Penny Serenade (1941)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  

USA, 1941.  .  Story by , Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by George Stevens.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1941.

Endless weepy about a couple (, ) who lose their infant and decide instead to adopt. The many trials and tribulations of early marriage and impending parenthood are brought to the screen with good effect, but true emotional involvement takes a back seat thanks to a strong feeling that all the bad stuff seems to be happening on purpose to make you cry. This kind of emotional manipulation isn’t as easy for modern-day audiences to swallow (I’d like to think), but if you’re in the right mood you might enjoy it. Grant got his first Academy Award nomination for the role, showing the Academy’s ofttimes true ignorance of great acting: the man gave countless fantastic performances in unforgettable comedies, but the moment he turned up in a bland melodrama (where Dunne outdoes him anyway) suddenly voters sit up and take notice.

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