Rotten Tomatoes
Cancel Movies Tv shows Shop News Showtimes

The Five Pennies

Released Aug 1, 1959 1h 57m Musical List
Reviews 92% Audience Score 500+ Ratings In this film based on a true story, Red Nichols (Danny Kaye) moves from his small town to New York City to become a jazz musician. Although he experiences culture shock, he soon becomes well respected in the clubs, even forming a friendship with Louis Armstrong (Louis Armstrong). After marrying Willa (Barbara Bel Geddes) and having a daughter, Dorothy (Susan Gordon), Red still tours constantly. But, when he learns that Dorothy has polio, he realizes he must rethink his priorities. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

Where to Watch

The Five Pennies

Fandango at Home Prime Video Apple TV

Rent The Five Pennies on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV, or buy it on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV.

Critics Reviews

View All (3) Critics Reviews
Noel Murray The Dissolve The Five Pennies is a solidly crafted movie that glosses over a lot of the real history of jazz. Rated: 3/5 Dec 16, 2013 Full Review Clyde Gilmour Maclean's Magazine A bit too sobby in spots, the film rates "good" for its exuberant music, its sharply detailed Jazz Age atmosphere, and Kaye's likeable performance. Oct 17, 2019 Full Review Peter Canavese Groucho Reviews A bit of a sprightly-tragic mess, but if one doesn't try to sum up its parts, it's plenty entertaining in a nostalgic, old-movie way. Rated: 2.5/4 Jan 2, 2006 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (63) audience reviews
Audience Member One of the Kaye performances, because he really shows his serious side as a actor, big plus for me is Armstrong and Barbara, one of my favorite actress Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 06/14/23 Full Review r 9 This is an odd one. I look back on 'The Five Pennies' in two parts. The first half of the film is uninteresting and slow, but once the story gets set and the second half comes to fruition it turns into something rather touching - which I didn't expect at all. By the end, I felt truly attached to the characters and their story - but that's weird, given how I didn't enjoy the early stages. Danny Kaye is very good in the lead role of Red, especially towards the end. Susan Gordon (Dorothy, as a kid) impressed me a bunch, she has one fantastic poker scene with Kaye. Barbara Bel Geddes, meanwhile, plays the role of Willa well. The film, a loose biopic on the real Red Nichols, is music-heavy. Early on I think that affects things from a film point of view, but you can at least tell the cast - particularly Kaye and Louis Armstrong (as himself) - are having a fun time. Overall, I think it's lovely - but I can't recall a film that's split my feelings from start-to-finish as much as this did. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review steve d It's script is a bit of a mess, but the acting is good. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Makes me cry every time Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member Danny Kaye as jazz legend Red Nichols (Nichols himself dubbed Kaye's cornet playing) in this overly sentimental biopic; the movie comes to life in the musical interludes, especially Kaye's duet with Louis Armstrong to "When the Saints Go Marching In." The title song was nominated for an Oscar. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member The 5 pennies is my all time favourite movie . laughter to tears , jazz to ragtime . cameos by Louis and others portraying the greats of music in that golden era . Tuesday Weld plays it well , she walks !!! tears fall . best scene is when Danny sings Lullabye in Ragtime to his daughter , great cast , great movie , Danny Kaye's best role n my opinion over The Court Jester . one movie you have to see in your lifetime , Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/25/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Five Pennies

My Rating

Read More Read Less POST RATING WRITE A REVIEW EDIT REVIEW

Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis In this film based on a true story, Red Nichols (Danny Kaye) moves from his small town to New York City to become a jazz musician. Although he experiences culture shock, he soon becomes well respected in the clubs, even forming a friendship with Louis Armstrong (Louis Armstrong). After marrying Willa (Barbara Bel Geddes) and having a daughter, Dorothy (Susan Gordon), Red still tours constantly. But, when he learns that Dorothy has polio, he realizes he must rethink his priorities.
Director
Melville Shavelson
Producer
Jack Rose
Distributor
Paramount Pictures
Production Co
Paramount Pictures, Dena Productions
Genre
Musical
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Aug 1, 1959, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
May 1, 2012
Runtime
1h 57m
Sound Mix
Stereo
Most Popular at Home Now