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Say It with Songs (1929)

Passed | | Drama, Musical | 24 January 1930 (Ireland)
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

Writers:

Darryl F. Zanuck (story) (as Darryl Francis Zanuck), Harvey Gates (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Al Jolson ... Joe Lane
Davey Lee ... Little Pal
Marian Nixon ... Katherine Lane (as Marion Nixon)
Holmes Herbert ... Dr. Robert Merrill
Kenneth Thomson ... Arthur Phillips
Fred Kohler ... Fred, Joe's Cellmate
Frank Campeau ... Police Officer
John Bowers ... Dr. Burnes - Surgeon
Ernest Hilliard Ernest Hilliard ... Radio Station Employee
Arthur Hoyt ... Mr. Jones
Claude Payton Claude Payton ... Judge
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Storyline

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 his son "Little Pal" at school. Little Pal tries to follow Joe downtown, but is hit by a truck. Written by Trisha Warren

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Here is a story of you-of me-of all of us who have brought life into the world. Suffered for that life, worked for it, loved it more than our own! Here is our story told in tears and laughter, and most of all in songs the world will sing! (Print Ad- Breckenridge American, ((Breckenridge, Texas)) 25 December 1929) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 January 1930 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Cantaré para ti See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone production reels #3417-2426 See more »

Goofs

When Marian Nixon gets Al Jolson's record of "Little Pal" out of an album to play for their son Davey Lee, in the long shot the record is on the real-life Victor label, but in the insert closeup the record is on the fictitious "Metropolitan" label. See more »

Soundtracks

Little Pal
(uncredited)
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva and Lew Brown
Performed by Al Jolson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Al Jolson's first all-talking picture produces uneven results
1 November 2009 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

This was my first time to view this film, having only heard about it by reading the book A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film, which painted a totally unflattering portrait of this film, to say the very least. This film is not as bad as you would gather by reading other reviews on the subject. In the first place, Al Jolson was a great entertainer, but he never was a great actor. Also, you have to understand that Jolson's films were mainly just made as vehicles for audiences to see and hear what Al Jolson did best - sing his heart out. His films were never meant to be competition with "All Quiet on the Western Front".

The problem here is that this film is obviously recycling parts of "The Singing Fool" - primarily the big love Jolson's character has for his little son, "Little Pal", again played by Davie Lee. Jolson plays ex prize fighter Joe Lane, now a radio star married to a devoted wife who is losing patience with Joe's continued love for gambling. At the same time, the manager of the radio station where Joe works is infatuated with Joe's wife and puts the moves on her. Of course Joe's wife tells him what happened. Joe then confronts the guy and an argument between the two ends in Joe landing an all too effective punch that results in Joe going to prison for manslaughter.

The plot is thin even for 1929, but as over-the-top as Jolson's acting style could be in these early films, he is still much more natural before the camera than many other full-fledged movie actors of the time. That and the fact that it is always a pleasure to hear and see Jolson sing makes this worth watching. I only wish that the songs could have been a bit more memorable. Only "Seventh Heaven" really sticks with you. Also note that this is one of very few Warner Brothers films that still survive from 1929. I think there are only seven in all that are still with us in their entirety. My recommendation would be that this is a definite must-see if you are a Jolson fan - I am. If you are not, then you probably won't enjoy it at all.


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