Bumper (Al Jolson) is a vagabond leader of a strange group of tatterdemalions and eccentrics who hang around New York's Central Park. Among his followers are Egghead (Harry Langdon), Sunday (Chester Conklin), Acorn (Edgar Conner) , The General (Victor Potel), Orlando (Tammany Young) and Apple Mary (Louise Carver). Bumper's idol is Mayor Hastings (Frank Morgan), whose life he once saved and frequently has lunch at the Park Casino. Bumper is always on hand to open the door of the Mayor's Rolls Royce, and the Mayor makes it a point to linger a moment at the entrance and listen to the whimsical Bumper's philosophy and ideas abut life. Through his contact with the Mayor, Bumper is able to "fix" things when the other vagabonds get in trouble. The Mayor cannot fathom why Bumper, an unusually bright fellow, is content to spend his life in the park, doing nothing. The Mayor, for all his power and popularity, is unhappy. He's in love ----and madly jealous. He believes his sweetheart June ...Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
A cameraman's arm is reflected in the partially opened window of the Mayor's limousine when the Mayor meets Bumper at the casino. See more »
A re-dubbed and edited version (for UK release) called "Hallelujah, I'm A Tramp" frequently turns up on television. In this version the soundtrack is momentarily erased whenever the word 'bum' is sung! See more »
The idea of rhythmic dialogue seems strange today, but was a short-lived fad in the early 30s (best example is the 3 Stooges first Columbia short: "Woman Haters")It works well in Halleleujah, I'm a Bum, since rhyming is only done in parts of the picture.
This was my first introduction to 30s musicals, and is now released on DVD. The "mistress situation" of the Mayor of New York keeping lovely Madge Evans in an apartment in the same building as his is rather interesting as well. Although a "dud" at the boxoffice in 1933, this picture has developed a cult following over the years. Jolson's starring movie career was over by the late 30's due to his ego, but he still has a major reputation as one of the greatest entertainers in history. This picture is a wonderful example of the wild enthusiasm of Hollywood's early talkie musicals with a moral to the story.
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