As Julie prepares to leave her husband Roger, she begins to play through a stack of recordings, each of which reminds her of events in their lives together. One of them is the song that was playing when she and Roger first met in a music store. Other songs remind her of their courtship, their marriage, their desire for a child, and the joys and sorrows that they have shared. A flood of memories comes back to her as she ponders their present problems and how they arose.
Running Time: 119 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: G
The final pairing of Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, Penny Serenade casts the charismatic stars as Roger and Julie Adams - a married couple whose relationship undergoes a series of tests over a period of several years. The movie, which transpires primarily in flashback, starts with their initial meeting at a record shop and eventually focuses on their labored efforts to adopt a child (this is after Julie is rendered barren following an earthquake-related mishap). Directed by George Stevens and written by Morrie Ryskind, Penny Serenade boasts an almost distractingly overlong running time;there's certainly no ignoring the inclusion of several needless sequences, including an interminable interlude in which Dunne's Julie attempts to bathe and change a baby in real time. And yet the film generally remains entertaining enough to warrant a mild recommendation, with Grant and Dunne easily transforming their admittedly thinly-drawn characters into figures worth rooting for (Grant's delivery of an impassioned speech in the movie's third act practically validates Penny Serenade's entire existence). www.reelfilm.com
Cary Grant and Irene Dunne are ideally matched in a movie quite different from their screwball comedies. They have great chemistry together and the dialogue is amazing as the couple travels from young and carefree to bitter and cynical. If you want to see some acting at its best, watch Penny Serenade. amazon.com Johnny 5
Eva Lee Kuney
Baby Jane Biffle
Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
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