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King of Jazz
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King of Jazz (1930) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Harry Ruskin (comedy sketches)
View company contact information for King of Jazz on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 April 1930 (USA) See more »
A NEW ERA in sound and color entertainment!
This revue presents its numbers around the orchestra leader Paul Whiteman, besides that it shows in... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
It Hath Charms See more (26 total) »


  (in credits order)

Paul Whiteman ... Paul Whiteman

John Boles ... Vocalist ('Song of the Dawn' / 'It Happened in Monterey')

Laura La Plante ... Editor ('Ladies of the Press') / Stenographer ('In Conference') / Quartet Member, 'Nellie'

Jeanette Loff ... Vocalist ('It Happened in Monterey' / 'Bridal Veil' / 'A Bench in the Park')

Glenn Tryon ... Executive ('In Conference') / Unmarried Husband / Husband ('A Dash of Spice')
William Kent ... General ('All Noisy on the Eastern Front') / Goldfish Owner ('Oh! Forevermore!') / Unmarried Couple's Offspring / Meek Husband ('Do Things For You') / Man in Closet ('A Dash of Spice')

Slim Summerville ... Automobile Owner ('Springtime') / Rear End of Horse / Charles

The Rhythm Boys ... Vocal Group

Kathryn Crawford ... Fourth Reporter ('Ladies of the Press') / Wife ('A Dash of Spice')

Carla Laemmle ... Chorine (as Beth Laemmle)

Stanley Smith ... Bridegroom ('Bridal Veil' / 'A Bench in the Park')
George Chiles ... Dancer ('It Happened in Monterey' / Vocalist 'A Bench in the Park' / 'Ragamuffin Romeo')
Jack White ... Jack White
Frank Leslie ... Quartet Lead Singer ('Nellie')

Walter Brennan ... Desk Sergeant ('Springtime') / Soldier ('All Noisy on the Eastern Front') / Waiter ('Oh! Forevermore!') / Front End of Horse / Quartet Member ('Nellie')
Churchill Ross ... Quartet Member ('Nellie')

John Arledge ... First Pianist at Giant Piano ('Rhapsody in Blue') / Quartet Member ('Nellie') (as Johnson Arledge)
Al Norman ... Rubber Legs Dancer ('Happy Feet')
Jacques Cartier ... Voodoo Dancer ("Rhapsody in Blue")

Nell O'Day ... Dancer with Tommy Atkins Sextette
Marion Stadler ... Specialty Dancer 'Ragamuffin Romeo' / 'Melting Pot' (as Marion Stattler)
Don Rose ... Specialty Dancer 'Ragamuffin Romeo'

The Radio City Rockettes ... Dancing Ensemble (as the Russell Markert Girls)
Thomas Atkins ... Thomas Atkins Sextette Leader
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Harry Barris ... One of the Rhythm Boys (as The Rhythm Boys)

Brox Sisters ... Brox Sisters
Bobbe Brox ... Bobbe Brox (as The Brox Sisters)
Kathlyn Brox ... Kathlyn Brox (as The Brox Sisters)
Lorayne Brox ... Lorraine Brox (as The Brox Sisters)
Delbert Cobain ... Singer

Bing Crosby ... One of the Rhythm Boys) (as The Rhythm Boys)

Jack Fulton ... Vocalist with Paul Whiteman
The Sisters G. ... The G Sisters
Eleanor Gutöhrlein ... Dance Specialty (as Sisters G)
Karla Gutöhrlein ... Dance Specialty (as Sisters G)
Wilbur Hall ... Trombonist / Violin / Air Pump (as Willie Hall)

Otis Harlan ... Charles's Intended Father-in-Law

Grace Hayes ... Third Reporter ('Ladies of the Press') / Rough Wife ('Do Things for You')
Paul Howard ... Paul Howard

Merna Kennedy ... Second Reporter ('Ladies of the Press') / Wife ('In Conference') / Unmarried Wife
Jeanie Lang ... First Reporter ('Ladies of the Press') / Vocalist ('My Bridal Veil' / 'Ragamuffin Romeo' / 'Do Things for You')

Charles Murray ... Comic Specialty (scenes deleted)
Al Rinker ... One of the Rhythm Boys (as The Rhythm Boys)
George Sidney ... Comic Specialty (scenes deleted)
Paul Small ... Whiteman Impersonator
Ted Bacon ... Violin Sextet (uncredited)

Joan Barclay ... Chorine (uncredited)

Roy Bargy ... Pianist ('Rhapsody in Blue') (uncredited)

Richard Cromwell ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)

Yola d'Avril ... Automobile Owner's Wife ("Springtime") / Marie ("All Noisy on the Eastern Front") (uncredited)

Geraldine Dvorak ... Blonde Mannequin ('Rhapsody in Blue') (uncredited)
Arthur Gardner ... Chorus Boy (uncredited)
Betty Jane Graham ... Child ('Bridal Veil') (uncredited)
Charlie Greco ... Pianist (uncredited)
Charles Irwin ... Announcer / Soldier ('All Noisy on the Eastern Front') (uncredited)

