Studio United Artists
Running Time 80 minutes
Production October- November 1932
Release 8th February 1933
Director Lewis Milestone
Screenplay S.N. Behrman
Music/Lyrics Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart
Conductor Alfred Newman
Major players

Bumper - Al Jolson

June Marcher - Madge Evans

Mayor Hastings - Frank Morgan

Egghead - Harry Langdon

Sunday - Chester Conklin

Acorn - Edgar Connor

Jolson Songs

I Gotta Get Back To New York

Hallelujah I'm A  Bum

Dear June

What Do You Want with Money ?

I'd Do It Again

You Are Too Beautiful


Jolson signed a contract with Joseph Schenck to make 3 films for United Artists. The first was to have been Sons O'Guns, a Broadway musical comedy about a playboy who finds himself in the army with his former valet Hobson as his sergeant. This was abandoned in favour of a story about the tramps in Central Park.


The movie was shot first in July to September 1932 with songs by Irving Caesar and with Roland Young in the role of Mayor Hastings. Young became ill and his scenes had to be reshot and the director fell out with Jolson.


Eventually the movie was directed by Lewis Milestone who had just won the Academy Award for Best Picture for All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). The songs were by Rodgers and Hart and the dialogue was in rhyming couplets.

No hallelujahs shall be shouted here, for the production is a far from enthralling example of motion picture art.  (William Boehnel, World Telegram)
Hardly a lavish production despite its cost this is nevetheless a fascinating film. Very few Depression movies tackled the issues of responsibility and depicted the lives of tamps. Also I can't think of any which didn't have a happy ending, perhaps its not surprising that the film flopped though Jolson's acting is much better than before.