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
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 »
[All goofs for this title are spoilers.]
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So said Cosmo Brown about effervescent Don Lockwood in talkie satire SINGIN IN THE RAIN....and so can be attributed with equal exuberance to Al Jolson in this prehistoric box office blockbuster gramophone talkie from 1928. It is famous for a dozen reasons... all of which you can read on the other posts which explain them in detail. I waded through THE SINGING FOOL for several reason of my own: I wanted to see such a successful film from 1928; the fantastic deco atmosphere of genuine flapper 20s in the nightclub scenes, the idea this film is part talkie and part silent is quite fascinating; and is a terrific example of emerging technology of the time. The clothes furnishings and art direction are easily enough to keep you watching. The music score does not quite fit in some parts but is a valiant attempt to fully orchestrate the entire film and lay a voice track on top. Jolson looks remarkably like Steve Martin in some scenes and perhaps this notion could work in a Jolson bio today. At times I thought I was watching an alternate version of DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID. The look and style of the deco 20s as modern film making and with talking acting scenes makes it a fascinating mix. The child who plays Sonny Boy (Davy Lee) is remarkable for a 4 year old kid, very natural and quite emotional. Jolson's often-scary possessed acting style is mostly pantomime maudlin or simpleton over-expressive, but I attribute that to the silent era acting zapped with electrical wiring. A TITANIC level grosser of its day, THE SINGING FOOL was the most successful film of all time up until 1939 so make sure read the other comments. All quite fascinating.
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