Marcia Mae Jones ... Child ('Bridal Veil') (uncredited)
Otto Landau ... Violin Sextet (uncredited)
Eddie Lang ... Guitar Player (uncredited)

Bela Lugosi ... Emcee - Hungarian Version (uncredited)
Roy Maier ... Piccolo Player / Whiteman Boys (uncredited)
Matty Malneck ... Violin Sextet (uncredited)

Joan Marsh ... Blonde ("A Bench in the Park") (uncredited)

Sunny Jim McKeen ... Child ('A Bench in the Park') / Child ('A Dash of Spice') (uncredited)

Cecilia Parker ... Chorine (uncredited)
Mike Pingatore ... Banjo Player The Whiteman Boys (uncredited)
John Peel Quartet ... Quartet in English Number ('Melting Pot') (uncredited)
Snowdrop ... Little Girl with Paul Whiteman ('Bench In the Park') (uncredited)
Nancy Torres ... Solist ("It Happened in Monterey") (uncredited)
Renee Torres ... Chorine (uncredited)

Florence Turner ... Extra (uncredited)
Joe Venuti ... Violinist / Violin Sextet (uncredited)
Pauline Wagner ... Page-Turner Hands (uncredited)

Directed by
John Murray Anderson 
Writing credits
Harry Ruskin (comedy sketches)

Edward T. Lowe Jr.  uncredited
Charles MacArthur  uncredited

Produced by
Carl Laemmle Jr. .... producer
Cinematography by
Jerome Ash 
Hal Mohr 
Ray Rennahan 
Film Editing by
Robert Carlisle 
Art Direction by
Herman Rosse 
Costume Design by
Herman Rosse 
Makeup Department
Jack P. Pierce .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Ross .... assistant director
Ansel Friedberger .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Thomas F. O'Neill .... assistant art director
Sound Department
C. Roy Hunter .... recording supervisor
Harold I. Smith .... monitor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Eddie Ellsworth .... still photographer
Animation Department
Walter Lantz .... animator
William Nolan .... animator
Editorial Department
Maurice Pivar .... supervising editor
Music Department
Milton Ager .... music: songs
James Dietrich .... additional musical numbers
George Gershwin .... additional musical numbers
Ferde Grofé Sr. .... orchestrations (as Ferde Grofé)
Billy Rose .... additional musical numbers
Mabel Wayne .... additional musical numbers
Jack Yellen .... lyrics: songs
Other crew
Russell Markert .... dance director
Charles Murphy .... animal trainer (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:98 min
Color (2-strip Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Did You Know?

Paul Whiteman's dance double was Paul Small (1909-1954), an acrobatic dancer and long-time Whiteman imitator, not to be confused with the singer of the same name.See more »
Announcer:You don't mean to tell me that you are well-versed in the intricacies of the art of Terpsichore?
Paul Whiteman:No, but I can dance.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in A Sad State of Affairs (2013)See more »
Has Anybody Seen Our Nellie?See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
It Hath Charms, 8 June 2005
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Today's audiences could not possibly have any idea of how big in every way Paul Whiteman was during the 1920s. Radio was in its infancy and Paul Whiteman's band was the first orchestra to achieve popularity through that medium. Whiteman records were the biggest sellers of their time. And The King of Jazz was his auspicious debut in motion pictures.

The King of Jazz was also how Whiteman billed himself. He was maybe taking a bit much on to himself with that one, he surely didn't have anything to do with the development of jazz as an art form. But he did help a great deal to popularize it with a wider {white} audience. That was primarily done with that famous jazz concert that Whiteman gave in the mid twenties where George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue made its debut. And Rhapsody is reprised here in the movie.

Whiteman's greatest contribution may have been the training of the greatest group of musicians ever. At one time or other, the Dorsey Brothers, Benny Goodman, Bix Biederbecke and so many others were members of the Whiteman orchestra. And of course he was the very first band to hire a vocalist specifically for that role. Previously singers were just musicians who just stopped playing and sang a chorus or two.

Whiteman hired a trio, the Rhythm Boys whose lead singer was Bing Crosby. They are prominent in the film and in fact Bing Crosby made his singing film debut here over the opening credits as he sang Music Hath Charms. He was Whiteman's biggest discovery.

The film is just a musical review done in the style of some of the great musical reviews of the time like the Ziegfeld Follies, Earl Carroll's Vanities, George White's Scandals. Some of the acts are better than others, but's The King of Jazz encapsulates a great era in show business.

The biggest song from the film was It Happened in Monterey sung by John Boles who was Universal's biggest musical star at that point. Boles also got to do the film's finale, The Song of the Dawn, when Crosby who was guzzling a little too much bathtub gin got himself arrested and missed doing the finale which he was scheduled for.

Shortly after recording some of the songs from The King of Jazz the Rhythm Boys left Whiteman and broke up soon after that. Bing Crosby would be heard from again.

For a wonderful piece of nostalgia and filmed in early technicolor at that as an added treat, you can't beat The King of Jazz.

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