6.4/10
170
11 user 4 critic

The Singing Fool (1928)

A singing waiter and composer (Al Jolson) loves two women (Betty Bronson, Josephine Dunn), conquers Broadway and holds his dying son, singing "Sonny Boy."

Director:

Writers:

(adaptation), (story) (as Leslie Burrows) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Grace
...
Molly Winton
Arthur Housman ...
Blackie Joe
...
John Perry
...
Sonny Boy (as David Lee)
...
Louis Marcus
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Cafe Owner, Bill (as Robert O'Connor)
...
Maid
Agnes Franey ...
'Balloon' Girl
The Yacht Club Boys ...
Singing Quartette
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Stoutenburg
Edit

Storyline

Al Stone is singing waiter in a speakeasy who is in love with Molly, the singing star at the speakeasy, but she spurns him. Al gets his big break and goes on to become a Broadway sensation. Written by Trisha Warren

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"When there are gray skies, I don't mind the gray skies, you make them blue---Sonny Boy." See more »

Genres:

Musical | Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 April 1929 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

A Última Canção  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Contains the first song to sell over a million copies, 'Sonny Boy.' (it eventually sold over 3 million copies). See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: End of an Era (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

The Spaniard That Blighted My Life
(uncredited)
Written by Billy Merson
Sung by Al Jolson
Recorded for the film but cut from the final print
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Big Hand for Josephine Dunn!
24 April 2010 | by See all my reviews

Not all early talkies were all-talking. One of the most notable of the hybrid's is 1928's "The Singing Fool" in which Al Jolson makes a valiant attempt – despite a sticky script and Lloyd Bacon's uncertain direction – to outdo his "The Jazz Singer" (1927). The movie is about three-quarters talkie, one quarter silent. Aside from the jarring of sudden swings from spoken dialog to title cards and the camera fluidity of Bacon's direction in some of the silent sequences versus the static camera set-ups of the sound, the movie succeeds in holding attention thanks to the charisma of its two lead players, Al Jolson and the lovely Josephine Dunn, who, alas, was unable to capitalize on her success here because she was then cast in a series of either indifferent or silent vehicles (when the public was screaming for sound). Within a year, she ended up in support slots. In this movie, despite the magnitude and importance of her role, Miss Dunn is actually billed under Betty Bronson who not only has a minuscule part but a totally inept voice that lacks projection. She seems to be whispering her lines (some of her words are inaudible) rather than speaking them. But never mind, all the film's audio defects were of no importance to moviegoers. They loved Jolson's full-blooded singing and the sheer novelty of sound. Initial domestic rentals topped $5 million, supplanting the $4.5 million takings of 1921's "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse". It wasn't until 1938 that this record was broken by Walt Disney's truly colossal $8 million domestic gross for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?