Saturday, May 1, 2010

Check Out This Fun Family Film

Just watched a thoroughly delightful movie made in 1936 called "Pennies from Heaven," starring Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Madge Evans, and child actress Edith Fellows. Fellows' acting was so impressive that I went online looking for information about her and discovered this sad, but ultimately inspiring, story: http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20089371,00.html

I'm eager now to see more of Fellows' work; I found her utterly charming and her acting--in this film, at least--to be much more natural than that of most child stars. (Of course, maybe she just clicked with the wonderful Mr. Crosby!) She does no cutesy mugging for the camera; her facial expressions in her close-up scenes with Bing are understated and impressive.

I love old movies, and Bing Crosby is one of my favorite actors, but "Pennies from Heaven" is notable because of its spunk, lack of sentimentality, and clever staging of a "haunted" restaurant. Children from 5-12 will find this highly entertaining. Get your hands on a copy and get out the popcorn!
NOTE: There is a 1978 mini-series with Bob Hoskins and Christopher Walken and a 1981 film with Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters called "Pennies from Heaven." Totally different plot, and definitely not family-friendly!