Hallelujah

1929

Drama / Musical

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 85%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 54%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 1654

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 19, 2021 at 05:26 PM

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720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
918.11 MB
956*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 39 min
P/S 1 / 5
1.66 GB
1424*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 39 min
P/S 0 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by grasshopper54 10 / 10

Way ahead of it's time. A work of genius.

In 1929, MGM began the process of converting to sound. They were almost the "latecomers" of sound conversion compared to their competitors over at the Warners lot; Warners' Vitaphone was pretty much in full swing by 1929 after having experimented with orchestral sound on film in 1926 in "The Better 'Ole" and "Don Juan" and then with actual voice embedment on film in "The Jazz Singer" the following year.

Even for such a major film studio like MGM, the cost was almost prohibitive, so Louis B. Mayer was skeptical about financing a major film epic featuring an all black cast. In the first half of the 20th Century, the major film studios catered mostly to white audiences, so a project of this nature was almost unheard of. Director, King Vidor was personally convinced that this film would be a success at the box office that he offered to match MGM dollar for dollar in producing this film. That said, the executives at MGM agreed, reluctantly, to take on this project.

I was totally surprised by the candidness of the material. From the way the major studios depicted black people as individuals of little or no importance, usually portraying them in a very negative way, I was at first skeptical. I expected more singing, dancing and stereotyping. Little did I know what a surprise I was in for! MGM could not have done a better job at portraying individuals with such humanistic qualities. As with most backdrops featuring blacks, it takes place in the cotton fields of the South; the motion picture industry failed miserably to depict black urban or middle class life until decades later.

Amazingly, most, if not all, of these actors were untested individuals on the screen or stage. Vidor's direction, along with these actors' willingness to succeed on the screen, created a work of art for the cinema. A huge box office success, "Hallelujah" was an oasis in an otherwise all-white world of big business cinema. It is a shame that the movie moguls at the time did not take further advantage of the acting talents of minorities.

Leonard Maltin could not have put it more succinctly when he said about Hallelujah: "King Vidor's early talkie triumph, a stylized view of black life focusing on a Southern cotton-picker who becomes a preacher but retains all-too-human weaknesses." Definitely a home run! A must see!

Reviewed by msladysoul 10 / 10

Nina Mae McKinney- The First Black Movie Star

Nina Mae McKinney portrayed Chick in this movie. The untrained, natural singing, dancing, acting talent stole everyone's heart who saw this movie, even till this day she's still winning hearts. A great actress, after this movie people named her "The Black Garbo" and "The Dark Clara Bow". Being the first black actress, she had to represent her race well, and show that Blacks could act, and show Hollywood that Blacks could hold their own on the silver screen. Norma Shearer, John Gilbert, Irving Thalberg, and King Vidor was breath-taken by her acting, and after her you saw many white actresses copying her style, the hands on the hips and facial expressions. This movie isn't stereotypical at all, its about Black Life in the South, the music and styles of the time. Nina Mae was promised many more movies, but never did anything else, but singing apperances, shorts, and maid apperances. But she did get to show her acting in the independent black movies. If you ever get to see them, you won't be sorry. People say this movie was ahead of its time, maybe so, But Nina was lucky she got to show all her talents, singing, dancing, comedy, and acting. Even Blacks don't get to show all of that today. People say that Lena Horne opened the doors, thats false, Nina Mae McKinney did, representing the Black race well, and showing that we could act, open the doors for Blacks in the future in Hollywood.

Reviewed by chemiche3 10 / 10

A son is killed due to the senseless stupidity of another son. He is forgiven and goes on to become a revered preacher who ends up sinning yet again.

Hallelujah, may be an old black and white film from 1929, but I found it incredibly moving. First, I had no idea that Hollywood made an all black film in 1929, just out of the Silent film era. So, what a treat it was to see 'Hallelujah'.

This story is about a poor close knit religious family somewhere down South. There's a saying that , "Religion is the Opium of the People". This film shows that there is some truth to that as faith seems to drown out grief.

