6.4/10
192
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 | 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 Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A G-man goes undercover to infiltrate a gang, helping the group's leader escape from prison to gain his trust.

Director: J. Walter Ruben
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Jean Arthur, Chester Morris
Big Boy (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 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
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The first film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novel about a land where prehistoric creatures still roam.

Director: Harry O. Hoyt
Stars: Wallace Beery, Bessie Love, Lloyd Hughes
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
Mammy (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A love triangle develops in a traveling minstrel troupe.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Al Jolson, Lois Moran, Lowell Sherman
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
Certificate: Passed Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A charming, happy-go-lucky bandit in old Arizona plays cat-and-mouse with the sheriff trying to catch him while he romances a local beauty.

Director: Irving Cummings
Stars: Warner Baxter, Edmund Lowe, Dorothy Burgess
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
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A pair of sisters from the vaudeville circuit try to make it big time on Broadway, but matters of the heart complicate the attempt.

Director: Harry Beaumont
Stars: Bessie Love, Anita Page, Charles King
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A New York tramp (Jolson) falls in love with the mayor's amnesiac girlfriend after rescuing her from a suicide attempt

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Al Jolson, Madge Evans, Frank Morgan
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The tenements are home to an international community, including the friends and family of a tough young ragamuffin named Annie Rooney, but their neighborhood may be threatened by a dangerous street gang.

Director: William Beaudine
Stars: Mary Pickford, William Haines, Walter James
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

Vitaphone production reels #2801-2811 See more »

Goofs

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

Connections

Referenced in The Singing Sap (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

San
(uncredited)
Written by Lindsay McPhail and Walter Michaels
Played on the dance floor at Blackie Joe's
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Considerable Improvement on 'The Jazz Singer'.
21 February 2018 | by richardchattenSee all my reviews

The maudlin plot is obviously a matter of taste, but Al Jolson himself said he thought 'The Singing Fool' a better film than 'The Jazz Singer', and it unquestionably displays an impressive advance in the development of the sound film in the space of less than a year, and stands up remarkably well after nearly ninety more.

It's still only a part-talkie (and owes its impressive opening twenty minutes to the fact that it's been shot as a silent with a subjective camera roaming around a vividly depicted speakeasy) to the accompaniment of a Vitaphone score, until Jolson bursts on to the screen, starts his patter and then sings.

Like 'The Jazz Singer', 'The Singing Fool' returns to being a silent film after the first song; but the sound scenes are far more frequent and adroitly assembled into a narrative here, while the Vitaphone score (which also accompanies the dialogue scenes, so we don't get the terrible stilted silences that render so many early talkies almost unwatchable) fluidly papers over the cracks, keeping the entire film flowing gracefully, aided by the smooth photography of Byron Haskin and editing by Ralph Dawson. (Several of the characters speak in both titles and on the soundtrack, including Arthur Housman, in an unusually prominent role in which he remains sober throughout.)

Although leading lady Josephine Dunn is supposed to be a singer herself, we never hear her sing; and her character is so one-dimensionally a heartless high maintenance chancer that - considering she has a hunk played by Reed Howes perpetually in tow - one has time to wonder if Sonny Boy (who looks more like a little girl) is actually Jolson's.


0 of 0 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

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

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