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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:
Cantor Rabinovitch
Rivka Rabinovitch
Sully Boyar ...
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>

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Sometimes you have to risk it all... See more »


Drama | Music | Romance


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cantaretul de jazz  »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (DVD version)| (DVD version)|


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Neil Diamond once said of actor co-star legend Laurence Olivier that he was an inspiration to have around and a revelation to watch as he worked. See more »


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 »


Bubba: Boom boom boom! I want more boom boom boom! I want more boom boom boom!
See more »


On the Robert E. Lee
Words and Music by Neil Diamond and Gilbert Bécaud
© 1980 Stonebridge Music and EMA Suisse
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User Reviews

I'm in shock
20 October 2007 | by See all my reviews

I love Neil Diamond. I had always heard of this film, but never knew what it was about, what type of reviews it got... anything. So I Netflixed it this weekend, and I loved it. There were even times where I got choked up in parts.

So I came on here, saw the negative overall reviews, and was SHOCKED when I learned Neil won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor for this. I thought he did a very fine job. The story unfolded very nicely, the love story was genuine... I would say this film was even better than the "music" genre film Dreamgirls.

Sure it had it's glitches here and there, but for the most part I was very pleased.

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