When the film opens we see the entire family working together to harvest their cotton crop. This is the only source of income for the family for the entire year. Later the family celebrates their harvest when they are interrupted by their neighbors Adam and Eve and their eleven kids. They want to do the right thing and get married, after years of living together and having eleven kids. While Pappy 'Parson' Johnson (Harry Gray) marries his guests, the oldest son, Zeke (Daniel L. Haynes) goes inside and lusts after Missy Rose (Victoria Spivey). She's a beautiful young woman adopted into the family. She is afraid of his advances, but they end up in a passionate kiss.

In the morning the crop is loaded onto a wagon and the two older boys, Zeke and Spunk (Everett McGarrity) head off to the cotton gin, where its nicely processed into a bale and sold. The income from their crop is $100. Of this money Zeke is supposed to buy things for his family, clothes, shoes, food stuffs. Instead Zeke abandons his loving brother and runs off to the pier. There he sees a beautiful mulatto woman, Chick (Nina Mae McKinney) dancing. Zeke is mesmerized. Chick hurls insults at Zeke, but after Zeke pulls out his family's earnings she Chick walks away with him. They end up in a juke joint where Zeke is conned out of all the money by Chick and her partner Hot Shot (William Fountaine). When Zeke realizes he's been had he fights for the money. Hot Shot pulls out a gun shooting indiscriminately, Zeke grabs it and shoots as well. Spunk who was searching for his brother and just found him at the bar is fatally wounded. We don't know who fired the shot that killed him.

Mammy (Fanny Belle deKnight) senses something is terribly wrong when she sees her older sons bed empty. She started wailing and the family prays for the boys. The next morning Zeke returns home with his brother's body instead of the goodies or money that the family was waiting for. A wake is held and Zeke repents his sins and becomes a preacher. Zeke's style: he becomes the conductor on a train headed for heaven, complete with stops. When Zeke says this is the last stop all the sinners in the crowd flock to the train on the track to Salvation,.

Zeke's preaching leads to prosperity for his family. They travel by their own train to Revivals. In an unnamed town Zeke meets Chick and Hot Shot again. They taunt him terribly. Chick ends up at a Revival and is saved. She returns to be baptized to the dislike of the family. Viewers can feel the sexual tension and lust Zeke feels for Chick. After the baptism, Zeke carries Chick to a tent as if possessed, and is about to make love to her when Mammy intervenes. That night Zeke seems to be soul searching and asks Missy Rose to marry him.

The next day there's a spiritually charged sermon followed by a Holy dance. Chick bites Zeke on the hand like a viper, breaking his resistance, the next thing he is running out the Church into the darkness with her in his arms. Missy Rose goes running after them into the dark begging for Zeke's return.. Realizing that she's lost Zeke she cries in such a mournful way viewers can feel her pain.

Next Zeke goes to work in a factory to support Chick, but its obviously tiring hard work for him. Hot Shot finds Chick and meets her at their home while Zeke is away at work. One night Hot Shot returns for Chick. Zeke is tired and sleeping at the table when a stone thrown by Hot Shot at the window wakes him. Zeke gets his shotgun and shoots at the fleeing couple. He runs after them. He incredibly fast catching up with the wagon. The wagon get stuck in the mud overturning, and throwing Chick in the mud. She's mortally wounded.

While Chick is dying she pleads for Zeke to take her out of the mud. She speaking like she can't see him, she says the Devil is coming for her. Zeke doesn't realize Chick is dying and she dies in his arms. Hot Shot returns to check if Chick is okay. Realizing that Chick is dead, Zeke chases Hot Shot down in the swamp and kills him.

Zeke lands in Prison on a Chain Gang but is later paroled. He returns to his family who are happy to see him and we're lead to believe that he ends up marrying Missy Rose.

At times this film feels like a play, and one might get annoyed by the stereotypes. The photography is that of the time, right out of the Silent film Era. Even with its technical flaws, this is a powerful film whose message is valid today.

They say that King Vidor used his own funds to make this film and it was originally meant to be a silent film. Considering that there weren't many Black films made in the early 20th century, King Vidor needs to be commended otherwise we wouldn't be talking of Hallelujah now.

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