Pennies from Heaven (1981)

Pennies from Heaven (1981 film)
Pennies from Heaven (1981 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This peculiar movie musical, derived from a Dennis Potter BBC series, brings the 1930s back in a unique way: with the original popular recordings of the day, straight off the old, scratchy records, lip-synched by Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, and others as they live out a pathetic tale of economic destitution in a mythical studio-set city that, during the song sequences, frequently turns into a glitzy fantasy realm. And then back again: the undulation of sky-high oldies and dour “reality” in Pennies from Heaven is disarming and fascinating.

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