If you’re a devotee of old films, you’ve undoubtedly seen many of the movies from the 1940s, which was considered the Golden Age of Hollywood. It’s A Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart (1946), Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart (1942), Citizen Kane with Orson Welles (1941), and Miracle on 34th Street with Maureen O’Hara (1947) are among the masterpieces produced during the decade.
I’ve been a fan of old movies since I took a fascinating film course as an undergraduate at New York University, then continued enjoying them at The Museum of Modern Art, which offers a spectacular film program. And, now that we have access to extensive film libraries right in our living rooms, it’s always fun to discover a wonderful old movie, even if it’s not considered a masterpiece, such as Penny Serenade (1941). Starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, it’s the story of husband and wife Roger and Julie Adams, whose marriage begins with adventure, joy, boundless love, and great promise, but soon faces heart wrenching tragedy and loss, which threaten to break them apart.
Known for his comedic acting and flawless timing, Cary Grant played this serious role of a risk-taking newspaperman so well he was nominated for an Academy Award (but lost to Gary Cooper for his role as Sergeant York.) Beautiful Irene Dunne played his strong and sympathetic wife with subtlety and grace.
Penny Serenade is the perfect movie to watch on a cold winter night during the Christmas holidays. Wrap yourself up in a cozy throw, with a cup of homemade cocoa (or a glass of Merlot!), and enjoy!