The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.
In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Sergei M. Eisenstein
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
Although the first film to have synchronized audio and speech, much of the film is still presented using title cards, most likely due to sound disks lacking enough memory to show the entire film with sound. During the original release, many cinemas showed it as a fully silent film, due to not having the equipment for the Vitaphone Sound Disk System. See more »
When Jack is writing the aforementioned August 7 letter to Mary following the Yossele Rosenblatt recital, immediately after he writes the words "nearly stopped," there is a splice in the film (but not the soundtrack) and the insert of the writing is repeated at an earlier point so that Jack writes the same sentence again. This may have been to allow for a reel/disc change, since there is a conspicuous pause of silence in the middle of the shot where the music cue ends and another begins. See more »
[opening lines, first quote and first words in the first widely-seen talking picture]
Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain't heard nothin' yet! Wait a minute, I tell ya! You ain't heard nothin'! You wanna hear "Toot, Toot, Tootsie"? All right, hold on, hold on...
[then he walks back to one of the band members]
Lou, listen. Play "Toot, Toot, Tootsie", three chorus, you understand. In the third chorus, I whistle. Now give it to 'em hard and heavy, go right ahead.
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I gave this movie a 10 out of respect for the first talkie. Imagine the pressure in Hollywood at the time. Movies were rolling along at a great pace and silent film stars were icons. The technology of putting talking words to film was being developed and Hollywood had to choose the one star that could make it happen. That star...Al Jolson. Already incredibly adored and admired for a great singing and entertaining talent this legend accepted the challenge and forged Hollywood into a brand new era. Until the advent of computers and graphic enhancements with special effects Hollywood just refined that which Jolson brought to the public in 1927.
If ever you want to get a real kick see this movie, if you can find a viewable copy, and revel in the historical significance of it. Also take out your copy, or pick up Singing In The Rain, which pays homage to the advent of talking pictures. Although they goof with the characters, such as the voice of Lina Lamont, the very real challenges of transitioning from a silent world to a talkie world is very evident.
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