Series: Pennies from Heaven

Philandering 1930s sheet music salesman Arthur Parker escapes from his dull life by fantasizing elaborately choreographed musical numbers in which he and the other characters lip-sync to original recording of popular 1930s music.

Originally a 1978 BBC mini-series created by Dennis Potter starring Bob Hoskins, Gemma Craven, and Cheryl Campbell, it was remade in 1981 as a feature film starring Steve Martin, Jessica Harper, Bernadette Peters and Christopher Walken.

Includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Corrupt the Cutie: From meek schoolteacher to hooker in a few months.
  • Deconstruction: Of Depression-era musicals.
  • The Great Depression: The film never holds back from showing just how wretchedly awful the character's lives are and why They are so eager to escape into a fantasy world.
  • Groin Attack: When Arthur's wife Joan receives the evidence confirming her suspicions that Arthur's been cheating on her (as the cops tell her he's suspected of murdering a blind girl - which he's actually innocent of) she demands that the police castrate him. More than that, she angrily demands that they "cut his thing off and bury it!"
  • Nothing But Hits: Averted - many of the songs are rather obscure.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Basically the central concept of both the mini-series and the film version.
  • This Is Reality: The film plays quite fast and loose with the idea of fantasy interrupting reality.
  • Tranquil Fury: Joan when she leans that he's been cheating on her - she demands his castration with quietly repressed rage.
  • Woman Scorned: Joan will settle for nothing less than having his family jewels physically removed (see Groin Attack above) when she learns that Arthur has in fact been unfaithful to her.

Alternative Title(s):

Pennies From Heaven