The Five Pennies

"Good"

The Five Pennies Review


Louis Armstrong's appearance here -- as himself -- is The Five Pennies' real draw, though Danny Kaye, Barbara Bel Geddes, and the rest of the cast turn in admirable performances in this biopic of relatively obscure jazz trumpeter Loring "Red" Nichols. Nichols has quite the turbulent life story -- starting his own popular jazz combo (the titular Five Pennies) after pissing off every band leader in New York, only to have it all crash down on him when his daughter develops polio. During WWII he works as a shipyard laborer before bouncing back again for a bittersweet finale. While Kaye is perfectly fine in the lead, the story of Nichols just isn't on par with the life of some of music's greats. The combination of career self-destruction and simple bad luck are just a little too spurious to make for a classic movie.


The Five Pennies

Facts and Figures

Run time: 117 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 1st August 1959

Distributed by: Paramount Home Video

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Ernest Loring Nichols, as Wila Stutsman, as Himself, as Tony Valani, Bob Crosby as Wil Paradise, Bobby Troup as Artie Schutt, Susan Gordon as Dorothy Nichols - Ages 6 to 13, as Dorothy Nichols - Age 13, Ray Anthony as Jimmy Dorsey, Shelly Manne as Dave Tough, Ray Daley as Glenn Miller, Valerie Allen as Tommye Eden

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