A young kid from Upstate New York named Eddie (Landis) is conned into fronting for a speakeasy on Broadway. Throughout the con there is an inevitable chorus-girl with a heart of gold (... See full summary »
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
You have to learn how to watch a silent movie. Most people who watch one get bored, and expect modern day techniques. All of the actors/actresses did great in this version, even Al Jolson who was not "hammy" as he has been called. He, like the others, made use of wide expressive movements with his hands. Some of the lighting could be improved, but this may have been taken on a remastered DVD, I haven't seen one yet. The music that is used expresses the mood of the scenes very well for that period. The use of Blackface at that time and before was not offensive to most anyone, even black people, as one of their own, Bert Williams, used it over his own black skin. This movie deserves a proper viewing, the viewer should learn a little entertainment business history first.
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