6.3/10
186
13 user 4 critic

The Singing Fool (1928)

A singing waiter and composer (Al Jolson) loves two women (Betty Bronson, Josephine Dunn), conquers Broadway and holds his dying son, singing "Sonny Boy."

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

C. Graham Baker (adaptation), C. Graham Baker (story) (as Leslie Burrows) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Singing star loses his voice, recuperates in the country, meets aspiring playwright and her daughter.

Directors: William Keighley, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Al Jolson, Sybil Jason, Beverly Roberts
Mammy (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A love triangle develops in a traveling minstrel troupe.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Al Jolson, Lois Moran, Lowell Sherman
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz singer.

Director: Alan Crosland
Stars: Al Jolson, May McAvoy, Warner Oland
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

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 »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Al Jolson, Davey Lee, Marian Nixon
Big Boy (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Gus, the trusty family retainer, has hopes of riding his boss' horse, Big Boy, to victory at the Kentucky Derby.

Director: Alan Crosland
Stars: Al Jolson, Claudia Dell, Louise Closser Hale
Crime | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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 »

Directors: Archie Mayo, Michael Curtiz, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Al Jolson, Ruby Keeler, Glenda Farrell
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two men are conned into bootlegging business.

Director: Bryan Foy
Stars: Helene Costello, Cullen Landis, Mary Carr
Wonder Bar (1934)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Al Jolson, Kay Francis, Dolores del Rio
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Al Jolson ... Al Stone
Betty Bronson ... Grace
Josephine Dunn ... Molly Winton
Arthur Housman ... Blackie Joe
Reed Howes ... John Perry
Davey Lee ... Sonny Boy (as David Lee)
Edward Martindel ... Louis Marcus
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Cafe Owner, Bill (as Robert O'Connor)
Helen Lynch ... Maid
Agnes Franey Agnes Franey ... 'Balloon' Girl
The Yacht Club Boys The Yacht Club Boys ... Singing Quartette
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Stoutenburg Jack Stoutenburg
Edit

Storyline

Al Stone is singing waiter in a speakeasy who is in love with Molly, the singing star at the speakeasy, but she spurns him. Al gets his big break and goes on to become a Broadway sensation. Written by Trisha Warren

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The world's greatest entertainer Al Jolson in his greatest singing triumph - an absorbing love story. See more »

Genres:

Musical | Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 April 1929 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

El loco cantor See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$10,900,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,862,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jolson's song "The Spaniard That Blighted My Life" is no longer in existing prints. The number was cut after its composer, Billy Merson, sued Warner Bros., charging that Jolson's version impinged on his own (Merson's) livelihood, as he was still performing it in the U.K. Only the Vitaphone disc of the song is known to survive. See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Connections

Referenced in That Girl: My Sister's Keeper (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Sitting on Top of the World
(uncredited)
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Sam Lewis and Joe Young
Sung by Al Jolson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Big Hand for Josephine Dunn!
24 April 2010 | by JohnHowardReidSee all my reviews

Not all early talkies were all-talking. One of the most notable of the hybrid's is 1928's "The Singing Fool" in which Al Jolson makes a valiant attempt – despite a sticky script and Lloyd Bacon's uncertain direction – to outdo his "The Jazz Singer" (1927). The movie is about three-quarters talkie, one quarter silent. Aside from the jarring of sudden swings from spoken dialog to title cards and the camera fluidity of Bacon's direction in some of the silent sequences versus the static camera set-ups of the sound, the movie succeeds in holding attention thanks to the charisma of its two lead players, Al Jolson and the lovely Josephine Dunn, who, alas, was unable to capitalize on her success here because she was then cast in a series of either indifferent or silent vehicles (when the public was screaming for sound). Within a year, she ended up in support slots. In this movie, despite the magnitude and importance of her role, Miss Dunn is actually billed under Betty Bronson who not only has a minuscule part but a totally inept voice that lacks projection. She seems to be whispering her lines (some of her words are inaudible) rather than speaking them. But never mind, all the film's audio defects were of no importance to moviegoers. They loved Jolson's full-blooded singing and the sheer novelty of sound. Initial domestic rentals topped $5 million, supplanting the $4.5 million takings of 1921's "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse". It wasn't until 1938 that this record was broken by Walt Disney's truly colossal $8 million domestic gross for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed