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The Jazz Singer (1980)

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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.

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(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jess Robin / Yussel Rabinovitch
...
...
Molly Bell
...
Rivka Rabinovitch
...
Bubba
...
Keith Lennox
Sully Boyar ...
Eddie Gibbs
...
Leo
James Booth ...
Paul Rossini
Luther Waters ...
Teddy
Oren Waters ...
Mel
Rod Gist ...
Timmy
Walter Janovitz ...
Rabbi Birnbaum (as Walter Janowitz)
Janet Brandt ...
Aunt Tillie
...
M.C. Cinderella Club
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Storyline

Neil Diamond stars in this motion picture as Yussel Rabinovitch, a young Jewish cantor who strives to make a career outside the synagogue in popular music as Jess Robin. Against the wishes of his rigid father and his loving wife, Yussel travels from New York City to Los Angeles to play his music. Swept up by the excitement, he meets a spunky manager who believes in his talent and shares his dream. He grows apart from his family, and becomes confused about what he should ultimately do with his life. Written by Ted Kula <tkula@cs.wvu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His story will make you cry. His music will make you sing. His triumph will make you cheer. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Jazz-Sänger  »

Box Office

Gross:

$27,118,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (DVD version)| (DVD version)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the movie was finished, Laurence Olivier went to New York for a short time, and had dinner in a restaurant with friends. During the dinner, he recalled to his friends something he said about the movie while Furie was still directing: "This piss is shit." Olivier later said a reporter must have been at the table next to his, because the next day the New York Daily News reported what he said (though with both vulgar words changed to cleaner derogatory words). This news soon spread completely across the country, and with threats of lawsuits in the air, Olivier quickly made a statement to the press claiming that in the end the movie had been made well and that he totally supported it. Olivier also wrote a handwritten ten-page letter to Richard Fleischer, not only apologizing for the restaurant incident, but also indirectly giving an explanation as to why he was making so many movies strictly for the money. See more »

Goofs

When Jesse's father visits him in California and gets out of the cab watch the female roller skater bouncing the huge ball on the walk in the background. She falls flat on her face. See more »

Quotes

Jess Robin: You overlook the beach?
Molly Bell: Sometimes, the rent.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Simpsons: Like Father, Like Clown (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Havah Nagilah
Traditional Adaptation by Neil Diamond
Adaptation © 1980 Stonebridge Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Saccharine fun that achieves what its supposed to!
27 August 2000 | by (LaGrange, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Sure, this movie has its fair share of saccharine moments and heavy dollops of schmaltz but it also works remarkably well as a tale of following one's dream and the sacrifices that litter the path towards achieving it. Neil Diamond is no Lawrence Olivier and it is a bit surreal to see his name billed above the late great actor but he's credible and he certainly doesn't embarrass himself. Olivier is the acting highlight here and imbues every scene he is in with passion and heartwrenching grace. There are several highly emotional moments to be found here in some well constructed and directed scenes designed to bring out the tears--and they do! Fans of Diamond's music will also find much to enjoy here as such schmaltz classics as "Love On The Rocks" and "Hello Again" compliment the drama remarkably well. Supporting actors Lucie Arnaz and Franklyn Ajaye are also game and put in solid performances. Also, if your looking for jazz look elsewhere as the only jazz reference is the name of a particular baby!! All in all this is old fashioned fun that should reward the viewer. Saccharine yes, but a movie that achieves its goal admirably.


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