The Jazz Singer details
|Formats:||PG DVD, Blu-ray|
|Starring:||Al Jolson, May McAvoy, Warner Oland, William Demarest|
|Studio:||WARNER HOME VIDEO|
|Collections:||American Film Institute's top 100|
The Jazz Singer
|Run time:||1 hour 24 minutes|
|Rental release:||12 Nov 2007|
Most helpful review
Historic SchmaltzBy FrankIV (534 reviews) from Cirencester, England , 11 Jan 2008
[Highly rated reviewer]Leaving its importance in the history of film aside, this is a sentimental and schmaltzy piece about a second-generation immigrant torn between his parents and the values of their world, and the demands of living in a new society, represented by show business and told via a series of what have become show-biz cliches. The only reason to watch this, apart from its historical significance, is the chance to see the legendary Al Jolson in his prime. He is a slight, balding man who looks older than his forty one years, but you can sense the energy - and the ego - which made him, apparently, the most dynamic musical performer of his generation. He was, however, essentially a stage performer made for live shows, and he seems cramped by the conventions of film - you get the impression that they must have had to nail his feet to the floor for the concert sequence at the end. His style and presentation are too large for the screen and too exaggerated for the microphone: it's easy to see why he was replaced within five years by the understated, intimate and - the title of this film being a huge misnomer - genuinely jazz-influenced Bing Crosby. This is an interesting musuem piece, best taken as a whole with the extras, which offer a fascinating insight into the changeover from silent to sound. The whole is very well presented and the prints beautifully restored.
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See for the history onlyBy brokenking (268 reviews) from Bristol , 22 Mar 2013As a fan of all cinema, the first 'talkie' was always a film I was going to see. Unfortunately, as with many things, it didn't live up to expectations. Its just that film history doesn't make this story any more entralling. There are a lot more recent relationship dramas that are more effective. On a final note, for fans of Arrested Development, I couldn't help but think of Buster Bluth whenever the son was home.
Innovative for 1927By brianbry (13 reviews) from Leeds , 25 Oct 2011Innovative for 1927, it still proves to be impressive for the time.
The film is pretty much a silent movie with songs in sound and the occasional bit of dialogue. If Warner Bros. waited in releasing this film I'm sure much more could have been with sound.
The picture quality is terrific and the sound is clearer than the sound in other old films in the 1930s.
The story is engaging enough with Al Jolson proving a great 'Jazz Singer' with the occasional un-pc moment, which is to be expected through it's age.
I must say I enjoyed the Prayer Shawl Palaver, a highlight!
Oh Mammy!By 1001FilMs (11 reviews) from Wiltshire , 25 Mar 2010I actually really enjoyed this film! It is a funny mixture of melodrama and (perhaps unintentional) comedy. I loved the scene where he was singing to his Mum which I now impersonate very badly. A little un-PC in places but, hey, it was 1927. Certainly worth a watch.
if it weren't for the advent of sound then....By agamemnon (4 reviews) from Canterbury , 08 Jan 2010this film is considered a classic but i would think mainly for technological reasons. the first and immortal words of sound cinema are spoken not too far in to the film and worth watching purely for the historical value and impact.
the story itself is very simple as the father disapproves of his sons ambitions not to move into religion as a cantor at a synagogue but instead be a singer. his father disowns him while jack robin (jolson) purues his dream. the climactic ending is a somewhat cop out as he is forced to choose between singing for his father on his death bed or his career. it should be one or the other but in actual fact he achieves his fathers forgiveness and is given another gig to prove his talents, typical hollywood fantasy. it's a simple story and to be honest it doesn't pretend to be anything more.
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all this and moonwalkingBy a customer from Coulsdon , 08 Aug 2009besides watching the 1927 flrm with superb quality picture and sound (non-grany, scratched visuals, the sound taken from the original 16 inch records) find time to view it again with the intelligent, informed commentary running.
this was the film that killed off silent movies and took sound from experimental shorts to world domination. when it was released, there were only two cinemas in usa that could show it with sound (and that sound came on some 25 records, one for each of the voice-sync sections); a year later it was hundreds, soon thousands.
the plot may be schamltzy, but this is film history in your living room. brilliant!
and the moonwalking? loook closely at the young singer in the pub, near the beginning.