"...there is not only that easy swing and hint of the devil in him, but faith and passion expressed..."
|With Irene Dunne.|
Penny Serenade - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):
"Penny Serenade is frankly a weeper, but it is not quite like any other film I can think of. It has no preachment in the Over The Hill tradition; it has not the ambitious glucose of Mr. Chips; it is not revolutionary in a picture sense and I cannot imagine its material being put on in a play. It needs only three or four characters for most of the telling and its idea is simply that of a young couple who can't have a baby and so adopt one which becomes the center and the anchor of their lives, and dies at six. What now keeps them from going completely to pieces is that they are able to adopt another - and that is all of it. An errant sub-theme could have been strengthened with good effect, I think, in the steadying down of the young newspaperman-husband by marriage, tragedy and life with the kid; but this is not sufficiently worked into the texture to figure in the end. It remains a picture of the early years of marriage as they pass over so many a thousand Mr. and Mrs., so ordinary as to be terribly difficult to do.
Cary Grant is thoroughly good, in some ways to the point of surprise, for there is not only that easy swing and hint of the devil in him, but faith and passion expressed, the character held together where it might so easily have fallen into the component parts of the too good, the silly, etc. His scene with the judge is one of the rightly moving things in the picture. Edgar Buchanan is the darling boy though, and runs quietly away with every scene he is in, simply by the depth of his reality as the stumbling, kindly friend of the family, absurdly thick-fingered and ill-at-ease in everything but the delicate operations of the press room or washing the baby or patching troubles or cooking. It is what is known as a juicy part and usually squeezed like an orange, till it means nothing; here it is done with the right balance of humor, loyalty and love, and you will not forget Edgar Buchanan.
This is a picture not spectacular for any one thing, and yet the fact of its unassuming humanity, of its direct appeal without other aids, is something in the way of pictures growing up after all; for to make something out of very little, and that so near at hand, is one of the tests of artistry."
- Otis Ferguson, The New Republic
|New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -|
Number 39 - Penny Serenade (Lobby Card Style)
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