Penny Serenade

A young woman recalls her checkered past of sordid romances, financial disasters, divorces, hopelessness, and ultimate resurrection.
11K ratings
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Format:  DVD-R
item number:  ALP 5972D
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 55 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: January 26, 2010
  • Originally Released: 1941
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Audio:
    • Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
Performer: , , , , &
Directed by
Edited by
Screenwriting by
Composition by
Art Direction by
Story by
Produced by
Director of Photography:

Entertainment Reviews:


Total Count: 17


User Ratings: 5,207
Rating: B+ -- George Stevens' sentimental melodrama is extremely well acted by Irene Dunne and Cary Grant, who received for his part of a depressed father the first of his two Oscar nominations. Full Review
Apr 29, 2012
The film has in its plot a note of originality and touches the of paternal feeling with delicacy. [Full review in Spanish] Full Review
Sep 17, 2019
Rating: 3/4 -- This is a weeper from the start, with only a few moments of comedy placed in so the audience can dry their eyes before the next sentimental barrage. Full Review
TV Guide
Nov 14, 2007
Rating: 2.5/4 -- ...entertaining enough to warrant a mild recommendation... Full Review
Reel Film Reviews
Jan 26, 2007
This is a classic 'women's picture' in every sense. Full Review
Time Out
Jun 24, 2006
Rating: 4/5 -- Brilliantly made soaper with superb cast.
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Dec 1, 2002
Its objectives are excellently realized, and it stands as a visual refutation of the industry's axiom that movies must move. Full Review
California Eagle
Oct 31, 2019

Description by

Julie Adams is leaving her husband Roger for good when she pauses to put an old record on the phonograph. While the tune "Penny Serenade" plays, she reminisces about their courtship and long marriage. On their honeymoon in Japan, Julie is almost killed in the great earthquake of 1923. Although she survives, she learns that she will never be able to bear children. The couple overcome tremendous obstacles as they try to adopt. With the help of a sympathetic adoption agency officer, a baby girl comes into their life. But unimaginable tragedy threatens to tear their happy home apart.

Screen legends Cary Grant and Irene Dunne headline a cast that features powerful supporting performances by Beulah Bondi and Edgar Buchanan. One of Hollywood's greatest directors, George Stevens won Academy Awards for A Place In The Sun (1951) and Shane (1953). The long list of towering classics helmed by the brilliant Stevens includes Gunga Din (1939), Woman Of The Year (1942), Giant (1956), The Diary Of Anne Frank (1959) and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).

Product Description:

In one of his rare departures from the realm of comedy, Cary Grant stars along with Irene Dunne in this sentimental tale about the marriage of Roger and Julie Adams.Told in flashbacks by Julie as she considers divorce, the film limns the couple's earlier years, when her reluctant journalist boyfriend finally proposes after being posted in Japan by the newspaper where he works. When Julie joins him after a three-month delay, she announces that she's pregnant, and is greatly concerned by Roger's rash spending habits. Shortly thereafter, their house is destroyed by an earthquake, which also ends Julie's pregancy. The couple returns to San Francisco only to find that Julie will no longer be able to bear children. Hoping to cheer his wife, Roger floats the idea of buying a small-town newspaper, but she remains inconsolable. He goes ahead with his plan to buy the paper, and the twosome rent an apartment above its offices. Meanwhile, their friend Applejack (Edgar Buchanan) begins gently coaxing the couple to adopt a child. Although the film is awash in sentimentality, it remains curiously compelling, which can be attributed to Stevens restrained direction, the skillful interweaving of comic material, and excellent work by the two leads.

Plot Synopsis:

As she considers divorce, housewife Julie Adams listens to records on the phonograph. The old songs bring back memories of the carefree early days of her marriage to Roger Adams, their decision to take over a small newspaper in the country, and the tragic events that have cast a shadow over their relationship.


Production Notes:

  • Songs include: "You Were Meant for Me," "Just a Memory," "Missouri Waltz," "Poor Butterfly," and "Blue Heaven."
  • Additional cast: Eva Lee Kunney (as Trina, age 6), Leonard Willey (Dr. Hartley), Wallis Clark (Judge), Walter Soderling (Billings), and Trina (age 1).
This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.
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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 7,645
  • UPC: 089218597298
  • Shipping Weight: 0.27/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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