Both Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart have cameos in the film. In the scene where Frank Morgan is photographed with a baby, there is a shot of the photo team. Rodgers is on the left. When the story shifts to Bumper being employed at the bank, Hart is the teller who refuses to cash a $5 check - he has one line but Rodgers has none. See more »
A cameraman's arm is reflected in the partially opened window of the Mayor's limousine when the Mayor meets Bumper at the casino. See more »
Slap-happy musical film that tries to use music and images together to meld a new format -- and ends up entertaining and likeable. Many of the songs are "recited" in operatic fashion, as when Jolson, the "Mayor of Central Park" (a famous bum) sings his case in court against a singing tribunal that he's been brought before on chargest of betraying his office by taking a job at a bank. A wonderful tracking shot introduces his job through sucessive levels of importance, beginning with high rollers and ending up with lyricist Lorenz Hart telling a customer he doesn't have a dime to give him. After we see all the varying levels of importance in the bank, we finally come on Jolson and his friend, doing the banking equivalent of peeling potatoes. Wonderful charm of Jolson and Langdon is dulled slightly by Morgan and Evans' stiff leads.
Rodgers music and Hart's lyrics are splendid, making this one of the most original, best written original musicals of all time. It should be noted that in his years later working with Oscar Hammerstein, Rodgers only wrote one original play for film (excluding the televised "Cinderella") -- "State Fair" -- which in my opinion, though charming, has got nothing on "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum!" After the failure of this and several other Rodgers/Hart film projects, the duo returned to Broadway to become almost its only reliably successful writers in the later 30s. They left behind this little Hollywood gem to be rediscovered.
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