Hallelujah, I'm a Bum

Director: Lewis Milestone
Year Released: 1933
Rating: 3.5

Subversive little musical teams up four great talents (director Milestone, screenwriter Ben Hecht and witty musicians Rodgers & Hart) to make what is basically a Communist parable: when stripped of the veneer of capitalist thinking (and therefore awareness of social class) we can live in absolute harmony with nature and with each other (or something like that). Al Jolson's love interest only shares feelings for him when she's suffering from amnesia - when she regains her wits, she returns to the shifty mayor who she tried to get away from in the first place, simply because of his standing in society. The ending is a heartbreaker and does not betray the preceding material or the movie's inhabitants. One of the best films of the 30's; should be shown on a double bill with A Thousand Clowns.