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Hollywood during the Depression: Hallelujah I'm a bum

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Event starts at 7:30 p.m. 
Price at the door:  $5.00

Hallelulah I'm a bum

Portage Theater
4050 N Milwaukee Ave, chicago, IL 60600
Click here for location info

HALLELUJAH I’M A BUM

Directed by Lewis Milestone • 1933

Also known as Happy Go Lucky, Lazy Bones, and The Heart of New York this Rogers and Hart semi-musical takes

its original US title from a popular 1908 folk song of sarcastic protest to upper class moralizing of the homeless.

Al Jolson (in one of his few non-blackface roles, also his most enjoyable) plays a tramp who falls in love with

the girlfriend of an old acquaintance who happens to be the mayor of New York (played by Frank Morgan). Harry

Langdon and Edgar Connor are Jolson’s compatriots Egghead and Acorn who remind him that he’ll never leave

Central Park. Highly thought of today, most of the original reviews were ambivalent (perhaps the film’s rhyming

couplets were too much, too soon...), but the New York Times had the benefit of taking the film at face value: “It

is really a sort of tramp's dream. Sometimes the characters converse in rhyme and on other occasions they sing

their opinions. Even Mayor Hastings, presumably of New York, played by Mr. Morgan, is inspired to regale his

subordinates with doggerel.” (JA)

82 • United Artists & Fox Film Corporation • 35mm from the Library of Congress, permission Samuel Goldwyn

 http://www.northwestchicagofilmsociety.org/calendar/archives/classic/2012-april-august/

About the artists:

Hallelulah I'm a bum

HALLELUJAH I’M A BUM

Directed by Lewis Milestone • 1933

Also known as Happy Go Lucky, Lazy Bones, and The Heart of New York this Rogers and Hart semi-musical takes

its original US title from a popular 1908 folk song of sarcastic protest to upper class moralizing of the homeless.

Al Jolson (in one of his few non-blackface roles, also his most enjoyable) plays a tramp who falls in love with

the girlfriend of an old acquaintance who happens to be the mayor of New York (played by Frank Morgan). Harry

Langdon and Edgar Connor are Jolson’s compatriots Egghead and Acorn who remind him that he’ll never leave

Central Park. Highly thought of today, most of the original reviews were ambivalent (perhaps the film’s rhyming

couplets were too much, too soon...), but the New York Times had the benefit of taking the film at face value: “It

is really a sort of tramp's dream. Sometimes the characters converse in rhyme and on other occasions they sing

their opinions. Even Mayor Hastings, presumably of New York, played by Mr. Morgan, is inspired to regale his

subordinates with doggerel.” (JA)

82 • United Artists & Fox Film Corporation • 35mm from the Library of Congress, permission Samuel Goldwyn

 




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