Pennies From Heaven
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Adapted from Dennis Potter's landmark British TV miniseries and relocated to the United States during the Depression, Pennies from Heaven dramatizes how popular songs both shaped and reflected the thoughts of people living through economic (and emotional) hardship. Arthur Parker (Steve Martin) is a sheet music salesman who believes that he can spot a hit a mile away and wants to open his own store. But he can't get a bank loan and his wife Joan (Jessica Harper), who has savings left to her by her father, refuses to give him the money. Also, while Arthur has a fierce sexual appetite,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Perhaps this was not the project on which to lavish so many MGM millions. The BBC show was an enchanted cottage; this is the Las Vegas Grand Hotel."
‑ Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
"Pennies from Heaven is dazzling and disappointing in equal measure."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A bit of filmmaking as film criticism to be respected and admired above and beyond its relationship to the legendary miniseries that it pushed out of print for more than 20 years."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"O ótimo conceito deste musical torna-se ainda mais fascinante graças às belas coreografias, aos ricos figurinos, à impecável direção de arte e, é claro, à magnífica fotografia de Gordon Willis."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"Doesn't quite work. Enough of it works, however, to give the film a shot, and it does in some ways improve with the passage of time."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Almost as if he were directing Pinter, Herbert Ross has actors speak a line, then wait two beats before delivering the next phrase. Technique smothers such ordinarily lively performers as Martin, Peters and Harper."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"The movie, though, is not easy to respond to. It's chilly without being provocative in any intellectual way."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Not for everyone, but those who respond to it will find it unforgettable."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Dark as night but perfectly lit, a little sad but with a song in its heart."
‑ Mark Athitakis,
"A dazzling downer of a musical"
‑ Dan Jardine, All Movie Guide
"Let's face the music and dance, indeed."
‑ , Time Out
"he point is made endlessly, though it's in the film's favor that it's made with seriousness, consideration, and a certain amount of imagination."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Underrated, fascinating musical starring Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters."
‑ Steve Crum,
"Potter adapted his immensely successful British TV series into a Hollywood script that maintained most of its intelligence as well as the musical numbers."
‑ , Film4
"How cynical can a musical be?"
‑ Bryant Frazer, Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
More reviews for Pennies From Heaven on Rotten Tomatoes