The Jazz Singer
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4 items from 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Magnificent Musicals

23 November 2010 12:00 PM, PST | | See recent news »

In honor of the opening of the film Burlesque, starring Cher, Christina Aguilera and Stanley Tucci, the Movie Geeks are presenting what we feel are the best motion picture musicals.

Honorable Mention: Mary Poppins

“Practically Perfect in Every Way”, this is how the incomparably magical nanny Mary Poppins describes herself with nary a boastful smirk on a revealing tape measure in the still-charming 1964 Disney classic musical set in post-Victorian London circa 1910. Mary Poppins is the first movie I can remember seeing in a theater as a child I still feel genuine warmth about this movie as an adult. Such was the impact of Julie Andrews in her big screen debut, as she epitomizes the title character with equal quantities of starch and sugar. There are so many delightful scenes in Mary Poppins that it’s hard to choose which to highlight, though one of the best ones has to be »

- Movie Geeks

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Quick Snaps: Alamo Ritz Flashback

2 November 2010 7:30 AM, PDT | Slackerwood | See recent Slackerwood news »

It's my birthday today, and this reminds me of the way we celebrated my birthday three years ago. The day before, my husband took me to Alamo Ritz and we had an impromptu picnic in the smaller Ritz theater, right before the grand opening of Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz in the larger theater. Read my Ritziest Birthday Ever post for the full account. I've got a couple more photos after the jump -- my favorite, however, is from SXSW 2008.

Since 2007, I've been to a number of events and screenings at Alamo Ritz, from Butt-Numb-a-Thon to Bruce Campbell, and have enjoyed the theater very much. I hope it'll be around for a long time.

Of course, the Ritz has been around for much longer than the three years it's been an Alamo Drafthouse theater. Alamo is celebrating the theater's 81st birthday tomorrow with a special screening of The Jazz Singer. »

- Jette Kernion

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Metropolis proves silents still golden

6 September 2010 11:11 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

As Al Jolson jazz-handed in the new age of talkies, Metropolis proved that silent films were still valid. John Patterson enjoys some quiet time

The silent cinema that died in 1927 on the introduction of sound with The Jazz Singer always reminds me of the sunken city of Atlantis. Each was glorious, sophisticated, inventive, and each had reached the apogee of its greatness – until everything was pulled under by the deluge and an entire culture, a highly developed civilisation coherent unto itself, was lost forever in a single night.

When I say the apogee of its greatness, the proof is in the names of the myriad masterpieces released just at the moment when silence stopped being golden: Fritz Lang's Metropolis, the most expensive movie yet made, and Gw Pabst's Pandora's Box, from Germany's gigantic Ufa Studios; Fw Murnau's Sunrise, considered by many the poetic peak of silent cinema; Victor Seastrom's The Wind, »

- John Patterson

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Another view from the past

27 February 2010 7:32 PM, PST | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

Back last November I posted a clip from the 1942 musical Holiday Inn where Bing Crobsy and some chick take blackface to a whole new level which you can see Here.

However though blackface was pretty much common in early Hollywood movies perhaps no film took it to the extreme as this extended scene from the 1934 Warner Bros film Wonder Bar with Al Jolson. Jolson (or Jolie as they used to all him), was back then one of the highest paid and most popular entertainers of the period (and before) and made blackface his trademark such as in the The Jazz Singer. But this scene from Wonder Bar might have even stunned the most hard core Confederate sympathizer for a loop. Not surprisingly the studio has kept the film under wraps for decades and pretended it didn’t exist though now it’s available on the DVD-On-Demand Warner Archive label of which I have a copy. »

- Sergio

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