Pennies from Heaven

Drama / Music / Romance

184
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 5

Synopsis


Downloaded times
February 27, 2021

Director

Cast

Bernadette Peters as Angelique
Steve Martin as Harris K. Telemacher
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
989.17 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
108 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.79 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
108 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by robb_772 10 / 10 / 10

Spactacular; possibly the most underrated film of the last 20 years

An Americanized adaptation of the six-part 1978 British miniseries, underrated director Herbert Ross' brilliant PENNIES FROM HEAVEN was a huge commercial flop in US when originally released. Audiences of 1981 did not seem to understand the concept of a depression-era musical, where the actors lip-synch to original recording from the in 1930s in elaborate fantasies that are far removed from the actual world in which they inhabit. Though extremely unconventional, this device is absolutely heart-wrenching as the dreariness of the real world breaks away to the brightly-colored, perpetually optimistic fantasy land that only lives in the lyrics of popular songs. It is the eternal agony of the dreamer that is expressed; the cold reality that leaves us destined to reach for the sky, but doomed to walk the earth. This leaves the film's cast with a difficult task, as they must not only contend with their dramatic art, but also be well versed in a variety of demanding dances and highly disciplined choreography. Comedian Steve Martin is far from the first choice to portray the downtrodden protagonist in any film, but the actor acquits himself expertly in both the film's demanding dance and drama. Mousy Jessica Harper delves into her eternally repressed character so deeply that one is never certain where one stops and the other begins; a triumph of form for any thespian. Renowned dancer Vernel Bagneris is mesmerizing as the film's most ambiguous character, and his density-defying dance to Arthur Tracy's heartbreaking rendition of the title song is one of my favorite moments in any film. Even more impressive is tough guy actor Christopher Walken's then-unexpected prowess on the dance floor, as he delivers a riotously funny and surprisingly sexy striptease to Irving Aaronson's "Let's Misbehave." In this sequence, Walken pulls off the difficult hat trick of satisfying both seasoned viewers and film neophytes, while still managing to leave both groups wanting more. Best of all, however, is the lovely Bernadette Peters in a superb, Golden Globe award-winning performance. Never before has Peters' slightly tarnished Kewpie-doll personae been better utilized, and the actress' transformation from repressed schoolmarm to hardened prostitute feels both stunningly and horrifyingly real. Herbert Ross and his creative team manage to bind all of the pieces together into one seamless collage of lost hope, forced optimism, and never-ending desperation. Gordon Willis' cinematography is never less than completely awe-inspiring, and the combined efforts of top-drawer art and set direction and Bob Mackie's seemingly authentic period costumes helps cement the look and feel of desolate decade that the film represents. Over all films in every genre, PENNIES FROM HEAVEN would be a likely contender to receive my vote for the single most underrated film masterpiece of the last twenty years. It exudes all of the contradictory joy and heartbreak that the movies offer, and serves it all up in one stunning presentation.

Reviewed by Pamsanalyst 9 / 10 / 10

The more I see it

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."

Reviewed by dancingmike 9 / 10 / 10

Excellent adaptation of the BBC classic

Much has already been written here saying positive things about Pennies From Heaven, but the best reason for the excellence of the film lies in the fact that the screenplay was written by Dennis Potter. I give the film a 9 and the BBC series a 10+++. There is so much more to this story than can be told in a single film. Potter wrote what I consider the two most brilliant series ever on television, Pennies From Heaven starring Bob Hoskins and The Singing Detective starring Michael Gambon. Both were dark films with more than their share of irony. Potter interjected popular music of the eras into the story lines in their original versions lip-synced by the actors. These films aren't for casual viewers. You need to keep your brain attached and operating all the time, so smart is Potter's writing. Those of us who make the effort are rewarded with stories of sheer genius. The jump from England in the BBC mini-series to the US in the films works better than I would have imagined. I give all the credit to the producers who had the good sense to have Potter do the screenplays for both films. They are translated to a similar mood and setting and the music is well integrated. I think the adaptation of The Singing Detective is more like the BBC version because the numbers aren't so overproduced as in Pennies From Heaven. On the other hand, the cast of Pennies is a powerhouse of musical talent with Bernadette Peters and Christopher Walken and the surprisingly good Steve Martin. With lesser talent in both the writing and acting the big production numbers would have overwhelmed the story. Watch the US films first and then follow them up with the BBC versions. Make the intellectual investment and reap your rewards. These BBC series are brilliant. If you need more mental stimulation after these two series have boosted your IQ, try to hunt down Lipstick On Your Collar. This is a later Dennis Potter BBC series based on what turned out to be the "final straw" in the fall of the British Empire, the loss of Egypt and the Suez Canal to a considerably out manned and out gunned Egyptian army. This, too, could work as a film (obviously not translated to the US), but only if Dennis Potter could be reincarnated to do the screenplay.

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