The real-life courtship, marriage, and forced breakup of Jérôme Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, and his rich wife from the American south, Elizabeth Patterson. Napoleon did not approve of the union and fixes him up with another girl.
Cantor Rabinowitz is concerned and upset because his son Jakie shows so little interest in carrying on the family's traditions and heritage. For five generations, men in the family have been cantors in the synagogue, but Jakie is more interested in jazz and ragtime music. One day, they have such a bitter argument that Jakie leaves home for good. After a few years on his own, now calling himself Jack Robin, he gets an important opportunity through the help of well-known stage performer Mary Dale. But Jakie finds that in order to balance his career, his relationship with Mary, and his memories of his family, he will be forced to make some difficult choices. Written by
Warner Brothers quietly threw in the towel on the Vitaphone disk process in 1932. Not wanting to risk losing the disks, Warner Bros. had all of the Vitaphone sound for the film transferred to optical tracks on the side of the film itself in the 1930s. See more »
Jack and his mother rise from the piano twice upon the Cantor's entry. See more »
A simple story of a guy winning back his estranged father, told in strong and memorable images. Jolson looks just right, and although it was done for reasons of cost and technological limitations, it's actually pretty cool that this is a traditional silent movie that turns talkie for the performance scenes. It makes the terrific musical numbers come alive, and it gives the plotting no more or less emphasis than it deserves. Not a great film, but an enjoyable one, and obviously a historically significant one.
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