The Jazz Singer (1927)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Music, Musical  |  6 October 1927 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 6,535 users  
Reviews: 86 user | 49 critic

The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz singer.



(play), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The Civil War divides friends and destroys families, but that's nothing compared to the anarchy in the black-ruled South after the war.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.

Directors: King Vidor, George W. Hill
Stars: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth
Sunrise (1927)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A married farmer falls under the spell of a slatternly woman from the city, who tries to convince him to drown his wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston
The Crowd (1928)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The life of a man and woman together in a large, impersonal metropolis through their hopes, struggles and downfalls.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Eleanor Boardman, James Murray, Bert Roach
The Unknown (1927)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A criminal on the run hides in a circus and seeks to possess the daughter of the ringmaster at any cost.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Joan Crawford
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks, Spottiswoode Aitken
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of being a popular singer.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Neil Diamond, Lucie Arnaz
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

Directors: Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry
42nd Street (1933)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A producer puts on what may be his last Broadway show, and at the last moment a chorus girl has to replace the star...

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent
Blackmail (1929)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in 1920's London. Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland Yard detective who seems more interested in police work than in her. Frank takes ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Anny Ondra, John Longden, Sara Allgood
Greed (1924)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The sudden fortune won from a lottery fans such destructive greed that it ruins the lives of the three people involved.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Gibson Gowland, Zasu Pitts, Jean Hersholt
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller


Complete credited cast:
Eugenie Besserer ...
Otto Lederer ...
Robert Gordon ...
Jakie Rabinowitz - Age 13 (as Bobby Gordon)
Richard Tucker ...
Yossele Rosenblatt ...
Cantor Rosenblatt - Concert Recital (as Cantor Joseff Rosenblatt)


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 Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hear what you see - see what you hear. See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 October 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Jazzsänger  »

Box Office


$422,000 (estimated)


$3,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Many documentaries and historians state that immediately after the release and success of The Jazz Singer (1927) that all of Hollywood switched to sound. This is not true for several reasons. First, there were two competing and incompatible sound systems. The Vitaphone process was cumbersome, relying on an electro-mechanical interface between the projector and the turntable. Fox's Fotofilm was a superior sound-on-film process that allowed for easier editing but required a costlier projector (the Vitaphone system would be quietly killed off by 1932). Secondly, either sound process nearly doubled the budget of a film. Thirdly, theater chains faced enormous conversion costs (MGM-parent company Loew's Inc. owned over 1,000 outlets, and took a deliberately slow wait-and-see attitude toward sound). The first feature film with all synchronous dialog was Lights of New York (1928). Also, in the midst of the talkie-craze of 1928-30, studio bosses were faced with a limited amount of sound equipment and qualified sound technicians, causing them innumerable headaches over which productions to produce as talkies vs. silents. Also, silents were internationally marketable via cheap title card translations while talkies, prior to the advent of subtitles, usually required completely different foreign language versions to be produced simultaneously. Low budget producers of westerns along poverty row were especially impacted, with silents continuing in that market through the end of 1930. Many studios continued to produce both silent and sound versions of their films, including the classic All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). See more »


Before the dress rehearsal "Jakie" applies black face and he misses a portion on the upper right forehead. He dons the wig which covers the white spot. After he returns from the dress rehearsal and removes the wig, there is no white spot. It is covered with black face. See more »


The Cantor: Leave my house. I never want to see you again, you Jazz singer!
See more »


Featured in The Voice That Thrilled the World (1943) See more »


Give My Regards to Broadway
(1904) (uncredited)
Music by George M. Cohan
Played at the train station and at Jack's arrival in New York
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Wait a minute, you ain't heard nothin' yet!"
3 June 2001 | by (Midnight Movie Land) – See all my reviews

George Jessel passed up a chance to star in this movie. he thought sound in film was too risky a venture to try and took a pass. Al Jolson went on to stardom and George became known as a toastmaster at Hollywood roasts. This is an excellent movie that certainly belongs on anyone's list of 100 best movies. The story has been ably told here, I won't repeat it. I do want to add a few observations, however. The movie is very sentimental, especially in it's portrayal of "Mama" and Jolson's devotion to her. Even when it first came out, writers were critical of this, which harked back to the days of broad stage melodramas. The use of the song Kol Nidre and the Jewish day of Atonement at the ending is significant in that forgiveness and reconciliation is what this movie's theme is all about. Recommended highly, many of the scenes are etched in the consciousness of movie-goers whether you have seen this movie or not. Jolson in blackface doing "Mammy" and "Mother Of Mine", singing "Toot, Toot, Toosie Goodbye". Seeing this film will bring back all these images and place them in their proper contexts. The minstrel type show or even blackface solos were still going strong in the 1920s. In the 1930s and even into the 1940s famous Hollywood actors such as Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney among many others would still be doing songs in blackface. This was no isolated case by a long shot. See it and see history. Also see it for what it is, a classic Hollywood story.

33 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Jazz Singer Racist...against Whites! nickryder9
Al Jolson was probably America's foremost 'anti-racist' entertainer Rainer_fan
Why not the whole movie? eoremovich
Great Movies Not On DVD Jacksterboy
80 year anniversary DVD? Joshua24fan
No DVD? Roland-charleer
Discuss The Jazz Singer (1927) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: