5.8/10
3,067
59 user 16 critic

The Jazz Singer (1980)

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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Writers:

(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
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Molly Bell
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Rivka Rabinovitch
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Bubba
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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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (DVD version)| (DVD version)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is listed among The 100 Worst Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book "The Official Razzie® Movie Guide". See more »

Goofs

When Jess' father comes to visit him in California and they walk into the apartment, Jess never shuts the door completely. Later when Molly comes home, we hear the sound of the door opening. See more »

Quotes

Jess Robin: [Watching as Keith Lennox does a rock version of "Love on the Rocks"] He's just kidding around, right?
Molly Bell: No, they're doing it for real.
Jess Robin: This song's supposed to be a ballad.
Paul Rossini: That's his style, mister. Made him a millionaire.
Jess Robin: Yeah, but the thing is it's too fast. You can't hear the words.
Paul Rossini: Yeah, that's why we brought you down here. He changed the tempo. You got to change the lyrics.
Keith Lennox: [Yells] Hold it!
[Whistles, then screaming at the top of his lungs]
Keith Lennox: HOLD IT!
[...]
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Soundtracks

Havah Nagilah
Traditional Adaptation by Neil Diamond
Adaptation © 1980 Stonebridge Music
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User Reviews

 
The Jazz Singer-When Accommodations Were Made ***1/2
17 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wonderful version of a cantor's son in conflict over his orthodox Jewish beliefs and his desire to be a singing star.

The only major flaw that I had with this film is that by the orthodox Jewish people, there is no accommodation made whatsoever in the field of intermarriage. If it occurs, the person intermarrying is regarded as dead as depicted in the film.

Caitlin Adams, who portrayed Jesse's wife Rivka, is true to life since she chose to break with her husband due to her orthodox beliefs. Others might argue that their marriage was headed towards a downward spiral anyway.

Laurence Olivier is absolutely mesmerizing as Diamond's father. His authentic Jewish accent and tearing his clothes are memorable.

Diamond's voice is superb and is acting is on par for the role. "Love on the Rocks," as well as "Acapulco," and "Coming to America" are wonderfully staged.

In the world of today, we need understanding and accommodation and that's exactly what we get in this fine film.


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