6.5/10
4,716
58 user 40 critic

Pennies from Heaven (1981)

Trailer
3:06 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime 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:

Herbert Ross

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
All of Me (1984)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A dying millionaire has her soul transferred into a younger, willing woman. However, 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
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 6.4/10 X  

A brain surgeon marries a femme fatale, causing his life to turn upside down. Things go more awry when he falls in love with a talking brain.

Director: Carl Reiner
Stars: Steve Martin, Kathleen Turner, David Warner
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
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
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 1990s Los Angeles.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Steve Martin, Victoria Tennant, Richard E. Grant
Roxanne (1987)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The large-nosed C.D. Bales is in love with the beautiful Roxanne; she falls for his personality but another man's looks.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, Rick Rossovich
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

Joe Mulholland, Head of Production at a Hollywood studio, makes a rather fool-hardy promise to a dying friend. He undertakes to make a major movie using the title - if not the content - of ... See full summary »

Director: William Asher
Stars: Walter Matthau, Charles Grodin, Vincent Gardenia
My Blue Heaven I (1990)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 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
Comedy | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A struggling female soprano finds work playing a male female impersonator, but it complicates her personal life.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Martin ... Arthur
Bernadette Peters ... Eileen
Jessica Harper ... Joan
Vernel Bagneris ... The Accordion Man
John McMartin ... Mr. Warner
John Karlen ... The Detective
Jay Garner Jay Garner ... The Banker
Robert Fitch Robert Fitch ... Al
Tommy Rall ... Ed
Eliska Krupka Eliska Krupka ... The Blind Girl
Christopher Walken ... Tom
Francis X. McCarthy ... The Bartender (as Frank McCarthy)
Raleigh Bond Raleigh Bond ... Mr. Barrett
Gloria LeRoy 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 January 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dinheiro do Céu See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,179,289
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White ("Follow the Fleet" dream sequence)| Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 1934. See more »

Goofs

While the film is set in 1934, the characters watch Follow the Fleet in a movie theater - that film was released in 1936. 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 »


Soundtracks

Let's Face the Music and Dance
(1936)
Written by Irving Berlin (uncredited)
Performed by Fred Astaire
Danced by Fred Astaire (uncredited) and Ginger Rogers (uncredited) in a clip from the film Follow the Fleet (1936)
Courtesy of RKO Pictures
Also danced by Steve Martin (uncredited) and Bernadette Peters (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The more I see it
12 November 2004 | by PamsanalystSee 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."


34 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 58 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed