6.5/10
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63 user 41 critic

Pennies from Heaven (1981)

Trailer
3:06 | Trailer
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:

$9,171,289

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,171,289
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 MGM studio forced writer Dennis Potter to buy back his copyright from the BBC, something which had cost him over US $100,000. 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 »

Connections

Featured in The 39th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Yes, Yes!
(1931)
Written by Con Conrad (uncredited) and Cliff Friend (uncredited)
Performed by Sam Browne and Carlyle Cousins (as The Carlyle Cousins)
Courtesy of EMI Records
Mimed and Danced onscreen by Steve Martin (uncredited) and Jay Garner (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
sad depressing movie with a song and dance show
31 July 2015 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

It's 1934 Chicago. Sheet music salesman Arthur Parker (Steve Martin) can't get any love from his wife Joan (Jessica Harper) both in the bedroom and in the bank book. She wants to keep her inheritance for a rainy day but he wants to use it for his business. He befriends penniless hitchhiking Accordion Man. He falls for school teacher Eileen (Bernadette Peters) and they have a short affair as he lies to her about being a widow telling her to "take the pain away". His wife Joan entices him back with sex and money. Eileen is fired for being pregnant out of wedlock. Arthur meets a blind girl calling her beautiful. Later the Accordion Man rapes her and kills her. A desperate Eileen falls into the arms of Tom the pimp (Christopher Walken).

This is a sad depressing movie juxtaposed by the bright shiny surreal song and dance show. The story is such a downer. Arthur is a horrible person. Eileen is an innocent that is destroyed. There is a horrible crime. Yet this is a fantasy with dance reminiscent of the 30s except darker. It's a very odd mix and is almost experimental in its nature. It's definitely not a comedy.


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