Penny Serenade - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Penny Serenade Reviews

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½ August 8, 2015
A surprisingly beautiful & poignant portrayal of the real life, every day struggles of a married couple. Wonderfully understated performances by Irene Dunn & Cary Grant, in his finest hour. Not even slightly overacted. The movie is like a living, breathing poem. I like the motif of the each record representing an existential experience in their life together. The sad repercussions of a lack of communication is an apt lesson. The movie teaches the viewers that the things we take for granted are often to be valued most. The one drawback for me is the ending which sort of states that only a child is reason enough to uphold marital vows. I disagree with the sentiment. But the movie succeeds nonetheless.
½ April 18, 2014
Penny Serenade is a decent film. It is about a couple's big dreams give way to a life full of unexpected sadness and unexpected joy. Irene Dunne and Cary Grant give good performances. The screenplay is a little slow in places. George Stevens did an alright job directing this movie. I liked this motion picture because of the drama and romance.
Super Reviewer
February 4, 2014
A weeper. It is interesting to see Cary Grant in very uncomfortable situations. It veers too much into the soap opera realm but is nonetheless a good afternoon film.
½ May 26, 2013
When you're with me you're safe

Julie and Roger are a recently married couple that cannot have children. Roger tries running his own newspaper business but he falls on his face and has no source of income. The couple's lives are a struggle every day, but fortune always seems to shine on their face, then go away, then come back, and then go away again. Can the couple overcome all the obstacles but in front of them?

"The baby is gone! The baby is kidnapped!"

George Stevens, director of Giant, Shane, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Gunga Din, A Place in the Sun, and Vivacious Lady, delivers Penny Serenade. The storyline for this picture is awesome and the character development is magnificent. The acting is outstanding and the cast includes Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Beulah Bondi, Edgar Buchanan, and Ann Doran.

"Income?"
"None."

I obviously DVR'd this picture because it stars one of my all time favorite actors, Cary Grant. While his performance was perfect, as usual, Irene Dunne really impressed me with her dramatic scenes and depiction of wifely stubbornness. This was a very impressive movie that I thoroughly enjoyed and strongly recommend seeing.

"She's exactly the child for you."

Grade: A
½ April 10, 2013
A brave movie to be made. Dunne gives another solid, if subdued, performance as a post-depression era housewife. Grant rounds out his acting portfolio with this impetuous guy who makes some poor choices in his rush to impress a woman. This is one of the few times Grant portrays one of us schmucks, rather than being the guy we wish to be. Watch for the wonderful supporting job Bondi and Buchanan give too. I only wish the ending had included a final twist about an angry 9 year old lad, recently orphaned.
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
April 10, 2013
Love, marriage, and parenthood, all the bittersweet magnificence of life is on display in "Penny Serenade", a sentimental little film from 1941. Cary Grant and Irene Dunne star as the lovers who, as the movie opens, seem doomed to separate. As she's packing to leave her husband, she finds a box of old records and begins to listen to them. Each record is tied to a specific place and time in her mind, unlocking memories that show a relationship unfold as the movie progresses. The song she was playing at the record store where she worked when they first met or the song that reminded her of the time they spent living in Japan, each is a poignant little chapter in the lives of these two people. But why is she leaving her husband? The answer reveals itself slowly and tragically.

It's said that the human body is simply a vehicle for genes needing to replicate (Agent Scully, X-Files, season 4, episode 2), so the suggestion is that a body unable to reproduce might lose its purpose. If I can find any fault in "Penny Serenade", it's that the ending is wrapped up a little too neatly and perhaps a little too callously. There are some things in life you can't just kiss and make better. There are some losses that can't be cooled with an ice cream cone on the ride home. Dunne and Grant both deliver career-highlight performances (Grant was in fact, nominated for an Oscar), and maybe the ending was an audience appeasement. After all, when we've invested so much emotion into the characters, it would be cruel not to give some light at the end of the tunnel.
½ April 6, 2013
Penny Sernaid

It had some light hearted comedy. The film was mostly a love story with some drama.

I liked the record scene at the beginning of the film. I thought it was interesting the use of different records being used during the film to represent different phases of their life.

One thing that surprised me about this film, especially since this film was released in 1946 was the fact that the main characters went to Japan. I would have expected that American films would not want to associate anything with Japan at that time.

The Christmas Nativity scene was kind of interesting. I'm surprised that they would allow a kid to walk such a narrow beam during a play to put up the star. It just was not safe.

Personally this kind of film does not interest me. It's too romantic for my taste. I felt like the intended audience was for anyone preparing to have kids, partners and grandparents.
March 27, 2013
A movie that really shows how great an actor Cary Grant was. Although this isn't one of my favorites of his both he and Irene Dunne bring a lot of heart to this so-so story.
January 28, 2013
one of my favourite weepies starring the queen of the weepies at RKO, irene dunne
January 2, 2013
it's a very sweet story, about how to handle married life, the roller coaster of the story was beautifully played by two amazing actors to even make it better :)
April 30, 2012
Sad film in which a couple (Irene Dunne and Cary Grant) meet, marry, and decide to live in Japan. Dunne becomes impregnated and Grant is about to inherit a fortune from a deceased relative as well initiate a newspaper business, in which life for them seems good. However, that takes a brutal turn in which an earthquake occurs, severely injuring the wife and causing her to miscarriage. This puts the couple in a tragic situation, but soon after they decide to adopt. After several struggles, they finally obtain a young infant. They have their child for several years, until they lose it to an illness, which then ultimately threatens to destroy the couple's marriage. I would like to think a situation like this does not occur often, but director George Stevens does a pretty good job of chronicling a couple that are going through significant hardships. Both Grant and Dunne perform quite well. It is a little slow and overly depressing at times, but it overall, "Penny Serenade" works.
½ April 13, 2012
need to see it again.
April 5, 2012
Some of Cary's best where he played a man trying to adopt a baby after his wife cannot have a baby. Some of the saddest films on film. He got his only Oscar nomination for this role ironically.
½ March 14, 2012
A movie I own on videotape but have also seen numerous times on TV, this movie is romantic, sad and really shows the chemistry between Cary Grant and Irene Dunne.
December 4, 2011
Bravo! An amazing movie! Cried like a baby lol
September 11, 2011
Yes, heavy on sentimentality, but the best kind. I'm so appreciative of artists who have come and gone and in the process have enriched my life.
½ August 22, 2011
The part that sticks out in my mind when I think about this movie is the part where Cary Grant is pleading the judge to let him stay with the little girl-it is such a sad scene. Applejack was a good friend to the couple. Nice, old, little black and white movie about a couple looking to adopt a child. I'd watch it again.
July 15, 2011
An excellent and well thought out story.
½ July 2, 2011
Saw this ages ago and just rewatched it the other day. Love the unique story but the ending is so unfortunate -- they never have to deal with their issues as a couple, since they just focus on the kid!! Alas. But, interesting and well-acted. Love Applejack.
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