Tuesday’s Overlooked Film: Penny Serenade (1941)

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I am back with the regular feature which is part of the Todd Mason’s ongoing series, Overlooked Films. Be sure to go visit his site to check out other titles.

I guess I am in a Cary Grant mood as of late. Last week I selected People Will Talk and this week, I am going back to the 1940’s to George Steven’s 1941 Penny Serenade starring Cary Grant (in an Oscar nominated role no less) and frequent co-star of the 1930’s, Irene Dunne. This title often gets overlooked when compared to the other screwball comedies the two participated in just years earlier. One reason for this oversight might just be the fact that this film was not a comedy. In fact it resides most decidedly in the realm of melodrama.

Click here for a plot synopsis.

The plot feels a bit like its sole intent is to pull at the audience’s emotional strings, I think this film is worth a look see if for no other reason that Mr. Grant eschews the urbane, light comedic role that he is often associated with in favor of a character whose emotions run the gambit.

Personally I feel that Cary Grant is often overlooked for his dramatic thesp skills. I guess he made it look so darn easy.

This film is easy enough to find as I believe it is available in the public domain.



  1. I agree. Cary Grant was criminally overlooked for his dramatic acting chops. Great film to highlight.
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  2. Patti Abbott says:

    I can’t watch this ever again. Just too sad.

  3. This is one of the first movies staring Cary Grant that I ever saw, which is probably just as well as I might have had trouble enjoying it as much after THE AWFUL TRUTH. I have a real affection for it but I must admit, I tend to forget about the really sudsy moments which do weigh it down a bit for me. A fascinating genre hybrid though.
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  4. I’ve been in a Cary Grant mood too, for a long time… he’s a delight to watch. I watched People Will Talk because of your last post, and really enjoyed it: witty dialogue, funny, mysterious… very engaging.

    And you’re right, everyone seems so focused on Grant’s comedic skills… I like him in comedies, but personally I enjoy the mysterious, suave Grant even more. He does make it look easy, and that is so appealing… it’s like he’s right where he wants to be, at all times. So confident at first sight, yet you can see all the feelings in his eyes and little gestures and details… like I said, a delight to watch.

    So I guess I’ll be watching Penny Serenade soon, because I completely trust your movie taste 🙂
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  5. I get this recommended by Netflix Watch Instantly constantly…might give it a watch. Great review!
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