IMDb > Hallelujah (1929)
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Hallelujah (1929) More at IMDbPro »

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Wanda Tuchock (scenario)
Richard Schayer (treatment)
View company contact information for Hallelujah on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 August 1929 (USA) See more »
HEAR AND SEE 100 JUBILEE SINGERS! (original poster - all caps) See more »
In a juke joint, sharecropper Zeke falls for a beautiful dancer, Chick, but she's only setting him up for a rigged craps game... See more » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Way ahead of it's time. A work of genius. See more (33 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Daniel L. Haynes ... Zeke

Nina Mae McKinney ... Chick
William Fountaine ... Hot Shot
Harry Gray ... Parson

Fanny Belle DeKnight ... Mammy
Everett McGarrity ... Spunk
Victoria Spivey ... Missy Rose
Milton Dickerson ... Johnson Kid
Robert Couch ... Johnson Kid
Walter Tait ... Johnson Kid
Dixie Jubilee Singers
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Matthew 'Stymie' Beard ... Child (uncredited)
Evelyn Pope Burwell ... Singer (uncredited)
Eddie Conners ... Singer (uncredited)
William Allen Garrison ... Heavy (uncredited)
Eva Jessye ... Singer (uncredited)

Sam McDaniel ... Adam (uncredited)
Blue Washington ... Church Member (uncredited)
Georgia Woodruff ... Singer (uncredited)

Directed by
King Vidor 
Writing credits
Wanda Tuchock (scenario)

Richard Schayer (treatment)

Ransom Rideout (dialogue)

King Vidor (story)

Marian Ainslee  titles (uncredited in sound version)

Produced by
King Vidor .... producer
Irving Thalberg .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Gordon Avil (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Hugh Wynn (film editor)
Anton Stevenson (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert A. Golden .... assistant director
Harold Garrison .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording engineer
Camera and Electrical Department
Ruth Harriet Louise .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Henrietta Frazer .... wardrobe
Music Department
Eva Jessye .... musical director (uncredited)
Other crew
Fred M. Wilcox .... assistant to director (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
109 min | USA:100 min (Turner library print) (re-edited version) (re-release) | Argentina:106 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

This film was first telecast in San Francisco Sunday 28 June 1959 on KGO-TV (Channel 7).See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: The dialogue does not match the mouths of several cast members in the scene where Zeke disembarks from his train car and rides through town on a donkey. It is especially visible in the shot of Hot Shot harassing Missy Rose.See more »
Parson:[First lines] Mammy, we're almost through with the pickin'.
Mammy:Yes sir! And we done put in a good season of work!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Hollywood Mavericks (1990)See more »
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless ChildSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Way ahead of it's time. A work of genius., 10 February 2003
Author: grasshopper54 from Cromwell, CT

In 1929, MGM began the process of converting to sound. They were almost the "latecomers" of sound conversion compared to their competitors over at the Warners lot; Warners' Vitaphone was pretty much in full swing by 1929 after having experimented with orchestral sound on film in 1926 in "The Better 'Ole" and "Don Juan" and then with actual voice embedment on film in "The Jazz Singer" the following year.

Even for such a major film studio like MGM, the cost was almost prohibitive, so Louis B. Mayer was skeptical about financing a major film epic featuring an all black cast. In the first half of the 20th Century, the major film studios catered mostly to white audiences, so a project of this nature was almost unheard of. Director, King Vidor was personally convinced that this film would be a success at the box office that he offered to match MGM dollar for dollar in producing this film. That said, the executives at MGM agreed, reluctantly, to take on this project.

I was totally surprised by the candidness of the material. From the way the major studios depicted black people as individuals of little or no importance, usually portraying them in a very negative way, I was at first skeptical. I expected more singing, dancing and stereotyping. Little did I know what a surprise I was in for! MGM could not have done a better job at portraying individuals with such humanistic qualities. As with most backdrops featuring blacks, it takes place in the cotton fields of the South; the motion picture industry failed miserably to depict black urban or middle class life until decades later.

Amazingly, most, if not all, of these actors were untested individuals on the screen or stage. Vidor's direction, along with these actors' willingness to succeed on the screen, created a work of art for the cinema. A huge box office success, "Hallelujah" was an oasis in an otherwise all-white world of big business cinema. It is a shame that the movie moguls at the time did not take further advantage of the acting talents of minorities.

Leonard Maltin could not have put it more succinctly when he said about Hallelujah: "King Vidor's early talkie triumph, a stylized view of black life focusing on a Southern cotton-picker who becomes a preacher but retains all-too-human weaknesses." Definitely a home run! A must see!

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