Ray Daley Ray Daley ... Glenn Miller
Valerie Allen ... Tommye Eden
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Las cinco monedas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dena Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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. Presumably because he was quite drunk. See more »

Connections

Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #10.22 (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

The Music Goes Round and Round
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Edward Farley and Mike Riley
Lyrics by Red Hodgson
Sung by Danny Kaye and Susan Gordon
See more »

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User Reviews

 
10 stars for the music burned in my head since the 60ies...
6 February 2005 | by MarjaSofiaSee all my reviews

... but I could never see the movie yet. Still, it partly saved my life when I was dying of a very bad pneumonia and was floating in between the two worlds. I didn't yet understand English, but the soundtrack of The Five Pennies played on the vinyl record (don't ask me how my Finnish parents got to possess it) went through my conscience and kept me on the living side. I can still sing one voice of the lullaby hearing Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong singing the other voices in my head. I'm lucky to be able to hear them without any technical device.

Now, by a coincidence I fall on this movie I never saw - so important in my life - on VHS / NTSC in Amazon. I live in Europe... No way being able to see it. Do you really mean that there's no DVD of it yet ? I seem to be not the only one wishing for it.


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