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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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
...
...
Molly Bell
...
Rivka Rabinovitch
...
Bubba
...
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:

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:

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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

Though called "The Jazz Singer", ironically, the film "doesn't feature any jazz", as reported by "Movie '81" magazine [from Australia]. Similarly, trade paper "Variety" stated that the movie's "title has nothing to do with music on display here". See more »

Goofs

In New York at the end of the movie when Leo asks Jess to sing in his father's place, Molly and Jess argue at the piano. Both Jess and Molly are wearing wedding rings. Later that night when Jess goes to reconcile with his father he is no longer wearing a wedding ring. See more »

Quotes

Jess Robin: Hello?
Bubba: So how's my favorite white man?
Jess Robin: Bubba! How's L.A.? You still working on your tan?
Bubba: [laughs] Every day, Jess, every day.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Simpsons: Like Father, Like Clown (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Amazed and Confused
Music by Neil Diamond and Richard Bennett
Words by Neil Diamond
© 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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