Watch
Pennies from Heaven

Pennies from Heaven

1981
Romance
Drama
1h 48m
It's the depression era and Chicago. 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 (imdb)
Your probable score
?

Pennies from Heaven

1981
Romance
Drama
1h 48m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 51.39% from 199 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(199)
Compact view
Compact view
Rated 12 Jun 2008
60
47th
"Hollywood musical as psychotic episode". Ooooooooookay. Not as clever or as captivating as it thinks it is. There's something to be said, however, for any movie that has Christopher Walken dance and Jessica Harper appear topless
Rated 01 Feb 2012
88
70th
A lovely modern fable that is a perfect companion film to Von Trier's Dancer in the Dark. Steve Martin's take on the idealistic Arthur was criminally underpraised, as was the subtle but powerful Jessica Harper. The musical numbers are lovely, and any film that provides a monumental dance number from Christopher Walken is a masterpiece especially when in this rich of a film.
Rated 27 Jun 2017
76
65th
There isn't anything quite like PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, a musical comprised of Depression-era pop standards that bounces between stark, depressing realism and extravagant, lavish fantasy. The common thematic link is desperation, brilliantly embodied by Steve Martin's struggling salesman/would-be showman. If anything, it can be too bleak--but that's also what sets it apart, while deepening the impact of its soaring sensory highs.
Rated 10 Dec 2009
86
74th
A clever blend of entertainment and social comment about the gap between the happy songs of the Depression, and the grim realities of those caught in the web of fate. Elegantly designed and photographed, and thoroughly unusual.
Rated 03 Jun 2013
40
19th
Steve Martin and Christopher Walken in a musical cool? Well, it had some moments, but mostly it fell flat. I hated how they did the music in this.
Rated 25 Mar 2010
80
42nd
A pretty good American remake of a great British mini-series. One great moment: Christopher Walken's dance number.
Rated 03 Jun 2015
60
39th
Possibly the most uncommercial Hollywood musical ever made, the lavishly produced, boldly experimental Pennies from Heaven landed with a thud on release. I'm not sure it always works (the juxtaposition of the romantic songs and the cruel reality of daily life is perhaps a bit too bludgeoning and heavy handed), but the musical numbers are really quite extraordinary. Christopher Walken, holy shit.
Rated 06 Jan 2016
78
79th
Charming and stylish, with a melancholy streak. Vintage songs and dancing express the characters' emotions when words aren't enough.
Rated 14 Dec 2011
2
22nd
All of the film's most successful elements, the production design, the performances, the wonderfully staged dance numbers, the use of original and aged recordings in lieu of the actors' voices are interesting on an academic level. But they don't have unique and original characters or stories to support, so the film feels less like a coherent whole and more like a series of set pieces. While I've never seen the original Mini-Series, I must admit, something about the film feels very abridged.
Rated 03 Feb 2012
9
91st
In a close race with Pink Floyd: The Wall for the title of greatest movie musical to come out of the 1980s. A bleak and hopeless look back at the Great Depression. Christopher Walken is brilliant.
Rated 01 May 2022
60
50th
It pales in comparison to the brilliant mini-series but even though quite a lot is lost in the adaptation, it's still a solidly streamlined repackaging that is peppered with accomplished song and dance numbers. Not a fan of Peters' performance, however.
Rated 26 Oct 2015
100
0th
"I'm curious what my reaction - not knowing the story - to the film wouldn've been." http://illusionpodcast.blogspot.com/2015/10/episode-72-dennis-potters-pennies-from.html
Rated 21 May 2009
40
71st
Bold, original, innovative, extraordinary, unprecedented -- these are some of the adjectives we have been programmed to apply to this Depression-period musical. They all do apply, though only to a moderate degree. Make that, on second thought, a minimal degree.
Rated 17 Oct 2012
74
52nd
74.000
Rated 24 Nov 2014
68
67th
While i have certain reservations about this (Steve Martin is sort of goofily miscast, it seems kind of insane to cast Bernadette Peters in a movie where she lipsyncs...) i have to say, fundamentally it succeeds by understanding exactly the things that Woody Allen failed to in Purple Rose of Cairo, even if it is sort of mean-spirited as a result. It may essentially be a musical for people who cynically hate musicals, but it's also (unintentionally?) a great critique of patriarchal capitalism.
Rated 17 Sep 2016
70
75th
The most lascivious step-dancing musical I've ever seen, with Steve Martin starring as a pervy jerkwad opposite a slutty Bernadette Peters (but they are both inexplicably lovable) in a lackadaisically plotted but nevertheless seriously oddball romantic romp. Most of the numbers are actual 20s and 30s recordings lip-synced by sometimes hilariously mismatched characters. It's so rare to see a young Peters outside of the Muppet Show, but she is an absolutely riveting performer
Rated 12 Jan 2012
85
72nd
One of Hollywood's unlikeliest projects: a musical where all the actors lip-sync to old recordings, which features lavish production numbers, Depression-era malaise, stars Steve Martin, is rated R--and is quite good, too. While the story is a bit thin (pared down from a seven-hour miniseries), Dennis Potter's genius shines through, Martin is good, Bernadette Peters excellent, and the lavish, audacious production is often awe-inspiring--including Christopher Walken's wondrous tap dance showcase.
Rated 11 Jan 2012
77
84th
cool performances, loved the dance numbers. esp. the one with walken. wtfawesome ending. :D

Collections

Loading ...

Similar Titles

Loading ...

Statistics

Loading ...

Trailer

Loading ...