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The Jazz Singer (1952)

Jerry dreams to become a famous jazz singer. But in order to accomplish that, he must defy his father, a Jewish Cantor, who is opposed to such dream as a future for his son.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Cantor David Golding
...
Mrs. Ruth Golding
...
Uncle Louie
...
George Miller
...
Dan McGurney
Harold Gordon ...
Rabbi Roth
Hal Ross ...
Joseph
Justin Smith ...
Phil Stevens
Anitra Stevens ...
Yvonne
Marcoreta Hellman ...
Mrs. Robbins
Gayne Whitman ...
Mr. Eskow
Anthony Jochim ...
Mr. Michton
Dan Barton ...
Ray Mullins
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Storyline

Jerry dreams to become a famous jazz singer. But in order to accomplish that, he must defy his father, a Jewish Cantor, who is opposed to such dream as a future for his son.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's joy set to music. A story that sings out to your heart.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 February 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cantante de Jazz  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For record buyers, there were two collections of songs from the film score. Danny Thomas recorded a 10-inch, eight-selection LP for RCA Victor, featuring Frank De Vol and His Orchestra. Miss Peggy Lee, backed by Gordon Jenkins and His Orchestra, contributed a Decca EP with four tunes, including Peggy's driving, Latin rendition of the Rodgers and Hart standard "Lover," which had become a top single before the picture's release. See more »

Goofs

They say that he was returning from the Army yet he was wearing an Air Force uniform. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Make Room for Daddy: Linda, the Performer (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Kol Nidre
Traditional
Performed by Eduard Franz (dubbed by Saul Silverman)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Part of a film genre
20 February 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Jazz Singer is one of a number of films made in the late 1940's and 1950 about the Jewish experience in the United States. Other than Crossfire(1947) and Gentleman's Agreement(1947) which dealt with anti-semitism they usually had a musical-theatre background. These films included The Jolson Story(1946), Jolson Sings Again(1949), The Eddy Duchin Story(1951), The Eddie Cantor Story(1953),The Benny Goodman Story(1956) and Margorie Morningstar(1958). The leading actors in these "Jewish" films were always played by non-Jews. For example Larry Parks a non-Jew played Al Jolson and Gene Kelly played Noel Airman in Marjorie Morningstar. This casting was probably done to make the Jewish theme palpable to a mainly non-Jewish audience. The Jazz Singer(1952) is no different. Danny Thomas was a devout Catholic and Peggy Lee was certainly not Jewish although she plays a non-practicing Jewess in the film. The clue to her background is when she attends the Golding's family meal before entering she says "I haven't been to a sader (passover service) since I left home".

The film is about a cantor's son who has just left the service after seeing action in Korea. His dilemma is whether to become a cantor, a family tradition or to be a singer in musical theatre. His choice of theatre leads to an inevitable conflict with his father.

However, there is much more to this film than this. This film was made after the Rosenberg trial during the McCarthy whitchhunts and the Hollywood blacklist. Therefore in this film the Jews are shown as good loyal citizens and

are quintessentialy American. The synagogue choir would rather play baseball than practice. The cantors friends also talk about baseball in fact one of them is a Major League umpire. The synagogue itself dates back to 1790 and George Washington is said to have visited. Therefore Jews are presented as part and parcel of American society. Nobody in this film has a Eastern European accent. Peggy Lee appeared in very few feature films. In this film you get to see her sing "Lover" and "Just One of Those Things" wonderful. Danny Thomas is quite credible and he acts and sings the part very well. The comedic routines could have been left out. Yes, the film is schmaltzy and sentimental but it is well worth seeing. I enjoyed it very much.


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