PENNIES FROM HEAVEN
1981, Warner Bros., 108 min, USA, Dir: Herbert Ross

Dennis Potter's beautifully melancholic musical pairs unhappily married Depression-era Arthur (Steve Martin) and sweet, footloose Eileen (Bernadette Peters), setting the stage for bittersweet romance punctuated with astounding Busby Berkeley-style dance numbers. The last-ever MGM musical features eye-popping production design inspired by painter Edward Hopper, superb camerawork (Gordon Willis earned a National Society of Film Critics award for Best Cinematography) and Christopher Walken’s wonderful dance number, “Let's Misbehave.”


THE JERK
1979, Universal, 94 min, Dir: Carl Reiner

Steve Martin plays the lovable idiot Navin R. Johnson, who leaves his poor black family behind to see the world. Bernadette Peters sings, dances, throws knives and plays the trumpet while M. Emmet Walsh shoots and curses his way into film history.


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