IMDb > The Jolson Story (1946)
The Jolson Story
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The Jolson Story (1946) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Harry Chandlee (adaptation)
Stephen Longstreet (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Jolson Story on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 October 1946 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
This movie shows the idealized career of the singer Al Jolson, a little Jewish boy who goes against the will of his father in order to be in showbiz... See more » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
JOLSON: The Man, The Legend and His Songs See more (48 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Larry Parks ... Al Jolson

Evelyn Keyes ... Julie Benson

William Demarest ... Steve Martin
Bill Goodwin ... Tom Baron
Ludwig Donath ... Cantor Yoelson
Scotty Beckett ... Asa Yoelson / Al Jolson, as a boy
Tamara Shayne ... Mrs. Yoelson
Jo-Carroll Dennison ... Ann Murray
John Alexander ... Lew Dockstader
Ernest Cossart ... Father McGee
The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir ... Church Choir (as Mitchell 'Boychoir')
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jessie Arnold ... Wardrobe Woman (uncredited)
Nita Bieber ... Dancer in nightclub revue (uncredited)
Lilian Bond ... Woman (uncredited)
Symona Boniface ... Woman in Audience (uncredited)
Eugene Borden ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
Bill Brandt ... Nightclub Orchestra Leader (uncredited)
Clay Campbell ... Makeup Artist for 'The Jazz Singer' (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Man in Audience / Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Donna Dax ... Girl Publicist (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... Man in Audience (uncredited)
Eddie Fetherston ... Asst. Stage Manager (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Woman in Audience / Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
William Forrest ... Dick Glenn (uncredited)
Buddy Gorman ... Jimmy, the Call Boy (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Fred Howard ... Man in Audience (uncredited)
Coulter Irwin ... John, Young Priest (uncredited)

Al Jolson ... Himself - in long shot of 'Swanee' (uncredited)
Charles Jordan ... Dockstader's Stage Manager (uncredited)
Eddie Kane ... Florenz Ziegfeld (uncredited)
Edward Keane ... Winter Garden Director (uncredited)
Robert Kellard ... Henry, Orchestra Leader (as Bob Stevens) (uncredited)
P.J. Kelly ... Doorman (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Lab Manager (uncredited)
Pat Lane ... Cameraman (uncredited)
Jimmy Lloyd ... Roy Anderson (uncredited)
Arthur Loft ... Winter Garden Stage Manager (uncredited)
George Magrill ... Gaffer (uncredited)
Charles Marsh ... Man in Audience (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Edwin Maxwell ... Oscar Hammerstein (uncredited)

Frank McClure ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Night Club Patron (uncredited)
Robert Mitchell ... Choir Conductor (uncredited)
Helen O'Hara ... Dancer (uncredited)
Joe Palma ... Worker in Railroad Yard (uncredited)
Eddie Rio ... Nightclub Master of Ceremonies (uncredited)
Adele Roberts ... Dancer (uncredited)
Alex Romero ... Dancer (uncredited)
Fred F. Sears ... Oscar - Cutter (uncredited)
Harry Shannon ... Policeman Reilly (uncredited)
Ted Stanhope ... Electrician (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ... Man in Audience (uncredited)
Ann E. Todd ... Ann Murray as a Child (uncredited)
John Tyrrell ... Railroad Watchman (uncredited)
Emmett Vogan ... Jonsey (uncredited)
Eric Wilton ... Henry the Butler (uncredited)
Rudy Wissler ... Asa Yoelson (singing voice) (uncredited)

Will Wright ... Sourpuss Movie Patron (uncredited)

Directed by
Alfred E. Green 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Sidney Buchman  uncredited
Harry Chandlee  adaptation
Stephen Longstreet  screenplay
Andrew Solt  adaptation

