Penny Serenade, the free, full-length movie for the week of April 18, is no longer available for viewing on Film.com.
Penny Serenade (1941)
Director: George Stevens
Writers: Martha Cheavens (story), Morrie Ryskind (screenplay)
Production: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Starring: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Beulah Bondi, Edgar Buchanan
Runtime: 119 min.
While listening to a recording of "Penny Serenade," Julie Gardiner Adams (Irene Dunne) begins reflecting on her past. She recalls her near-impulsive marriage to newspaper reporter Roger Adams (Cary Grant), which begins on a deliriously happy note but turns out to be fraught with tragedy. While honeymooning in Japan, Julie and Roger are trapped in the 1923 earthquake, which results in her miscarriage and subsequent incapability to bear children. Upon their return to America, Roger becomes editor of a small-town newspaper, just scraping by financially. Despite their depleted resources, Julie and Roger want desperately to adopt a child. It seems hopeless until kindly adoption agency head Miss Oliver (Beulah Bondi) helps smooth their path. Alas, their happiness is once more short-lived: their new daughter, Trina (Eva Lee Kuney), succumbs to a sudden illness at the age of six. Reduced to hopelessness, Julie and Roger decide to dissolve their marriage, but Miss Oliver once more comes to the rescue. Sentimental in the extreme, Penny Serenade is also enormously effective, balancing moments of heartbreaking pathos with uproarious laughter. Only director George Stevens could have handled a scene with a copiously weeping Cary Grant without inducing discomfort or embarrassment in the audience. Since lapsing into the public domain in 1968 (though released by Columbia, the film was owned by Stevens' production firm), Penny Serenade has become almost as ubiquitous a cable-TV presence as It's a Wonderful Life.
~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
About Movie of the Week:
Film.com will showcase established and up-and-coming filmmakers and their films throughout 2007. The initial catalog of movies is provided to Film.com through its relationship with GreenCine (http://www.greencine.com), a San Francisco-based company with an extensive library of independent, international and documentary films. GreenCine offers more than 50,000 titles in over 250 genres for sale or rent, with 10,000 of these films available on demand for streaming or download.