Big Boy

Overview

Big Boy may well be the closest a modern audience will ever come to seeing what a genuine Al Jolson Broadway musical looked like. Based on his 1925 stage hit, the film casts Jolson in the blackface role of Gus, a stableboy at a moss-covered Southern plantation. Gus' favorite horse is the magnificent Big Boy, whom he hopes to ride to victory at the Kentucky Derby. Through a misunderstanding, Gus is fired from his job, but he manages to make his way to Louisville during Derby week by working as a singing waiter. ...
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DVD (B&W / Pan & Scan)
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Note: This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. This disc is expected to play back in DVD Video "play only" devices and may not play back in other DVD devices including recorders and PC drives.

Overview

Big Boy may well be the closest a modern audience will ever come to seeing what a genuine Al Jolson Broadway musical looked like. Based on his 1925 stage hit, the film casts Jolson in the blackface role of Gus, a stableboy at a moss-covered Southern plantation. Gus' favorite horse is the magnificent Big Boy, whom he hopes to ride to victory at the Kentucky Derby. Through a misunderstanding, Gus is fired from his job, but he manages to make his way to Louisville during Derby week by working as a singing waiter. Against all odds, our hero manages to win the Big Race -- at which point the scene fades to a "curtain call" on a Warner Bros. soundstage, with Jolson, minus makeup and out of character, cheerfully introducing the supporting cast and offering to sing few encores for the benefit of the spectators. To say the least, Big Boy is a bizarre experience, but the film is not without its charms. The best moments include a lengthy Civil War flashback in which Gus's grandfather Jolson again outwits an outrageously bigoted Simon Legree type Noah Beery Sr., and the closing musical number in which Jolson waxes nostalgic over Sunday dinner with his family: "And I see on the kitchen table a ham -- a beautiful ham --.Ha! That ain't my house!"
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/21/2009
  • UPC: 883316173978
  • Original Release: 1930
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:08:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 65,514

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Al Jolson Gus
Claudia Dell Annabel Bedford
Louise Closser Hale Mrs. Bedford
Lloyd Hughes Jack Bedford
Eddie Phillips Coley Reed
Lew Harvey Doc Wilbur
Franklin Batie Jim
John Harron Joe
Noah Beery Sr.
Colin Campbell
Technical Credits
Alan Crosland Director
Ralph Dawson Editor
Hal Mohr Cinematographer
Perry Vekroff Screenwriter
William K. Wells Screenwriter
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