Ronald Quayle escapes from prison. He was sent there for murdering his father, based on the testimony of his stepmother, Caroline. An explosion disfigures him, but plastic surgery gives him... See full summary »
Sophisticated comedy: a trio of money hungry women who all have sugar daddies who keep them in the lap of luxury, even as they drive the men crazy. Each woman represents a different ... See full summary »
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>
The original trailer for "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" said it was the first musical to use rhyming dialogue. It wasn't: two others for which Rodgers and Hart wrote songs, "The Hot Heiress" (1931) and "Love Me Tonight" (1932), preceded it. See more »
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 »
Hallelujah, I'm a Bum is the only film Al Jolson did in which he eschewed his blackface completely. He should only have done it earlier and stuck to it.
This film was an experiment in something the producers call "rhyming dialog" Today I think it would be called rap. Audiences didn't really take to it in 1933, but today's audience would probably appreciate it more.
A knowledge of history would help. Until the summer of 1932, New York City had a mayor who was something of a ladies' man whose favorite nightspot was a nightclub right in Central Park. It hasn't been there since the late thirties, Tavern on the Green is a poor substitute. Mayor James J. Walker's favorite dining spot was the Central Park Casino. And many homeless and jobless lived in Central Park in their own makeshift city as the recent film Cinderella Man so aptly demonstrated to today's audience.
Frank Morgan before he became typecast as Mr. Befuddlement is the Mayor of New York. And Al Jolson is the unofficial mayor of Central Park. Through a chain of circumstances they both become involved with the same girl, Madge Evans.
Rodgers and Hart wrote two songs in addition to the rhyming dialog, the title song and You Are Too Beautiful. The latter is a nice romantic ballad that Jolson delivers well. Later on in the 1940s both Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra had primo versions of this song as well.
In Great Britain the film was released as Hallelujah I'm a Tramp because in the British Isles, the word bum has a different connotation.
It's an enjoyable film today if you can catch it by all means do so.
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