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 ...
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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
In a separately filmed trailer, Vitaphone production reel #3068, Al Jolson talks to the audience about the film. See more »
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 »
Using the same old formula but with a heaping helping of extra schmaltz!
This is the first all-talking movie starring Al Jolson. Although he made two 'talkies' before this, they were both essentially silent films with sound portions added. This one was always intended as a sound film and is a bit more modern in this sense. However, in many ways, the film is very, very old fashioned and plot-wise it's just the same old, same old by Jolson....but even schmaltzier!
The film has a fatal flaw in how it portrays Jolson. He is a married guy with a cute kid (Davey Lee--who played Jolson's adorable son in several films). But he's also a heavy gambler and hot-head-- and a very difficult man for any woman to love. Despite this, she steadfastly stands by her man--even when Al's wicked boss tries to put the moves on her. Her big mistake is telling Al about this, as soon he gets into a fight with the boss and accidentally kills him. Next, Al's in jail and his heart is breaking. The wife STILL refuses to abandon him, but Al is a knuckle-head and somehow comes up with the notion that she'd be better off without him--so he deliberately pushes her away.
Now here is where things get weird. While in prison, Al's great singing ability is discovered and he goes on the radio (I am sure that MOST radio shows of the day originated in prison, right?!). And, even weirder is when Al gets out of prison. He doesn't tell the wife and instead sneaks off to see the kid. Soon (due to the stupidity of the kid), the boy is run over and has one of those mysterious movie ailments. And, Al doesn't tell anyone that the kid is in the hospital. And, when the kid is discharged, Al doesn't bring the child to the mother. Does any of this make any sense? Nope. But neither does what follows.
The bottom line is that the film never makes much sense, is WAY too sentimental and schmaltzy and lacks the usual hit tunes of his other films. Overall, this is a boring and silly little film where Jolson and the filmmakers went to the well too many times--and came up with a syrupy sweet mess.
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