I’m Sittin’ on Top of the World

The Singing Fool tries to replicate the success of Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer. By essentially making the same movie all over again. Although it lacks the name recognition of The Jazz Singer, The Singing Fool did cement the staying power of talkie pictures. The 1928 film has way more sound moments than silent moments. Sound continues after the first song and it remains that way for a majority of the story.

Though the only song I recognized was “I’m Sittin’ on Top of the World.” Jolson got so popular in Hollywood that pretty much every character he played had to be named Al. This time Al Stone is a waiter turned singing fool who wants to make it in show business. This time his strained relationship is with his fickle wife Molly and his most loving relationship is with their son Sonny Boy. Precocious young child actor Davey Lee became very successful after the film’s release.

The Singing Fool is another objectively great movie with an unfortunate use of blackface. This time it comes at the last minute and ruins a heartfelt song that Stone sings for his son. The Jazz Singer is still well preserved on all forms of media, but The Singing Fool was very difficult to find. Luckily the library had what may be the last known copy in existence. Although it didn’t receive any Oscar attention, The Singing Fool was another key contributor to talking in cinema.

The Singing Fool

Al sings for Grace

4 thoughts on “I’m Sittin’ on Top of the World

  1. This is another one I think I only ever heard the name of, never knowing what the story was. Once I heard how much of a jerk Al Jolson actually was from reading a brief excerpt of an interview with Rose Marie, who met him as a child singer, I just could never watch anything he did and objectivity.

    Liked by 1 person

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