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Jolson found one of his better movie roles in Hallelujah, I'm a Bum!, a curious 1933 artifact of the early-sound, pre-Code era, a movie replete with music, political comment, and occasionally risqué humor. Jolie plays "the mayor of Central Park," a happy hobo who cleans up after he meets an amnesiac beauty. Alas, the workaday world isn't what it's cracked up to be, as his leisure-minded pals knew all along. Although never quite clicking into classic status, the movie is borne aloft on the Rodgers and Hart score (which includes "You Are Too Beautiful" and much rhyming dialogue) and director Lewis Milestone's fluid tracking shots of hoboes marching and singing through Central Park. That's Harry Langdon, former silent clown, as the Communist tramp warning about the impending revolution as he picks up garbage--a measure of this film's true oddness.

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MG1003136 Hallelujah I'm A Bum DVD (1933/Al Jolson) $9.99