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Hallelujah, I'm a Bum (1933)

Cast: Al Jolson, Al Jolson, Madge Evans, more...
Director: Lewis Milestone, Lewis Milestone
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: MGM
Genre: Comedies, Foreign, British Comedy, Classic Romance, UK, Musicals, Pre-Code, Precode
Running Time: 83 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Synopsis
Al Jolson's "comeback" picture Hallelujah, I'm a Bum is an offbeat Depression-era concoction with script by Ben Hecht and S.N. Behrmann and music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Jolson plays a genial hobo who wanders happily around Central Park, neither seeking nor accepting honest employment. He is imbued with a sense of responsibility when he rescues pretty Madge Evans from committing suicide. Evans, suffering from amnesia, falls in love with Jolson, completely forgetting her "regular" beau, mayor Frank Morgan. When she regains her memory she heads back to Morgan, leaving Jolson sadder but wiser, and prompting him back to his carefree existence. Much of the dialogue is spoken in rhyme, in the manner of an operetta--though there's nothing Romberg-like about such lyrical phrases as "Hoover's Cossacks." Former silent-film comedy star Harry Langdon has some choice moments as Egghead, a communist streetcleaner, while composers Rodgers and Hartshow up in unbilled cameos. Because the word "Bum" has different connotations in different lands, this film was released in England as Hallelujah, I'm a Tramp. The reissue version, titled Heart of a Tramp, has been severely re-edited, doing considerable damage to the carefully interwoven rhyming dialogue. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide



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Jonathan Rosenbaum's Alternative List to the AFI's
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From Rosenbaum's 1998 article in the Chicago Reader: List-o-mania, Or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love American Movies (Films were listed alphabetically only.)
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Singing in the Face of Adversity
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dark musicals - song & dance numbers amidst plots involving conflict, persecution, personal sacrifice, loss, etc - list is open to suggestions!
BIrish

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