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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
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie produced three chart-topper hit songs for Neil Diamond, "America", "Hello Again" and "Love on the Rocks". 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 »


Heckler: No! No everybody! That ain't no brother! That's a white boy!
People in crowd: What?
Heckler: Get off the stage!
See more »


Referenced in Ashes and Embers (1982) See more »


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

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User Reviews

A microcosm of a man in turmoil, facing a difficult choice...
20 June 2003 | by (CSRA, Georgia) – See all my reviews

Between his duties and responsibilities, and his dreams and love. For those who want to pick the movie apart, without looking inside the story it tells, skip this comment.

Given the choice between one's responsibility to family, parents, religion, tradition, and duty, or choosing love, dreams, goals, and the pursuit of happiness through following our heart, which choice would we make?

The movie tells a story of strength through failure, of living versus wasting away in a life spent pleasing others, and of giving our heart and our dreams sway over the path we take in life.

17 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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