6.9/10
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34 user 25 critic

Hallelujah (1929)

In a juke joint, sharecropper Zeke falls for a beautiful dancer, Chick, but she's only setting him up for a rigged craps game. He loses $100, the money he got for the sale of his family's ... See full summary »

Director:

King Vidor

Writers:

Wanda Tuchock (scenario), Richard Schayer (treatment) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Daniel L. Haynes Daniel L. Haynes ... Zeke
Nina Mae McKinney ... Chick
William Fountaine William Fountaine ... Hot Shot
Harry Gray Harry Gray ... Parson
Fanny Belle DeKnight ... Mammy
Everett McGarrity Everett McGarrity ... Spunk
Victoria Spivey Victoria Spivey ... Missy Rose
Milton Dickerson Milton Dickerson ... Johnson Kid
Robert Couch Robert Couch ... Johnson Kid
Walter Tait Walter Tait ... Johnson Kid
Dixie Jubilee Singers Dixie Jubilee Singers
Edit

Storyline

In a juke joint, sharecropper Zeke falls for a beautiful dancer, Chick, but she's only setting him up for a rigged craps game. He loses $100, the money he got for the sale of his family's entire cotton crop. His brother Spunk is mortally wounded in the shoot-out which follows. Zeke goes away but returns as Brother Zekiel the preacher. His forceful preaching draws the faithful in large numbers. Even Chick wants to be saved. Zekiel has asked the pretty Missy Rose to marry him, but Chick can still cast a spell over the preacher... Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

REALISTIC! EARTHY!...it pictures in dialogue and heart-stirring song the reckless love and the gripping drama of the Southern Negro...come to the dusky cabarets....the revivals and the baptisms. (original ad) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 August 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aleluya See more »

Filming Locations:

Arkansas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print) (re-release) (re-edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although this film is frequently touted as the first black-cast film produced in Hollywood, it is actually predated by the more obscure Hearts in Dixie (1929). See more »

Goofs

One of the opening shots is of a line of people picking cotton, but there is as much cotton in the field behind them as there is in front of them. Obviously the actors and extras were simply instructed to walk out into an unharvested cotton field and bend over and pretend to pick cotton just for the duration of the shot. See more »

Quotes

Missy Rose: What's the matter, brother Zeke?
Zeke: That's just it. I don't know what is the matter. Seems like the devil's done took a hold of me.
Missy Rose: What you mean? What kinda talk is that? A big strong man like you ain't gonna give into that... after we done traveled this far.
Zeke: I don't want to give in! But he just keeps on a torin' and a pullin' after me all the time.
Missy Rose: That's just the way he is.
Zeke: Just won't let me be.
Missy Rose: What's we want to do, big brother?
Zeke: I don't know what we gonna do. Unlessin'...
Missy Rose: Unless what, Zeke?
Zeke: ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

MGM also issued this movie in a silent version, with Marian Ainslee writing the titles. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stray Dog (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
(uncredited)
Written by Wallis Willis
Arranged by Henry Thacker Burleigh
Sung a cappella by Daniel L. Haynes while mourning his brother's death
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I really enjoy this film.
5 September 2001 | by jimkis-3See all my reviews

This film, despite its early talkie crudities, is one of the best religious dramas ever filmed in my opinion. It gets better with each viewing, as you discover more and more nuances in the script and the filmmaking as well. The performances of the leads are stellar -- especially Daniel J. Haynes in the lead. And Nina Mae McKinney is fabulous as "Chick" -- a seductress who tempts Haynes on so many different levels -- subverting and perverting his religious fervor to mold to her pure carnal lust. The spirituals are stirring; the story, though somewhat maudlin, is compelling and quite plausible. The revival scenes are both uplifting and moving. Forget that it was the first "all-black" musical or drama or whatever...it holds it place as a fine film...and doesn't need to be pigeonholed as a historical or "race" period piece. Bold, brave...and ultimately reverent...this is a true film classic.


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