IMDb > Hallelujah I'm a Bum (1933)
Hallelujah I'm a Bum
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Hallelujah I'm a Bum (1933) More at IMDbPro »

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Popularity: ?
Up 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Ben Hecht (original story)
S.N. Behrman (adaptation)
View company contact information for Hallelujah I'm a Bum on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 February 1933 (USA) See more »
The First Picture Ever Done in "Rhythmic Dialogue!" (original poster) See more »
A New York tramp (Jolson) falls in love with the mayor's amnesiac girlfriend after rescuing her from a suicide attempt | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
charming depression-era musical;excellent vehicle for Al Jolson See more (27 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Al Jolson ... Bumper

Madge Evans ... June Marcher

Frank Morgan ... Mayor John Hastings

Harry Langdon ... Egghead

Chester Conklin ... Sunday
Tyler Brooke ... Mayor's Secretary
Tammany Young ... Orlando

Bert Roach ... John
Edgar Connor ... Acorn
Dorothea Wolbert ... Apple Mary
Louise Carver ... Ma Sunday
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ernie Adams ... Man Thrown out of Apartment Building (uncredited)
Vince Barnett ... Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Ted Billings ... Bum with Violin (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited) (unconfirmed)

Gino Corrado ... Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
John George ... Bum (uncredited)
Harold Goodwin ... Len (uncredited)
Lorenz Hart ... Bank Teller (uncredited)
Robert Homans ... Cop (uncredited)
Burr McIntosh ... Dignitary at Laying of Cornerstone (uncredited)

William H. O'Brien ... Waiter (uncredited)
Victor Potel ... The General (uncredited)
Richard Rodgers ... Photograper's Assistant (uncredited)
Bodil Rosing ... Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Sidney Skolsky ... Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Billy West ... Bum (uncredited)

Directed by
Lewis Milestone 
Writing credits
Ben Hecht (original story)

S.N. Behrman (adaptation)

Produced by
Joseph M. Schenck .... executive producer
Original Music by
Alfred Newman (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Lucien N. Andriot  (as Lucien Andriot)
Film Editing by
Duncan Mansfield  (as W. Duncan Mansfield)
Art Direction by
Richard Day 
Costume Design by
Milo Anderson 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nate Watt .... assistant director
Sound Department
Oscar Lagerstrom .... sound
Music Department
Alfred Newman .... musical director
Ray Heindorf .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
V.L. McFadden .... technical director
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Lazy Bones" - USA (reissue title)
"The Heart of New York" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
82 min | USA:68 min (re-release)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
USA:Passed | USA:TV-PG (TV Rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #1317-R)

Did You Know?

Filming began on June 13, 1932.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Going Hollywood: The '30s (1984)See more »
I Gotta Get Back to New YorkSee more »


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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
charming depression-era musical;excellent vehicle for Al Jolson, 2 January 2005
Author: django-1 from south Texas USA

It's hard for most of today's audience to imagine why Al Jolson was once considered the world's greatest entertainer. The well-known clips from THE JAZZ SINGER are more of an embarrassment today than something to be proud of, and he hasn't had much of his recorded legacy in print recently, and what is often tends to be later re-recordings. HALLELUJAH I'M A BUM is one of the best examples of Jolson's charm and wit as a performer and although the film is a quirky period piece, it should be of interest to anyone who appreciates musical theater. While the film features "songs," it also features dialog that is spoken to a beat and to a musical background. It's difficult to describe, but it's charming. Jolson plays Bumper, unofficial "Mayor" of the "bums" of New York. He's accompanied by a short Black sidekick named Acorn played by Edgar Connor, a very talented man (also seen in the infamous "Rufus Jones For President" short with the young Sammy Davis Jr. and Ethel Waters). Other colorful characters include the great Harry Langdon as the Marxist trash collector (his scenes with Jolson are wonderful...I think I read once that his part had been cut down somewhat. A shame the outtakes don't survive), and silent comedy legend Chester Conklin as Sunday, who operates a horse and carriage. Frank Morgan as the mayor of the REAL New York City, and Madge Evans as the mayor's amnesia-suffering girlfriend (whom Jolson saves from drowning herself) represent the "Straight" non-bum world, which Bumper and Acorn briefly join, but cannot find happiness in. I'm don't know a lot about the Rodgers and Hart team, but their songs and dialog are still fresh sounding today, and they created a wonderful vehicle for Al Jolson that, unintentionally, may well be the best documentation of him for the modern viewer. This is NOT a film that you may always be in the mood to watch. I can imagine many viewers catching a little of the romanticized homeless people reciting "Musical dialog" and scratching their heads in confusion. I don't usually like musicals (I bought the film back when it came out on VHS because Harry Langdon was in it), but I was won over by it and I can imagine I'll watch it again in a year or two and show it to friends who are involved in musical theater. Check it out if the above description sounds interesting!

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