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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 »
Reviews
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:

The Five Pennies 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

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. 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 »

Quotes

Louis Armstrong: Excuse it, folks. Somebody must have put alcohol in our liquor.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Wail of the Winds
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played on the radio during the Christmas scene and at the beginning of the comeback show
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Powerful and Compelling Work of Art
27 July 2005 | by PWNYCNYSee all my reviews

Danny Kaye is known for his comic roles; for his laughter, his singing, his dancing, his light-hearted humor. But this movie presents a different Danny Kaye - serious, brooding, consumed with guilt, confronted by really serious problems - and here Danny Kaye shines. This movie is proof that if he had to, Danny Kaye could have been one of the greatest dramatic actors in the history of motion pictures. There is no question about that. In this movie, Kaye puts aside the clowning to play a subdued, moody and introspective character who nevertheless is still likable and worthy of attention. And it works! In the movie he wins over the audience, he wins over his family, he wins over his friends. And who can ever forget the scene with Louis Armstrong? Kaye's character overcomes all obstacles to triumph and to be loved. Only a highly skilled and sensitive actor could have done the job, and in this movie Danny Kaye proved that he had the requisite qualities to transform what could have been little more than a sudsy soap opera into a powerful statement about a man who, along with his family, not only survives but sets an example for others. For this reason, this movie is a powerful and compelling work of art.


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