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The Jazz Singer (1980)

5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 2,550 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 16 critic

The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy his father in order to pursue his dream of being a pop singer.

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(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Jazz Singer (1980)

The Jazz Singer (1980) on IMDb 5.6/10

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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 4 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
Mike Kellin ...
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 in popular music. Against the wishes of his rigid father and his loving wife, Yussel travels to California to play his music. Swept up by the excitement, he meets a woman 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

Plot Keywords:

jewish | tradition | star | singer | pop singer | See more »

Taglines:

Sometimes you have to risk it all... 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Terry Coleman's biography of Laurence Olivier, he states Olivier received $1 million dollars to star in the film. After signing on, Olivier regretted the decision, although by April of 1980, three months into filming, he was receiving extra pay for each day of shooting in addition to $2,500 a week for expenses. During this time, Olivier also directed a play on the east coast and filmed additional scenes for his Brideshead Revisited (1981). 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

Keith Lennox: Thank you. That was, um, very nice. Now why don't you just piss off and take those four clowns with you.
See more »


Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

What's the Deal? Need more NEIL!
10 July 2002 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Okay... all these submissions below? Ignore them. Here's the real scoop.

The biggest problem most folks have with this film is that they're comparing the two male leads' acting ability. BIG MISTAKE.

One is Neil Diamond-- one of the greatest singers of all time. The other is Sir Laurence Olivier-- one of the greatest ACTORS of all time. Think of it this way: if Sir Larry accompanied Neil in a recording of "Cherry, Cherry"-- people would rave about Neil's performance, but then spend an hour going on about how much Olivier sucks.

The fact is this: neither of them suck. Everything is great! Neil Diamond is a fine actor. (Not an AMAZING actor, mind you... but a fine actor.) He'd even beaten out Dustin Hoffman for the role of Lenny Bruce in "Lenny", but turned it down... leaving the door open for Hoffman.

I made the mistake of reading all of the below jeers and whines about Neil Diamond's "terrible acting performance" in this movie. I then watched it over at my girlfriend's house with very low expectations. But I was very impressed, and greatly enjoyed the film. Granted, there are some times when Neil's performance isn't exactly as dramatic as it should be... (i.e., when his father shrieks "I HAVE NO SON!!", Neil doesn't exactly seem to be heartbroken.) But then, there are times when he manifests a great deal of emotional power... especially in the scenes where he gets angry.

Okay, so I'm a huge Neil Diamond fan, yes. I love his music, and I think it's cool that he's had a lead in a major motion picture. BUT-- from an acting perspective, he has my respect. From one actor to another. (YES, I consider him an "actor" too... and so does the IMDb.)

I only have two complaints: one is that this is the only movie he's been in until Saving Silverman-- where he had just a cameo. That sucks. I want to see Neil in more movies.

The other complaint is what everyone else doesn't like: "The Jazz Singer". AL JOLSON sung Jazz. NEIL DIAMOND sings Pop. Soooooo... couldn't it have been called "The Pop Singer", and had an addition in the credits that read, "Based on 'The Jazz Singer' by Al Jolson" or something?

Anyway... the music is great, (even "Love on the Rocks"-- and I'm not a big ballad fan... as they depress me. But I can't dislike a Neil song.) the movie is a great story, and the acting is FINE. Watch it. If you're a fan of Neil's, or even just a fan of 20+ year old movies that have good stories.... check out "The Jazz Singer".



--and by the way.... neil diamond rules. thank you.


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