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

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C. Graham Baker (adaptation)
C. Graham Baker (story)
View company contact information for The Singing Fool on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 April 1929 (Ireland) See more »
"When there are gray skies, I don't mind the gray skies, you make them blue---Sonny Boy." See more »
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 »
User Reviews:
Jolson Sings Again See more (11 total) »


  (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:
105 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Vitaphone)

Did You Know?

Vitaphone production reels #2801-2811See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Jazz Fool (1929)See more »
The Spaniard That Blighted My LifeSee more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Jolson Sings Again, 30 November 2014
Author: wes-connors from Los Angeles

Singing waiter Al Jolson (as Al Stone) wants to be song-writer. Inspired by the woman he loves, beautiful blonde Josephine Dunn (as Molly Winton), Mr. Jolson becomes a Broadway musical sensation. Attracted to success and money, Ms. Dunn marries Jolson. From the onset, we know Ms. Dunn is fonder of handsome gangster-types, like Reed Howes (as John Perry). She eventually leaves Jolson, taking his beloved son Davey Lee (as "Sonny Boy") from the singer. Consequently, Jolson falls on hard times. He returns to Blackie Joe's cafe, where he started as a singing waiter, and becomes reacquainted with pretty cigarette girl Betty Bronson (as Grace)...

This follow-up to "The Jazz Singer" (1927) attracted even more box office money than its revolutionary predecessor. The earlier film was considered the first popular "talkie", but was really a "silent" with some dialogue used on the synchronized soundtrack. Quigley Publications, known presently for their annual top 10 money-making stars list, named "The Singing Fool" as their Best Picture of the year. This one has some silent sequences, possibly intending to recapture the magic of hearing Jolson break into the silent medium; the attempt is successful, but may be lost on modern viewers. Today, this looks like hokum of the highest order...

However, Jolson is entertaining and director Lloyd Bacon does well with the players. The plot is trite and obvious, but parts of the film are quite artful. "Sonny Boy" b/w "There's a Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder" went to #1 on the record charts and stayed there for nearly four months, becoming one of Jolson's biggest million-sellers. He was the first recording star to rack up repeated "gold records" and this film preserves his "Sonny Boy" as a video visual. Seeing Jolson sing this song as he held his "Sonny Boy" was what viewers went to see, again and again. It's a great song and effective representation; and, it certainly started a trend.

******* The Singing Fool (9/19/28) Lloyd Bacon ~ Al Jolson, Josephine Dunn, Betty Bronson, Davey Lee

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