Dennis Potter's offbeat tale comes to life in this inventive film adaptation. PENNIES FROM HEAVEN is a warm and joltingly bizarre musical fantasy about a drifter who sells sheet music (Steve Martin) and the naive schoolteacher (Bernadette Peters) he seduces. In depression-era Chicago, the lovers sing and dance their way through the bleak city streets. Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters give stunning musical performances.
Main Cast & Crew:
Herbert Ross - Director
- Format: DVD (Manufactured on Demand, Mono Sound)
- Run Time: 108
- Color Format: Color
- UPC: 888574051709
- Genre: DRAMA
- Rating: R (MPAA)
- Release Date: May 2014
Herbert Ross's PENNIES FROM HEAVEN is a lavish adaptation of the BBC series of the same name; it's a contemplative avant-garde musical in which drab everyday surroundings magically become movie sets and everyday speech suddenly turns into song. Steve Martin stars as Arthur, who sells sheet music--and the dreams promised in their lyrics--in 1930s depression-era Chicago. He's not always the most pleasant of fellows: He cheats on his wife, lies to his lovers, and seduces an innocent schoolteacher, Eileen (Bernadette Peters). But his spirit still has a sweetness and innocence--the sweetness of the Tin Pan Alley tunes he hawks and the innocence of the fantasy-filled Hollywood musicals he sees. When Arthur and Eileen set out on a series of misadventures, their bleak world turns to song and dance in a series of lavish Busby Berkeley-style musical numbers. The film features stunningly versatile performances by Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters.
Bob Hoskins played Arthur in the BBC version. Christopher Walken's striptease number took two months to rehearse.
"...[The] film is a virtuoso piece of studio craftsmanship..." - 12/09/1981 Variety
"...An eccentric show....[It] will become something of a cause among people who like to go to movies at midnight." - 12/11/1981 New York Times, p.C16
"Christopher Walken's 'Let's Misbehave' tap dance is masterful..." - 08/06/2004 Entertainment Weekly, p.65