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Al Jackson, played by Al Jolson, is a great guy. He helps numerous chorus girls keep their jobs, he gives large sums of money to unknown gentlemen he meets in the streets, he loves little children, and he gives his fiancee an unlimited checking account.
That's what makes it so hard to understand in "The Singing Kid" why she runs away with his lawyer leaving Al to face the T Men from the Internal Revenue Department. But Claire Dodd, who once again is the unfaithful, deceitful woman does just that with Lyle Talbot, who is cast in the unfamiliar role of the unpleasant attorney.
Up to Maine
Al then goes up into the Maine woods to try and recover his voice which has also left him in the crisis. He is forsaken by all except the somewhat questionable remainder of Edward Everett Horton and Allan Jenkins, who, in a touching scene, refuse to leave Al. In the healing air of Maine he recovers his voice, and stays to fall in love with little Miss Sybil Jason and her aunt. Miss Jason is the Warner Brother's stack of chips in the child actress poker game. She is not as pretty as Shirley Temple, nor as pleasantly ugly as Jane Withers, but her singing talents may carry her farther than either one.
Horton and Jenkins carry off the comedy honors; the Yacht Club Boys, our favorite interpreters of national affairs, are entitled to all the singing prizes, and Cab Calloway makes all the music. There isn't much left for Jolson to do except sink to his knees with a rapt expression. He's the same old Al, and still doesn't mind the gray skys, but we don't like it any better than we did in 1927.
Ray Noble & Co.
After Calloway's band has crashed out the final tremendous chord of the picture, the curtains part and there on the stage is Ray Noble ready to carry on the good work. Mr. Noble brings all his syncopated talents to the Met's stage, and runs the gamut from his own interpretation of "The Blue Danube", to a medley of the swing category, aided by Al Bowell, advertised as "England's Prince of Song." Maybe it was because we had heard Calloway's organization first, but Noble didn't seem to live up to his advance notices. At any rate the total effect of both bands is practically overpowering.
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