Hallelujah, I'm a Bum (film)

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Hallelujah, I'm a Bum
Hallelujah, I'm a Bum.jpg
Video coverart
Directed byLewis Milestone
Written byS.N. Behrman
Story byBen Hecht
StarringAl Jolson
Madge Evans
Frank Morgan
Music byRichard Rodgers
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • February 3, 1933 (1933-02-03)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States
L-R: Frank Morgan, Edgar Conner, and Al Jolson

Hallelujah, I'm a Bum is a 1933 American pre-Code musical comedy film directed by Lewis Milestone and set in the Great Depression.

The film stars Al Jolson as Bumper, a popular New York tramp, and both romanticizes and satirizes the hobo lifestyle into which many people were forced by the economic conditions of the time. It is noted for its heavy leftist overtones and freewheeling style. Among the production's supporting cast are Frank Morgan, silent comedian Harry Langdon, Chester Conklin of the Keystone Kops, and vaudevillian Edgar Connor.[1] Morgan, who portrays the Wizard in the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz, foreshadows a famous line in that film when he says to Al Jolson, "There's no place like home, there's no place like home".

Poster for 1941 reissue, retitled The Heart of New York[2]



The music was composed by Richard Rodgers and the lyrics by Lorenz Hart. The score includes the jazz standard "You Are Too Beautiful", which is played several times throughout the movie.

The complete list of musical numbers in the film is:

  • "I Gotta Get Back to New York"
  • "My Pal Bumper"
  • "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum"
  • "Laying the Cornerstone"
  • "Sleeping Beauty" (dropped before the film was released)
  • "Dear June"
  • "Bumper Found a Grand"
  • "What Do You Want With Money?"
  • "Kangaroo Court"
  • "I'd Do It Again"
  • "You Are Too Beautiful"


In 1998, Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader included the film in his unranked list of the best American films not included on the AFI Top 100.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Green, Stanley (1999). Hollywood Musicals Year by Year (2nd ed.). Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp. p. 19. ISBN 0-634-00765-3. OCLC 42947333.
  2. ^ "Hallelujah I'm a Bum". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  3. ^ Rosenbaum, Jonathan (June 25, 1998). "List-o-Mania: Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love American Movies". Chicago Reader. Archived from the original on April 13, 2020.

External links[edit]