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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 19 March 2017
Great DVD and good value for money
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on 21 May 2017
love it was a gift for my mum
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on 22 April 2005
George Stevens framed this entire film using flasbacks, an old phonograph playing the songs from various stages in the lives of two people who fall in love and are nearly torn apart by tragedy. The screenplay of Morrie Ryskind based on a story by Martha Cheavens is sentimental and heartwrenching. Cary Grant and Irene Dunne make it all seem real and director Stevens gives the film a romantic glow which makes this one of the most fondly remembered films of the 1940's.
The story opens as Julie (Dunne) is getting ready to leave Roger (Grant) because of the pain caused by a tragedy in their lives he can not talk about so that they can begin to heal. She laments that they simply don't need each other anymore. When she finds an old stack of records she begins to trace the various stages of their love through the memories recalled by each song.
Roger (Grant) sees Julie (Dunne) through the window of the record store where she works, and though he doesn't have a phonograph player, he ends up buying a big package of songs just so he can spend time with her. He pretends he is going her way after work and it isn't long before she becomes "his funny little redhead." There are some wonderful scenes like Julie and Roger sitting in a cabana by the beach reading fortune cookies which gives the story a very romantic atmosphere.
When Roger, who is a reporter, has a chance to go to Tokyo for a few years, the two get married and have a truncated honeymoon on a train which results in them becoming prospective parents. But an earthquake takes their happiness away and prevents them from having another child. Only when Roger gets an inheritance do they move back to the states and consider adoption while he starts the small town paper he has always dreamed of. What follows is warm, sweet and heartbreaking, and will result in Julie standing at the phonograph as she recalls their lives together before leaving.
Whether their love and marriage can be saved is only resolved in the last few moments of this beautiful film. Edgar Buchanan as Apple Jack is absolutely wonderful as he lends both support and humor to this true screen classic. Beulah Bondi is also memorable as the kind Miss Oliver, going out of her way to create a family for two people who love each other. A warm and sentimental film every film lover needs to own.
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on 20 January 2013
Please note. This is a review of the DVD issued by LaserLight Penny Serenade (1941) [DVD] and also the Cinema Legends issue Penny Serenade [1941] [DVD].
This is a terrific movie but I recommend you purchase a different version. The quality of both of these DVDs is substandard. The picture is blurred with too little contrast. The audio is inferior and it's as though both DVDs were transferred from the same print because the pops and crackles are in the same places. I highly recommend the movie however and if you don't mind the transatlantic postage the Digitally Remastered Version by DigiComTV from Amazon.com is a fantastic DVD transfer.
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on 2 January 2010
The sound is fine but avoid buying this film on DVD until a better print is transferred - it's like viewing through fog and makes this a film for collectors only at this stage.
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on 17 March 2004
The film opens with a woman (Irene Dunne) playing LPs that mark important events in her life and the viewer is drawn into her romance with Cary Grant's character, their marriage and their experiences of parenthood and loss.
Cary Grant's talent for comedy is much in evidence during the film but so is the more dramatic side of his acting. Irene Dunne matches him and they give us the perfect pairing for a film that really puts you through the wringer. I must have seen it about 10 times and I cry twice every single time.
If you like weepies then you'll like this; if you like comedies then you'll like this; if you like Cary Grant or Irene Dunne then you'll like this. Unless you're made out of stone, you'll like this. :)
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VINE VOICEon 29 September 2003
I forget what the quotation was, but C.S.Lewis put it accurately when he described charity as "piercing, like a sword, like a shaft of unbearable light". I think this is my fourth attempt to write something about this film, I've had to abandon the other attempts...
This film attempts to map the story of a fairly ordinary couple into something very powerful and wonderful. It is a very singular thing to experience.
I would go so far as to say that there isn't a drop of excessive sentimentality in this very emotional film, but it is showing some of the tremendous glory and strength of love without embarrassment. If this moves you to tears, it's because it should!
Even this is a pale reflection of even larger and more awesome realities... We nearly lost a child, and we know something of these veiled majesties. We only see a fraction of the kindness and the grace of God. Mostly, speaking, you get to see these things in babies, flowers, light as it hits a spider web when its been raining, Haydn, but its fairly rare to get a glimpse on camera. But all these things are temporary, fleeing away when we approach too closely, in case we try to capture heaven on earth and miss the real thing.
Damn good film....
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on 15 February 2003
Penny Serenade is a sweet, screwball, tearjerker. You laugh, you cry and you enjoy. Sit back as the story of two 'meant to be together' people unfolds against the musical backdrop of old Lps and printing press keys. A piece of nostalgia not to be missed by those who love black and white films and the charms of Cary Grant and Irene Dunne
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on 13 January 2013
Good movie, but terrible transfer - seems filmed in a cinema. There may be better quality ones on the market. Avoid this one.
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on 15 August 2014
One of my top 100 films. Watched it countless times and still brings tears to my eyes. As with all movies from that era, no bad language, no sex and no violence, the type of film that could be shown on a Sunday afternoon with the vicar at tea unlike most of the movies they produce today. If you do not have a lump in your throat during the last part of this film then sadly, you are not human. I wonder why they have never attempted a remake of this film. Having seen Tom Hanks in some lovely movies I would have thought he would have played the part very well.
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