Combustible Celluloid
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With: Al Jolson, Madge Evans, Frank Morgan, Harry Langdon, Chester Conklin, Edgar Connor, Tyler Brooke, Louise Carver, Dorothea Wolbert, Tammany Young
Written by: S.N. Behrman, based on a story by Ben Hecht
Directed by: Lewis Milestone
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 82
Date: 02/03/1933

Hallelujah I'm a Bum (1933)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Dancers in the Park

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This pre-code musical by Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western Front and Ocean's 11) has to be one of the most bizarre films ever made. Silent film icon Harry Langdon and early talkie icon Al Jolson appear together in this story of homeless folks living in New York City's Central Park. The so-called "Mayor" of the park (Jolson) is good friends with the real NY mayor (Frank Morgan), and they both fall in love with the same girl (Madge Evans), who conveniently comes down with amnesia just to complicate things. The cast sings, or rather, chants large chunks of dialogue in rhyming couplets by Rodgers and Hart. (The great Ben Hecht wrote the story.) Jolson gives one of his more understated performances, and it's great to see silent clown Langdon still at it in the sound era.

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