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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 »

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(screenplay), (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:
... 'Red' Nichols
... Willa Stutsman
... Louis Armstrong
... Tony Valani
... Wil Paradise
... Artie Schutt
... Dorothy Nichols - Ages 6 to 8
... Dorothy Nichols - Age 13
... Jimmy Dorsey
... Dave Tough
Ray Daley ... Glenn Miller
... 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las cinco monedas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While Danny Kaye worked hard to be able to accurately fake playing cornet, it was the real Red Nichols who provided all of the cornet playing for Kaye in this movie. See more »

Goofs

After Red and Willa have left the club and are traveling home, the cars seen through the rear window of the taxicab are distinctly 1940's to 1950's vehicles which were nonexistent in 1924. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Battle Hymn of the Republic
(1862) (uncredited)
Music by William Steffe (ca 1856)
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe
Performed by Danny Kaye (dubbed by Red Nichols) and Louis Armstrong at the speakeasy,
with Armstrong singing some of the lyrics
Reprised by them at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Danny Kaye at his best( was he ever anything else)
26 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

my favorite bit of this film is at the end, I care not how factual it is. I find a lump in my throat every single time I see it and I am usually blubbing like a baby by the end credits. It is a wonderful story of a very talented man and of a great time in musical history, the scenes with 'Satchmo' Louis Armstrong are another particular favorite as he usually steals the scene. The little girl actress put s in a fine and mature performance as 'Red' Nicols's daughter. But as usual Danny Kaye is nothing short of majestic he is perfectly at home miming to Lorne 'Red' Nicols cornet playing. The story is beautiful as is the acting. Don't forget to pack your Kleenex when you watch it though. Excellent family entertainment twenty out of ten......


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