6.9/10
706
27 user 8 critic

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

Director:

Lewis Milestone

Writers:

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

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

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

Taglines:

BUCK UP! LOOK UP! CHEER UP!...SING! (original poster-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 February 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

New York See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Morgan, who would later go on to play the Wizard of Oz six years later, says the line, "There's no place like home" in the film. However, he has a different take on the sentiment, continuing, "There's no place so lonely." See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Featured in Going Hollywood: The '30s (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

You Are Too Beautiful
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Sung by Al Jolson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Depression Cinematic Oddity
28 February 2000 | by harry-76See all my reviews

The best way to appreciate this odd film is to put one's self back in the early 30's, the "Depression era." The drama glamorizes life on the streets and parks, probably to make the ordinary hard-up person feel better about his own financially depressed plight. It also played into the prevailing poverty consciousness of the mass public. Making money seem like something bad, and life on the park bench something wonderful probably appeased and distracted attention from those who were the power-people, calling- the-shots of society. No matter about the lack of human conveniences, just pick a spot in the park and enjoy communing with the birds, squirrels, flowers and trees. Forget about the storms, the cold, the inclimates, it's always fair weather in this film's world. As for Al Jolson, he was a one-of-a-kind entertainer. Sometimes sappy, sometimes, hammy, and other times, sweet and kind--at least in his screen persona. Like him or not, Jolson remains one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century. Statistics alone prove his status. After knocking 'em dead in hit after hit on Broadway, he was the first to take an entire Broadway production on the road across the country. He was the first to employ a walkway ramp down the center of the theater, cutting out scores of expensive seats. He was the first to make a "talking picture." Then years after being retired and almost forgotten, with loads of young newcomers taking the spotlight -- Jolson came back, making not just a respectable showing, but to the very top of the charts, for two years over Crosby, Como and Sinatra. Never in the history of showbiz has there ever been such an unprecedented comeback. His voice deeper, richer, and more beautiful than ever before, he reigned supreme. And, we dare say, were he to somehow come back today--singing exactly the same songs--he'd be equally as popular and beloved. As his saying goes, "You ain't heard nothin' yet!" The film itself has two lovely songs by Rodgers and Hart: the title song and "You Are Too Beautiful," neither of which is given its full due in the movie. The rest of the film is an oddity, with the charismatic Jolson playing at about half-effort. The legendary Lewis Milestone is the director.


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