(Average=4.11 out of 5; Total Number=28)
TRAGICOMEDY FROM 1941 (rating=4)
The trials and tribulations of a young couple who lose their baby (Dunne miscarries during an earthquake in Japan) then later decide to adopt a little girl. This film is an unusual blend of tragedy/comedy. Irene Dunne was over 40 when she played in this but she can pull it off. Cary Grant was nominated for his first AA. If I remember correctly the film opens with Irene Dunne playing a 78 recording of "To a Wild Rose". Edgar Buchannan is memorable as Applejack and Beulah Bondi does usual amazing acting as the head of the adoption agency. This is a rather strange movie, as it has fine elements of comedy and it definitely has tearjerking moments yet the combination is rather uneasy (in retrospect, it always has been), but it definitely makes the eyes water, so be forewarned!
You The Man, Cary Grant. (rating=5)
PENNY SERENADE is the story about a young woman who falls in love with a newspaper reporter. They get married. Move to Japan. Survive an Earthquake. Loose a child. Adopt another. Tragedy besets them, but in the end they are able to overcome it. The movie is mostly told through musical flashbacks thanks to rotating RPMs and is one of the first films to ever have used the soundtrack as an intrical part of the film. The movie is a notch above most other melodramatic tearjerkers and there's one big reason for that: Cary Grant.
Cary Grant is the man. What more does one need to say? Sure Irene Dunn does a good job in this melodramatic tale about a husband and wife who live through an earthquake in Japan, the loss of an unborn child, and the adoption of another. Of course, the actor who plays Applejack steals many scenes, serving as the wise fool in this Shakespearean-type romance as his character balances everything that occurs. Nevertheless, through all of Uncle Applejack's helpful advice and Irene Dunn's moving tears, it's Cary Grant who carries the picture. Grant nailed this performance of Roger and once again illustrated how great of an actor he truly was. A lot of actors would have been tempted to delve into melodramatic play-acting, but not Grant. Even though this is a tear-jerker melodrama and he has some really cheesy lines in some scenes, Grant makes the whole thing seem plausible and feel realistic. I admit that I am a huge fan of Cary Grant, but I keep digging up these old movies he made, hoping to find a film that he totally flops in. So far, I haven't found any. Grant was just a notch above the rest and could make any movie more enjoyable just by being in it. It's worth more than a penny to see his performance in this serenade.
One Of The Best Tear Jerkers On Film (rating=5)
I have watched this movie countless times, and to this day never tire of it! Cary Grant is the husband that dreams are made of! He positively shines in this role. He was one of a kind, and truely shows it here. His pairing with Irene Dunn is perfect as they play well of each other. She is a perfect blend of wholesome&sexy as was the way of things in that era. The interesting way the story told in flashbacks by playing old records and remembering the time they represent covers love, hope, courage, heartache and triumph.