Produced by
Gordon Griffith .... associate producer (as Gordon S. Griffith)
Sidney Skolsky .... producer
Sidney Buchman .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
George Duning (uncredited)
Hugo Friedhofer (uncredited)
Arthur Morton (uncredited)
Marlin Skiles (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Joseph Walker 
 
Film Editing by
William A. Lyon  (as William Lyon)
 
Art Direction by
Stephen Goosson 
Walter Holscher 
 
Set Decoration by
Louis Diage 
William Kiernan 
 
Costume Design by
Jean Louis 
 
Makeup Department
Clay Campbell .... makeup artist
Helen Hunt .... hair stylist
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wilbur McGaugh .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Hugh McDowell Jr. .... sound recordist (as Hugh McDowell)
Richard Olson .... sound re-recordist
John P. Livadary .... sound (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Donald C. Glouner .... matte paintings camera (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ned Scott .... still photographer
Victor Scheurich .... second camera operator (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Saul Chaplin .... vocal arranger
Martin Fried .... music arranger
Morris Stoloff .... musical director (as M.W. Stoloff)
Edwin Wetzel .... music recordist
George Duning .... music arranger (uncredited)
Virginia Rees .... singing voice: Evelyn Keyes (uncredited)
Saul Silverman .... singing voice: Ludwig Donath (uncredited)
Rudy Wissler .... singing voice: Scotty Beckett (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Lawrence W. Butler .... montage director
Jack Cole .... choreographer
Natalie Kalmus .... technicolor color director
Joseph H. Lewis .... director: production numbers
James T. 'Bud' Nelson .... singing double
Morgan Padelford .... associate technicolor color director
Robert Gordon .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Roy Hamilton .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Thelma Hoover .... research director (uncredited)
Al Jolson .... original singing voice: Larry Parks (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
128 min | USA:124 min (re-release) | West Germany:104 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Australia:G | Finland:S | UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #11154, General Audience) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
When shooting the musical numbers, Larry Parks didn't merely mouth the words to Al Jolson's pre-recorded vocals, as was customary. Instead, he sang along to Jolson's records in full voice so it would look like he was actually singing.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: The Jazz Singer (1927) had its world premiere at the Warner Theatre in New York, not the Winter Garden as depicted in the film (as "The Jolson Story" was a Columbia picture, the change is understandable).See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Ultimate Film (2004) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Every Little MovementSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
30 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
JOLSON: The Man, The Legend and His Songs, 25 July 2003
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida

THE JOLSON STORY (Columbia, 1946), directed by Alfred E. Green, is a nostalgic tribute to the "world's greatest entertainer," Al Jolson, the man who loved to sing, as portrayed by Larry Parks, covering his life and career from the turn of the century to about 1940.

This Technicolor production opens in Washington, DC, at the turn of the century where a young teenage boy named Asa Yoelson (Scotty Beckett) and his girlfriend, Ann Murray (Ann E. Todd) are seated in the audience at Kernan's Burlesque House watching Steve Martin (William Demarest) doing his comedy act. He asks for the audience to sing along as he plays his cello, but it is Asa who's the only one brave enough to stand up and start singing. Amazed by this young lad's natural talent, Martin locates Asa's home asking permission of his parents, Cantor and Mrs. Yoelson (Ludwig Donath and Tamara Shayne) to have him as part of his act. Papa Yoelson says no to the idea, and feels that the only place where his son should be singing is not in a theater, but in a Synagogue. Respecting the Cantor's wishes, Martin leaves for his tour. However, Asa leaves home, hopping on a freight car to find Martin, ending up in the residence of a Catholic Church run by a Father McGee (Ernest Cossart). Learning about the boy's background and purpose, the priest sends for both Steve and the Yoelsons, who arrive to find Asa singing in the choir. Not wanting Asa to be constantly running away from home, Mama Yoelson's convinces Papa to have their boy pursue his dream. Years pass. The act of Martin and Yoelson prove successful. Because Asa, now Al Jolson, wants to advance himself, it is Steve who breaks up the act by sending him over to perform in Lew Dockstader's (John Alexander) minstrels. With Steve's help once more, he arranges for Al to start his long and successful career at the Winter Garden on Broadway, with former "blackface" singer and friend, Tom Baron (Bill Goodwin) acting as manager. Jolson, who has never forgotten Steve, hires him as his agent. Now the biggest name in show business, Al Jolson's career takes a turn to success, starring in "the first talking picture," THE JAZZ SINGER, his courtship with Florenz Ziegfeld's (Eddie Kane) latest attraction, Julie Benson (Evelyn Keyes), star of the musical show, LIZA, their marriage, screen careers and finally retirement to the country. Problems arise as Julie learns she's competing with a full-time husband who would rather be a full-time entertainer.

