The Five Pennies

Synopsis: Loring "Red" Nichols is a cornet-playing country boy who goes to New York in the 1920s full of musical ambition and principles. He gets a job playing in Wil Paradise's band, but quits to pursue his dream of playing Dixieland jazz. He forms the "Five Pennies" which features his wife, Bobbie, as vocalist. At the peak of his fame, Red and Bobbie's daughter, Dorothy, develops polio. Red quits the music business to move to Los Angeles where the climate is better for Dorothy. As Dorothy becomes a young teen, she learns of her father's musical past, and he is persuaded to open a small nightclub which is failing until some noted names from his past come to help out.
Director(s): Melville Shavelson
Production: Paramount Home Video
  Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations.
117 min

Will lead you to my blue heaven

You'll see a smiling face, a fireplace

a cozy room

A little nest that's nestled where

the roses bloom

Just Molly and me

and my baby makes three

We're happy in my

blue heaven

That's pretty lousy.

Maybe it'll sound better tonight

with colored lights.

We got a visitor from the outside world

where they shave.

- Who let you in?

- I let myself in.

I'm Red Nichols from Ogden, Utah.

I'm your new cornet player, remember?

You're late.

Well, I'm sorry about that, but

I've never been in New York before...

and I got a little mixed up

with the subways. The...

Did you know the BMT comes up here,

and the IRT doesn't?

And neither does

the Chesapeake & Ohio.

You're the first to complain about it.

Get your chair.

You a sight man?

I can read anything that's written.

Okay, you crooks, go ahead and laugh.

I found this kid in the desert...

and he can blow rings around any

of you, and he works at half the price.

Sweetest music you ever heard.

I got a guy in a boiler factory in Joplin,

warming up for your job, Dorsey.

Don't buy anything on time.

Okay, let's try it again.

Can I just play a few notes here

so I won't hit a clam?

Help yourself.

Are you ready, maestro? From the top.

That means from here.

Don't take the IRT.


- where's that town you're from?

- Ogden, Utah. Why?

Well, don't play that horn

so the folks back home can hear you.

You got a mute?

- Yeah.

- Well, use it. Use it all the time.

All right, the only thing is, Mr. Paradise,

I play New Orleans style.

You know, it's the newest thing.

As a matter of fact...

I've got an arrangement in here

of the very number you're doing...

Put that thing away. Sit down.

Can't you take a little friendly advice?

Put that horn

in your big mouth and blow.

Welcome to paradise.

That's all right.

Pretty soon, you'll all be working for me.

Come on.

Look, will you make up your mind?

The girls are waiting.

Look, I appreciate it, Tony.

Don't get me wrong.

- Who is this guy?

- He works in a band.

There's a new trumpet player

up in Harlem.

He just came from New Orleans.

The boys told me he was just great.

They're going up to listen to him tonight.

I thought...

They go up every night.

You can catch him anytime.

Well, frankly, Tony,

I'd like to steer clear of chorus girls.

My mother gave me a note

to a lady in Brooklyn...

- and this lady's got a daughter.

- Naturally.

- What?

- Naturally.

Brooklyn is

solid mothers and daughters.

Every auto horn

plays Mendelssohn's Wedding March...

and Mendelssohn's driving the car.

You're quite a character. I haven't even

met the girl in Brooklyn yet.

- You've got me married to her.

- Well, you see how easy it is?

Now, these Broadway frails,

it's a different league.

There's no home games.

Tony, why are you doing all this for me?

You're an awfully nice fellow,

but you hardly know me, really.

I take in strays.

I don't like anybody should be lonely.

- I'm not lonely...

- I got a heart as big as all outdoors.

How much money you say

you got on you?

$20, Tony, but that's room rent.

Red, will you forget about the room?

We may never have to

get out of the car.

Look, I'll tell you what we'll do. We'll

drive up to Harlem, catch the bugle...

and from then on in,

we play by ear, all right?

All right.

- You ready, girls? Come on. Lets go.

- Tony, I don't think so.

- Let's go.

- Honestly, where's this guy come from?

What difference does it make?

He's from Ogden, Utah.

Utah? Is that in the Union?

Well, you wanted me to get you a date,

didn't you?

- Must be Aaron Slick from Punkin.

- You be quiet.

- It's her date, not yours.

- Well, she's a friend of mine.

Oh, Tony, why should I go out

with some farm boy from Utah?

He's a nice guy.

- I guess I'm stuck.

- All right, wait here. I'll be right back.

It's all set.

She's dying to go out with you.


I don't know how you do it, boy.

From this distance, too.

Must be the smell of the silo.

What did you say his name is?

Huckleberry Finn?

You can't leave him standing there now.

You've got a date with him.

Red, this is my girl Tommye Eden.

She's a dancer.

- And this is Bobbie Meredith. She sings.

- How doody, ma'am.

How do you do?

I've got to be home early.

That's all right, ma'am.

Just don't pay it no never mind.

You'll get home

just as early as you please.

Oh, brother... I bet the cows

back in Ogden just loved you.

Well, ma'am, I didn't shake their hands.

That were a zinger, weren't it, ma'am?

Now, we better get in the car. Come on.

Boy, before the night's over

I may poison him.

I'll toss you for it.

Say, plowboy,

are you sure you ever danced before?

Oh, yes, ma'am, lots of times.

With girls?

Well, when I couldn't get nothing better.

Oh, now, look. Look.

I know this may seem like

some weird tribal rite or something...

but this is how the dance

is usually done.

One, two, three. One, two, three.

One, two, three. One, two, three.

I think I've got it now.

- Why, you...

- Yes, ma'am.

- Set it right here, baby.

- Thank you, Tony.

I should have warned you, Bobbie.

This kid is hip.


We didn't order any tea.

Did you order...

- Oh, maybe the girls ordered some tea.

- Red. Red.

This is tea

like my mother used to make...

for Sunday afternoon with the Mafia.

Ninety proof.

It's in teacups in case of a raid.

Don't you think I know that?

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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