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Pennies from Heaven (1981)

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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 »

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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
Nancy Parsons ... The Old Whore
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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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 January 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dinheiro do Céu See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "pennies" that are seen raining down from heaven were penny sized sequins. After filming, they blew out the stage door, and could be found in the corners in the streets at MGM studios for almost a year. See more »

Goofs

Bar codes on railroad box cars. 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

Referenced in Chicago (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

It's the Girl
(1931)
Music by Abel Baer (uncredited)
Lyrics by Dave Oppenheim (uncredited)
Performed by The Boswell Sisters with The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra
Courtesy of MCA Records
Mimed and Danced onscreen by Steve Martin (uncredited), Tommy Rall (uncredited) and Robert Fitch (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not exactly your typical Steve Martin/Bernadette Peters vehicle.
18 May 2000 | by FelixtheCatSee all my reviews

Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters star in this musical that is anything buy light in subject matter. The film is set in Depression-era America with Martin as a sheet music salesman who lives day to day through music and dreams. He is married, but takes up Peters as a mistress. The musical numbers are unique in that the actors do not sing, except in the end, for themselves, but merely lip-sync and dance to the music of the 30s. The desperation of the times is apparent everywhere, other than in the fantasy world that the characters create for themselves, which enable them to escape the harsh realities of life. Christopher Walken fans take note. He does a dance of exuberant decadence that should knock most people's socks off due to his surprising ability.


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