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The Vagabond Lover (1929)

Passed  -  Comedy | Musical  -  1 December 1929 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 138 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 2 critic

A zany musical about an amateur musician in search of work who impersonates a big band leader.



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Complete credited cast:
Rudy Bronson
Jean Whitehall
Ethel Bertha Whitehall
Charles Sellon ...
Chief George C. Tuttle
Mrs. Whittington Todhunter
Edward J. Nugent ...
Sport (as Eddie Nugent)
Danny O'Shea ...
Alan Roscoe ...
Grant's Manager
The Connecticut Yankees ...
Musical Ensemble


College senior Rudy Bronson forms a band with other students and decides to take them to the Long Island home of Ted Grant, his mail order saxophone teacher. Grant and his manager, however, annoyed at Rudy's persistent attempts for admittance, flee to the city. The band makes one last attempt to enter the house by breaking down the door, but they are witnessed by the neighbor, Mrs. Whitehall and her charming niece Jean, who call the police thinking they are burglars. Sport, one of the band members, tells the policeman that Rudy is the famous Ted Grant and lost his key, and Rudy goes along with the deception to avoid jail. Rudy then accepts Mrs. Whitehall's invitation to perform at her upcoming benefit for orphans, because he has fallen in love with Jean. But what will happen, he worries, when Jean finds out the truth. Written by Arthur Hausner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Musical


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 December 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jazztrubaduren  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Rudy Vallee's movie debut. See more »


I Love You, Believe Me, I Love You
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Rubey Cowan and Phil Boutelje
Lyrics by Philip Bartholomae
Played by The Connecticut Yankees
Sung by Rudy Vallee
See more »

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User Reviews

Pleasant Earlytalkie
21 January 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Vagabond Lover" could be considered the perfect example of the early-talkie. The acting by Mr. Vallee is rather non-exsistant, but his singing and the music is quite pleasant, and the performance by the great Marie Dressler as "Auntie" makes up for the rest. The photography is very representative of the early sound era, with the actors grouped around a hidden mike with hordes of people in the frame. The sound itself is remarkably good, maybe the best remaining example of early sound recording. There is one chorus number which has a brief overhead shot of the type that Busby Berkely would make famous a year later in "Whoopee!". The film is a brief 65 minutes in length, and it is a rather modest black-and-white production, but it remains a telling window into the 1920s, with it's fashions, music and such. This was also one of the most profitable films of the year for the fledgling Radio Pictures, a new company set up that year to take advantage of the RCA Photophone system. The DVD has a rather dry commentary prolouge by a UCLA film specialist which appears to be taped in his apartment. Rather poorly edited, this feature is easy to skip on the DVD, once you have seen it once. Other players featured in this include Loretta Young's sister, Sally Blane, Eddie Nugent and especially Nella Walker, as Marie Dressler's rival for social prominence. The story, by James Ashmore Creelman, was purportedly based on Mr. Vallee's own carrer.

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