The success of THE JOLSON STORY may not necessarily rely on the plot or its leading stars, but mainly the songs long associated with Al Jolson throughout his years in show business. The songs used for this production include: "Let Me Sing and I'm Happy," "On the Banks of the Wabash," "The Sabbath Prayer" (traditional Jewish prayer); Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria," "When You Were Sweet Sixteen," "After the Ball," "By the Light of the Silvery Moon," "Goodbye, My Blue Belle," "Ma Blushin' Rosie," "I Want a Girl, Just Like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad," "Mammy," "I'm Sitting on Top of the World," "You Made Me Love You," "Swanee," "Toot-Toot Tootsie, Goodbye," "The Spaniard Who Blightened My Life," "April Showers," "California, Here I Come," "Liza," "There's a Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder," "Latin from Manhattan," "Avalon," "About a Quarter to Nine," "The Anniversary Song," "Waiting For the Robert E. Lee," "Rockabye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody," and "April Showers." Trivia: The "Swanee" number is actually performed by the real Al Jolson (in long shot), not Larry Parks.

As a musical, THE JOLSON STORY is grand entertainment. As a biography, it plays too much with the facts, adding inaccuracies to the screenplay. For example, a scene where preview audiences attend THE JAZZ SINGER (1927), hearing Jolson singing "There's a Rainbow Round My Shoulder," that was actually introduced in his second movie, THE SINGING FOOL (1928). Or one where Julie Benson (based on Ruby Keeler) in her movie debut, 42nd STREET (1933) performing a dance number, "Latin From Manhattan," that was really introduced in her latter musical, GO INTO YOUR DANCE (1935). One fact the writers got right is that Jolson and Benson (a/k/a Keeler) collaborated on screen in GO INTO YOUR DANCE, and the number, "About a Quarter to Nine," that accompanies the film, is true to life. Other titles involving Benson's career, SHIPMATES FOREVER, DAMES and GOLD DIGGERS, are used in the montage, but not presented in the order of their release. The costumes and hairstyles acquired by Evelyn Keyes and other actresses are strictly 1946 modern, not fitting into the period for which it is set. The same can be said for the orchestration, sounding more like the Big-Band-era than 1920s or 30s. Larry Park's lip sync recording of Jolson's voice is deeper and softer than the recording of decades ago. Parks, a Columbia contract player since 1941, earned him an Academy Award nomination. So successful was THE JOLSON STORY that Al Jolson, then a forgotten entertainer, was rediscovered again, winning the admiration and charm of a new and younger audience.THE JOLSON STORY, as it stands, fully deserves its place in motion picture history as one of the finest and most entertaining bio-pics ever produced.

Thanks to cable television's Turner Classic Movies, where THE JOLSON STORY premiered November 13, 2006, the Jolson legend can be seen and rediscovered again, along with the original Al Jolson musicals produced at Warner Brothers period (1927-1936), especially his best known and historical film, THE JAZZ SINGER. THE JOLSON STORY, available on video cassette and DVD formats, formerly presented on the Disney Channel in the mid 1990s, and occasionally on other commercial free cable channels, is pleasing both to the eye as well as to the ear. (****)

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