IMDb > The Singing Fool (1928)
The Singing Fool
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The Singing Fool (1928) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Popularity: ?
Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
C. Graham Baker (adaptation)
C. Graham Baker (story)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Singing Fool on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 April 1929 (Ireland) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
"When there are gray skies, I don't mind the gray skies, you make them blue---Sonny Boy." See more »
Plot:
A singing waiter and composer (Al Jolson) loves two women (Betty Bronson, Josephine Dunn), conquers Broadway and holds his dying son, singing "Sonny Boy." Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
User Reviews:
A bit better than his "Jazz Singer". See more (11 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Al Jolson ... Al Stone

Betty Bronson ... Grace

Josephine Dunn ... Molly Winton
Arthur Housman ... Blackie Joe

Reed Howes ... John Perry

Davey Lee ... Sonny Boy (as David Lee)

Edward Martindel ... Louis Marcus
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Cafe Owner, Bill (as Robert O'Connor)

Helen Lynch ... Maid
Agnes Franey ... 'Balloon' Girl
The Yacht Club Boys ... Singing Quartette
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Stoutenburg

Carl M. Leviness ... Carl - Waiter at Clicquot Club (uncredited)

William H. O'Brien ... Waiter at Blackie Joe's (uncredited)
Bob Perry ... Doorman at Blackie Joe's (uncredited)

Directed by
Lloyd Bacon 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
C. Graham Baker  adaptation
C. Graham Baker  story (as Leslie Burrows)
Joseph Jackson  dialogue (titles)

Original Music by
Shelton Brooks (uncredited)
Jules Buffano (uncredited)
Louis Silvers (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Byron Haskin 
 
Film Editing by
Ralph Dawson 
Harold McCord (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Shaw .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
George Groves .... sound recording engineer (as George R. Groves)
 
Music Department
Louis Silvers .... conductor
The Vitaphone Symphony Orchestra .... orchestra
Edmund Ross .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Louis Silvers .... music arranger (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Lewis Geib .... technician
Esdras Hartley .... technician
F.N. Murphy .... technician
Victor Vance .... technician
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
105 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Vitaphone)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Vitaphone production reels #2801-2811See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Hard to Get (1938)See more »
Soundtrack:
I'm Sitting on Top of the WorldSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
A bit better than his "Jazz Singer"., 19 January 2015
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

Despite being a super-popular and historic film, Al Jolson's picture, "The Jazz Singer", is a rather tedious movie when you see it today. Despite its reputation as 'the first talking picture', very little of it actually is this way. The songs are on the soundtrack and SOME of the dialog, but it's essentially a silent movie with a tiresome plot...along with some sound. Here with his follow up picture, "The Singing Fool", the same sort of style of film is here (essentially a silent with added dialog and music) but the overall plot is a bit better...no, a lot better. Now folks watching it today probably won't be very interested, but for its day, this was a dandy little film.

When the film begins, Al is a jovial waiter who occasionally performs in a night club. He's smitten with Molly, though she clearly does NOT reciprocate. However, when he writes a hit song and strikes it big, suddenly Molly is interested and marries Al. They have a young son, who Al adores, and life seems great to Al. However, Molly is an evil tramp and soon bores with married life. So, she runs off with a new guy--taking the baby in tow and leaving Al unable to function. What's next in this soapy film? Watch it and see.

There's a lot to love and a lot that is incredibly dated in this one. The songs might just be the best thing about this film, as I found myself singing along with Jolson's "Sittin on Top of the World" and a few other tunes. As for the tender scenes between father and son, they are a mixed bag. They were tender and enjoyable...to a point. Unfortunately, they often went overboard into a sickly, schmaltzy direction. Jolson certainly did NOT believe in subtlety in these portions of the film! Additionally, like in "The Jazz Singer", hold onto your seat, as the finale includes Jolson in black-face--a common and beloved tradition that would horrify viewers today. Oddly, despite this, the film ALSO has the first, or one of the first black actors in a talking picture-- and the guy is NOT some racist stereotype or buffoon.

Overall, despite the film having many shortcomings, it is STILL quite enjoyable and holds up well--much better than many old talkies. Mostly of interest to film historians and weirdos like me, it's still worth a look for everyone else.

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