The Singing Kid

Overview

Strictly for Al Jolson's most fervent fans, The Singing Kid casts Jolie as neurotic Broadway star Al Jackson. Facing professional ruin when he loses his voice, Al heads to the country to regain his vocal timbre and to get his head back together. While recuperating, he falls in love with farm girl Ruth Haines Beverly Roberts, the pretty aunt of precocious little Sybil Haines Sybil Jason. The kid bids fair to steal the picture, but Big Al isn't about to let that happen! Much as it must have pained him, Jolson ...
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Overview

Strictly for Al Jolson's most fervent fans, The Singing Kid casts Jolie as neurotic Broadway star Al Jackson. Facing professional ruin when he loses his voice, Al heads to the country to regain his vocal timbre and to get his head back together. While recuperating, he falls in love with farm girl Ruth Haines Beverly Roberts, the pretty aunt of precocious little Sybil Haines Sybil Jason. The kid bids fair to steal the picture, but Big Al isn't about to let that happen! Much as it must have pained him, Jolson shares the spotlight with such specialty performers as Wini Shaw, Cab Calloway, the Yacht Club Boys and the knockabout comedy team of Mitchell and Durant. The E.Y. Harburg-Harold Arlen score includes "I Want to Sing a Mammy Song" and "I Love to Singa," which later served as the basis of an amusing Merrie Melodies cartoon.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
As with any Al Jolson vehicle, one's appreciation of The Singing Kid will be heavily influenced by one's appreciation of its star, Al Jolson. Jolson is legendary, of course, and still well known for having jumpstarted the entire talking movie business via his appearance in The Jazz Singer. But Jolson's style, both as a singer and a performer, is very much a product of its time, and so modern audiences frequently have a hard time appreciating him; indeed, some can't even stand him. Jolson's hammy technique, though, does have it appeal if one approaches it in the right spirit; unfortunately, Kid is a rather poor vehicle for the star, and so even those who enjoy Jolson may be a bit disappointed. It's a tired story that was worn even in 1936 and is positively threadbare today. This wouldn't matter so much if there were greater compensations, such as a sterling song score or some delicious comedy bits. Unfortunately, despite much of the score being the work of Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, most of the songs are merely pleasant. "I Love to Sing-a" is perhaps the most engaging of those contributed by the team, although Cab Calloway's ditty is memorable, due more to Calloway's performance than the song itself. "Sing-a" also features some nifty staging, courtesy of Bobby Connolly. The comedy throughout is mostly weak, and is usurped by sticky sentimentality related to the plotline involving a child. The young actress, Sybil Jason, is fine, but the character is cloying and the scenes involving her are far too precious.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/21/2009
  • UPC: 883316173886
  • Original Release: 1936
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Time: 1:25:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Al Jolson Al Jackson
Sybil Jason Sybil Haines
Lyle Talbot Bob Carey
Allen Jenkins Joe Eddy
Frank Mitchell Dope
William B. Davidson Barney Hammond
Jonathan Hale Dr. Brown
Carolyn Hughes Mary Lou
Beverly Roberts Ruth Haines
Claire Dodd Dana Lawrence
Winifred Shaw Singer
Edward Keane Potter
Tom Manning Doorman
Edward Everett Horton Davenport Rogers
Jack Durant Babe
Joseph King Dr. May
Joseph Crehan Fulton
Cab Calloway and His Band
Technical Credits
William Keighley Director
George Barnes Cinematographer
Bobby Connolly Choreography
Warren B. Duff Screenwriter
Pat C. Flick Screenwriter
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Robert Lord Producer
Orry-Kelly Costumes/Costume Designer
Tom Richards Editor
Carl Jules Weyl Art Director
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