Finally available on DVD!
Candace Scott | Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA | 07/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a movie Crosby fans have searched for in vain for decades. Not only was it rarely aired on commercial T.V., it was never offered in VHS format. Now, thankfully, the entire movie is available on DVD and the quality is incredible. Not only is the black and white cinematography looking as good as it did in 1936, the audio makes it seems as if Bing is sitting in your living room, singing his heart out to an audience of one. Crosby was always underrated as an actor and he is wonderful in the role of singing, swingin' troubadour. Child actress Edith Fellows is very effective and their screen chemistry is palpable. There's genuine humor throughout the movie, both intended and, one senses, unintended. Naturally Bing sings several songs, including the classic signature number, "Pennies From Heaven," which was number on of the hit parade for seven weeks. Crosby's voice is an instrument of beauty, depth and power. Close your eyes and listen to him croon: incredible! An added bonus is a brief appearance by the legendary Louis Armstrong, who was an early and integral influence on the young Crosby. Bing and Louis were friends off the set and knew each other long before filming this movie. Watch for the young Lionel Hampton in Armstrong's band. This is simply a treasure trove of Americana and a really endearing movie. I recommend it without reservation."
A Wonderful Classic!
C. Taylor | USA | 11/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love old movies and was so happy to be able to add this to my collection! I highly recommend it!"
A critique of Pennies from Heaven
J. Riddle | New Zealand | 12/19/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In general the weakest part of any musical is the dialogue and plot that links the musical interludes and this is true of Pennies from Heaven.
The film began with a most bizarre scene in which a man about to be executed requests a favour from Bing Crosby who just happens to be in jail for some minor crime. Once out of prison Crosby resumes his career as a drifter who cant make a regular living despite his obvious ability as a singer. Despite his homeless and moneyless situation he still manages to maintain a well groomed appearance. Of course, this insistence by Hollywood on stars presenting an immaculate image regardless of situation was de rigueur for many years. Much of the plot and acting is somewhat inane and the film is only saved by the music of Burke & Johnston performed by Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong.
As a teenager in the 1930's with the cinema in its hey day I had little, if any, critical faculty and took everything I saw on screen at its face value therefore when I criticise a film of that period I also remember it with nostalgia and pleasure despite the shortcomings of which I am aware today.
Jack Riddle - New Zealand"