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Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker
     

The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker

Director: Henry Levin

Cast: Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Charles Coburn

 
Based on a successful stage play, The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker loses in this adaptation to film by becoming more serious than an all-out farce. The setting is the end of the 1800s and the intrepid Pennypacker (Clifton Webb) runs a sausage company with two thriving plants in Philadelphia and Harrisburg. He shuttles back and forth between the cities and with

Overview

Based on a successful stage play, The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker loses in this adaptation to film by becoming more serious than an all-out farce. The setting is the end of the 1800s and the intrepid Pennypacker (Clifton Webb) runs a sausage company with two thriving plants in Philadelphia and Harrisburg. He shuttles back and forth between the cities and with equal aplomb, between two households. He maintains one wife (Dorothy McGuire) and eight children in one city, and another wife (Jill St. John) and nine children in the other. When one of the Mrs. Pennypackers finds out about his deception, the unruffled businessman sees no reason for her emotional reaction. Victorian inhibitions and rigidities are set against ultra-modern thinking, embodied in the people the bigamist admires -- like Darwin, the feminists (!), and free-thinkers.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
It's a shame that The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker is not a remarkable little film. In fact, it's rather a disappointing little film, given its premise: that a man in the 1890s has led two lives, simultaneously marrying one woman and raising a family in Harrisburg and marrying another woman and raising another family in Philadelphia. There's fodder for some interesting possibilities here, and surely the least one can expect of such a set-up is an exceptionally lively story, and hopefully one in which the title character is as exceptional as this story would suggest. But that's not the case with Pennypacker. Yes, technically Pennypacker is an unusual fellow, and we're shown that all of his ideas are rather advanced for the time period in which he lives. But we don't really and truly get into the characteristics that create a man who willfully deceives his wife (or wives) and then pretends he never mentioned it because he assumed they thought as he did and would therefore approve. Instead, we're treated to some typical shenanigans and hi-jinks involving citizens outraged at his immorality, paper dragons that the creators can defeat without even taking a deep breath. Clifton Webb does well as the title character, Dorothy McGuire is a lovely spouse and Charles Coburn takes advantage of what few opportunities the screenplay gives him. As a matter of fact, the whole cast is just fine. If only they had a script that was as interesting as its premise.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/16/2013
UPC:
0024543877998
Original Release:
1959
Rating:
NR
Source:
Fox Mod
Time:
1:27:00
Sales rank:
11,129

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Clifton Webb Pa Pennypacker
Dorothy McGuire Ma Pennypacker
Charles Coburn Grampa
Jill St. John Kate Pennypacker
Ron Ely Wilbur Fielding
Ray Stricklyn Horace Pennypacker III
David Nelson Henry Pennypacker
Dorothy Stickney Aunt Jane
Larry Gates Rev. Dr. Fielding
Richard Deacon Sheriff
Mary Jane Saunders Laurie Pennypacker
Mimi Gibson Elizabeth Pennypacker
Donald Losby Benny
Terry Rangno Teddy
Nora O'Mahoney Mrs. McNair
Doro Merande Miss Haskins
Harvey B. Dunn The Verger
Ralph Sanford The Fire Chief
Joan Freeman Mary Pennypacker
Donald Harrison Twin
Nancy de Carl Ann
Ray Ferrell Charlie

Technical Credits
Henry Levin Director
Charles Brackett Producer
Leigh Harline Score Composer
Mark-Lee Kirk Art Director
Milton Krasner Cinematographer
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
William Mace Editor
Lionel Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Walter Reisch Screenwriter
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
Mary Wills Costumes/Costume Designer

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