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 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
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
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 »


Soundtracks

It All Depends on You
(uncredited)
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva and Lew Brown
Sung by Al Jolson
Played often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
He sings! he yodels! he jumps about to music!
30 December 2009 | by ptb-8See all my reviews

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.


4 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

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



Recently Viewed