Pennies From Heaven (1936)

80-81 or 83 mins | Drama | 25 November 1936

Director:

Norman Z. McLeod

Writer:

Jo Swerling

Cinematographer:

Robert Pittack

Editor:

John Rawlins

Production Designer:

Stephen Goosson

Production Company:

Major Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

Louis Armstrong appeared with his band in the film. Reviews list Tom Rickets in the role of Mr. Briggs, while the CBCS credits Richard Carle. The title song was nominated for a 1936 Academy Award for Best Song. Katharine Leslie Moore's novel was also the inspiration for a 1981 film, directed by Herbert Ross and starring Steve Martin in the lead role. The 1981 film was also based on a six-part BBC television production written by Dennis Potter and starring Bob ... More Less

Louis Armstrong appeared with his band in the film. Reviews list Tom Rickets in the role of Mr. Briggs, while the CBCS credits Richard Carle. The title song was nominated for a 1936 Academy Award for Best Song. Katharine Leslie Moore's novel was also the inspiration for a 1981 film, directed by Herbert Ross and starring Steve Martin in the lead role. The 1981 film was also based on a six-part BBC television production written by Dennis Potter and starring Bob Hoskins. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 Jul 36
p. 15.
Daily Variety
12 Nov 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
16 Nov 36
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Nov 36
p. 3.
Hollywood Spectator
7 Nov 36
pp. 10-11.
Motion Picture Herald
5 Dec 36
p. 79.
Motion Picture Herald
19 Dec 36
p. 56, 58
New York Times
10 Dec 36
p. 35.
Variety
16 Dec 36
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
An Emanuel Cohen Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Suggested by the novel The Peacock Feather by Katharine Leslie Moore (London, 1913).
SONGS
"Pennies From Heaven," "Let's Call a Heart a Heart," "One, Two, Button Your Shoe," "So Do I" and "Skeleton in Your Closet," music by Arthur Johnston, lyrics by John Burke.
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 November 1936
Production Date:
6 July--26 August 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
17 November 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6719
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80-81 or 83
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
2402
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As convict Hart is on his way to be executed, he entrusts fellow inmate Larry Poole with a note to be given to the Smith family in New Jersey. Out of prison, as Larry sings with young Patsy Smith in an apartment courtyard for pennies, he meets county welfare worker Susan Sprague, who wants to place Patsy in an orphanage. After Patsy introduces Larry to her grandfather, Gramp Smith, he and Larry eat lunch by the river and Larry gives him Hart's note. As retribution for killing Patsy's father, Hart has enclosed a key to his hideout, which is now reputed to be a haunted house. When Mr. Carmicheal of the Union County Welfare Board orders Susan to put Patsy in an orphanage because Gramp has no money to support her, Larry comes up with a plan: the Haunted House Cafe. On opening night, however, the sheriff arrests the cafe's orchestra leader Henry, and his band for stealing the chickens that provided food for the customers. To pay the tavern license, Larry takes a job at the fairground as a daredevil, but his plane crashes and he is hospitalized. Gramp brings word that Patsy has been put in the orphanage and he is forbidden to see her. When Susan learns this, she quits the Welfare Board and becomes Patsy's friend. Then, Larry puts on a show at the orphanage so that he may rescue Patsy from the home, but after Patsy tells him of Susan's change of heart, she is caught. Larry searches for Susan all over New York City, but when he finds her, he is arrested. Patsy, on ... +


As convict Hart is on his way to be executed, he entrusts fellow inmate Larry Poole with a note to be given to the Smith family in New Jersey. Out of prison, as Larry sings with young Patsy Smith in an apartment courtyard for pennies, he meets county welfare worker Susan Sprague, who wants to place Patsy in an orphanage. After Patsy introduces Larry to her grandfather, Gramp Smith, he and Larry eat lunch by the river and Larry gives him Hart's note. As retribution for killing Patsy's father, Hart has enclosed a key to his hideout, which is now reputed to be a haunted house. When Mr. Carmicheal of the Union County Welfare Board orders Susan to put Patsy in an orphanage because Gramp has no money to support her, Larry comes up with a plan: the Haunted House Cafe. On opening night, however, the sheriff arrests the cafe's orchestra leader Henry, and his band for stealing the chickens that provided food for the customers. To pay the tavern license, Larry takes a job at the fairground as a daredevil, but his plane crashes and he is hospitalized. Gramp brings word that Patsy has been put in the orphanage and he is forbidden to see her. When Susan learns this, she quits the Welfare Board and becomes Patsy's friend. Then, Larry puts on a show at the orphanage so that he may rescue Patsy from the home, but after Patsy tells him of Susan's change of heart, she is caught. Larry searches for Susan all over New York City, but when he finds her, he is arrested. Patsy, on a hunger strike, has persuaded the orphanage that she is too much trouble, and Susan and Larry, now married, adopt her. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.