Set in Depression-era Chicago, Pennies From Heaven follows sheet music salesman Arthur Parker’s fall from grace as he foolishly spends his wife’s money on a record store, and then becomes infatuated with a blonde schoolteacher. Arthur gets her pregnant, then gives her a false address to keep her from finding him.

While on the outs with both women and quickly descending into poverty, Arthur encounters a pretty girl walking alone. Noticing how she slides one foot in front of the other and does not focus, Arthur realizes that she is blind, and immediately offers his assistance walking home. The girl insists that she’s memorized the way and refuses. Arthur, quickly infatuated with her, protests his devotion and desire to do her some service as she walks away.

Later, the “Accordion Man” (a homeless musician who is possibly delusional) rapes and murders her under the same overpass. It becomes a media sensation, and a manhunt begins when Arthur is blamed.