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Hallelujah I'm a Bum (1933)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 3 February 1933 (USA)
A New York tramp (Jolson) falls in love with the mayor's amnesiac girlfriend after rescuing her from a suicide attempt


Lewis Milestone


Ben Hecht (original story), S.N. Behrman (adaptation)




Complete credited cast:
Al Jolson ... Bumper
Madge Evans ... June Marcher
Frank Morgan ... Mayor John Hastings
Harry Langdon ... Egghead
Chester Conklin ... Sunday
Tyler Brooke ... Mayor's Secretary
Tammany Young ... Orlando
Bert Roach ... John
Edgar Connor Edgar Connor ... Acorn
Dorothea Wolbert ... Apple Mary
Louise Carver ... Ma Sunday


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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The sun was his! And the sky was his! The Moon and the stars---All his! (original poster) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Filming began on June 13, 1932. 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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »


Featured in The All Talking, All Singing, All Dancing Show (1973) See more »


Hallelujah, I'm a Bum
(different song)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Sung by Al Jolson
See more »

User Reviews

Obscure but Enjoyable Rodgers & Hart Musical
20 March 2002 | by trw3332000See all my reviews

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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Release Date:

3 February 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

New York See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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