Jerry Larabee (Richard Barthelmess)is a gangster who can play piano and sing, mostly to entertain his girl Alice (Betty Compson), who is quite visibly thrilled by his crooning. But as the result of a gangland shootout he had with rival mobster Spadoni (Louis Natheaux), Larabee must do a stretch in prison. The kindly warden (William Holden) sees a potential for redemption in him, and talks Mary into giving him up, so he will break all contact with his previous life. Through his musical talents, Jerry is soon doing radio broadcasts with the prison orchestra, and one of his own compositions, "Weary River" is a smash hit with listeners. In no time, he's released, with a concert tour lined up. unfortunately, hecklers cause the overly sensitive ex-gunman to lose his confidence and he's a flop. Down on his luck, he drifts back to his old gang buddies and Mary, who's never stopped loving him. After learning that his stint up the river was a frame-up by Spadoni, a showdown is arranged at their...
Two passion-wrapped souls living, loving-then a song bringing new life-new love! (Print Ad- Philadelphia Inquirer, ((Philadelphia, Penna.)) 3 May 1929)
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Did You Know?
When it came time for Richard Barthelmess
to sing the title song (not once but four times in the course of the film), the Vitaphone technicians performed a bit of audio-visual sleight-of-hand. While Barthelmess moves his lips, the voice we hear is that of Johnny Murray
. A Photoplay article of July 1929 reported that Murray had also been retained to provide Barthelmess' voice in the future, in the event that he starred in any other musicals. However, in this film, Barthelmess does indeed sing a few bars of Frankie & Johnnie on his own, most pleasantly and naturally, to Betty Compson, before she interrupts him, claiming she didn't ask him for 'Grand Opera.' See more
When Barthelmess is brought in to the prison bathroom, there is already an inmate having a bath, who has disappeared before the scene is over. See more
What a sap I've been. Just a 14-carat sap. And you! You're just a phony! That's what you are. You're just a yellow phony!
First National also released this film in a silent version. See more
Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here
Music by Theodore Morse
and Arthur Sullivan
In the score when Jerry meets his pals in a bar See more
10 February 1929 (USA)
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(Western Electric System) (Western Electric Apparatus) (sound effects, music and talking sequences)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33 : 1
See full technical specs