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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.



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



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


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


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


Drama | Music | Romance


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Jazz-Sänger  »

Box Office


$27,118,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (DVD version)| (DVD version)|


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Neil Diamond composed and sang ten new songs for the picture which were then recorded live on film for the movie. See more »


When Molly gets in Eddie's car and has him listen to Love on the Rocks on her tape, she has Eddie turn the radio on and the volume up. The radio clearly has some kind of talk or news station playing and when Molly puts the cassette in, it locks down into the player like just about any tape deck would. However, when Eddie takes the tape out later, his arm motion clearly shows him pulling the tape out like an 8-track (no gesture of him pushing the eject button then taking it out) and the radio station doesn't come back on either. See more »


Jess Robin: Leo, why don't you go ask Tillie to dance?
Leo: I'm resting.
Jess Robin: Just go ask her to dance, please.
Leo: There's no music.
Jess Robin: Leo, please! Go ask Tillie to dance!
Leo: I'll dance.
See more »


Kol Nidre
Traditional Adaptation by Neil Diamond and Uri Frenkel
Adaptation © 1980 Stonebridge Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Neil Diamond - still number one.
24 January 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

The Jazz Singer with Neil Diamond is one of my favorite movies. How can anyone say he can't act? Every time I suggest to my husband that we watch it, he usually doesn't want to because he reckons it is one of the saddest movies of all time. I keep saying "They are only acting and it does work out in the end after all" but I still have trouble getting him to watch it and I usually have to agree to watch 'Going my Way" first!!!! Neil Diamond in concert is fabulous. Neil Diamond acting is nearly as good. I also can't understand why Lucy Arnez didn't make it as an actress, having famous parents must be a disadvantage in some cases.

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