Picks and Pans Review: Pennies from Heaven
The point of the movie is that during the Depression fear drove people to write and sing many hopelessly silly songs, full of bravado and false optimism. The sound track includes the most pathetic renditions of the era's most pathetic songs—such as Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries and Love Is Good for Anything That Ails You. Even the track by Bing Crosby (Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?) is embarrassing. Irving Berlin's Let's Face the Music and Dance, from the film Follow the Fleet, includes not only Fred Astaire's peerless vocal but about five minutes of florid orchestral sawing. That's not worth much when you can't see the dancing that went with it. So why would anyone want to listen to all this more than once? The film's star, Steve Martin, appears only in a cynical reprise of the title song. His co-star, Bernadette Peters, a first-class vocalist, unaccountably doesn't sing at all. If you've seen the movie, you already know what this double LP has to say; if you haven't seen it, you won't care.
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