Give Us a Handout to Revive Us Again
Hallelujah, I’m a Bum! in 35mm This Wednesday

The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – 7:30 – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Portage, please click here.

August 8
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 Rodgers 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)
Co-presented with portoluz–WPA 2.0: A Brand New Deal
82 min • Feature Productions• 35mm from the Library of Congress
Cartoon: Betty Boop in “The Old Man of the Mountain” (Dave Fleischer, 1933) – 35mm – 7 min

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