Joe Lane kills another man in a fistfight after learning that the man has made improper advances towards his wife. Joe goes to prison for the murder. When Joe gets out of prison, he visits ...
See full summary »
Country Doctor, Jack Jackson is called in to treat the Sick-Little-Well-Girl, who has been making Dr. Saulsbourg and is sanitarium very rich, after years of unsuccessful treatment. His ... See full summary »
Fred C. Newmeyer,
John T. Prince
Vice lord Dominic has brought Swifty Dorgan east to do a job for him. When Swifty appears to have died falling from a train, detective Henderson impersonates him hoping to get into the mob.... See full summary »
Edward F. Cline
Edward G. Robinson,
Harry and Inez are a dance team at the Wonder Bar. Inez loves Harry, but he is in love with Liane, the wife of a wealthy business man. Al Wonder and the conductor/singer Tommy are in love ... See full summary »
Al Howard may be a star on Broadway, but he is no longer welcomed by any producer. It seems that he just trots off to Mexico any time he wants causing shows to close and producers to lose ... See full summary »
Uncle Claude comes to the Ardmore Beach Hotel to see Tommy and his wife. At the hotel, with his two granddaughters Ruth and Sally, Uncle Claude meets a wise talking employee named Letty ... See full summary »
Betty a young woman is going steady with Terry but falls for an exciting new comer to town Steve. Betty's father wants her to marry Terry but she doesn't see that she actually is in love ... See full summary »
John Francis Dillon
Joe Lane kills another man in a fistfight after learning that the man has made improper advances towards his wife. Joe goes to prison for the murder. When Joe gets out of prison, he visits his son "Little Pal" at school. Little Pal tries to follow Joe downtown, but is hit by a truck. Written by
When Marian Nixon gets Al Jolson's record of "Little Pal" out of an album to play for their son Davey Lee, in the long shot the record is on the real-life Victor label, but in the insert closeup the record is on the fictitious "Metropolitan" label. See more »
Al Jolson's first all-talking picture produces uneven results
This was my first time to view this film, having only heard about it by reading the book A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film, which painted a totally unflattering portrait of this film, to say the very least. This film is not as bad as you would gather by reading other reviews on the subject. In the first place, Al Jolson was a great entertainer, but he never was a great actor. Also, you have to understand that Jolson's films were mainly just made as vehicles for audiences to see and hear what Al Jolson did best - sing his heart out. His films were never meant to be competition with "All Quiet on the Western Front".
The problem here is that this film is obviously recycling parts of "The Singing Fool" - primarily the big love Jolson's character has for his little son, "Little Pal", again played by Davie Lee. Jolson plays ex prize fighter Joe Lane, now a radio star married to a devoted wife who is losing patience with Joe's continued love for gambling. At the same time, the manager of the radio station where Joe works is infatuated with Joe's wife and puts the moves on her. Of course Joe's wife tells him what happened. Joe then confronts the guy and an argument between the two ends in Joe landing an all too effective punch that results in Joe going to prison for manslaughter.
The plot is thin even for 1929, but as over-the-top as Jolson's acting style could be in these early films, he is still much more natural before the camera than many other full-fledged movie actors of the time. That and the fact that it is always a pleasure to hear and see Jolson sing makes this worth watching. I only wish that the songs could have been a bit more memorable. Only "Seventh Heaven" really sticks with you. Also note that this is one of very few Warner Brothers films that still survive from 1929. I think there are only seven in all that are still with us in their entirety. My recommendation would be that this is a definite must-see if you are a Jolson fan - I am. If you are not, then you probably won't enjoy it at all.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?