Penny Serenade

A STORY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE LOVED… AND THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER LOVED, BUT HOPE TO!

pennyserenadeA classic soap opera where we follow a couple, from the moment they meet in a San Francisco record store through the ordeals that test their marriage. Directed to great effect by George Stevens who transports us elegantly through all the emotions – there’s a beautiful courting period, a very dramatic earthquake in Japan and both humor and heartache as the couple deal with their newest family member. In spite of clichés and all the sentimentality, Irene Dunne and especially Cary Grant sweep us along. Edgar Buchanan is very lovable as Applejack, the kid-friendly man who runs Grant’s printing press. Also interesting as a portrait of child-rearing in those days.

1941-U.S. 118 min. B/W. Produced and directed by George Stevens. Screenplay: Morrie Ryskind. Short Story: Martha Cheavens. Cast: Irene Dunne (Julie Gardiner), Cary Grant (Roger Adams), Beulah Bondi (Miss Oliver), Edgar Buchanan, Ann Doran, Eva Lee Kuney.

Last word: “Cary was always ready for anything. In ‘Penny Serenade’, we had a scene where he goes in to see the judge about the child. His heart is breaking – and he’s got his hands in his pockets. Cary didn’t hold up on doing that at all. Not any more than he held up on putting his hat on backwards in ‘Gunga Din’. He thought that was pretty silly, but I suggested he do it, and he did it. […] That’s the way he was. And Cary’s perfectly capable of suggesting changes in the script and coming up with ideas.” (Stevens, “George Stevens: Interviews”)

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