Two brothers, Phil and Ted Stoneman, visit their friends in Piedmont, South Carolina: the family Cameron. This friendship is affected by the Civil War, as the Stonemans and the Camerons ... 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
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 »
The saloon pianist's cigarette behind his ear disappears and re-appears between shots. See more »
[title/caption appearing after Yudelson and Jakie's mother first sees him in blackface]
He sounds like Jakie, but he looks like his shadow!
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I rate the movie a "10" for its historical significance. "The Jazz Singer" is the answer to the perennial trivia question, "What was the first sound motion picture?" Certainly there were other talkies before this, but this one, the first feature-length talkie in the world -- is the one that turned Hollywood and the movie-going public on its ear.
It's fascinating. We think of "The Jazz Singer" as a talkie, but most of the picture is in typical "silent pictures" style -- with intertitles (title cards) to convey character dialog. Only with Jolson's vocal numbers and two other scenes is the new sound technology is used, and we hear the voice of the man many have called the world's greatest entertainer.
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