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The Jazz Singer
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The Jazz Singer (1980) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
5.7/10   2,631 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Samson Raphaelson (play)
Herbert Baker (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Jazz Singer on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 December 1980 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
His story will make you cry. His music will make you sing. His triumph will make you cheer. See more »
Plot:
The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy his father in order to pursue his dream of being a pop singer. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A great score applied to a great story See more (56 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Neil Diamond ... Jess Robin / Yussel Rabinovitch

Laurence Olivier ... Cantor Rabinovitch

Lucie Arnaz ... Molly Bell

Catlin Adams ... Rivka Rabinovitch

Franklyn Ajaye ... Bubba

Paul Nicholas ... 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

John Witherspoon ... M.C. Cinderella Club

Dale Robinette ... Tommy
David Coburn ... Bar Mitzvah Boy
Judy Gibson ... Peg
Hank Garrett ... Police Sergeant

Ernie Hudson ... Heckler

James Karen ... Barney Callahan
Tim Herbert ... Technician #1
Edward Jahnke ... Guard (as Ed Jahnke)
Hugh Gillin ... Texas Bartender

Jill Jaress ... Cowgirl
Victor Paul ... Irate Driver
Uri Frenkel ... The Cantor (as Cantor Uri Frenkel)
Rex Cutter ... Semi Driver

Michael Pasternak ... Zany Gray (as Mike Pasternak)

Sandy Helberg ... Sound Engineer

Brion James ... Man in Bar
Douglas Nigh ... Technician #2
Patrick Stansfield ... Stage Manager
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Steve Dash ... Policeman
Lev Liberman ... Boots (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Fleischer 
 
Writing credits
Samson Raphaelson (play)

Herbert Baker (screenplay)

Stephen H. Foreman (adaptation)

Produced by
Jerry Leider .... producer
Joel Morwood .... associate producer
Martin Wiviott .... producer
 
Original Music by
Leonard Rosenman 
 
Cinematography by
Isidore Mankofsky (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Maury Winetrobe 
 
Casting by
Harriet B. Helberg 
 
Production Design by
Harry Horner 
 
Art Direction by
Spencer Deverell  (as Spencer Deverill)
 
Set Decoration by
Robert De Vestel  (as Robert de Vestel)
Ruby R. Levitt  (as Ruby Levitt)
 
Costume Design by
Albert Wolsky 
 
Makeup Department
Leonard Engelman .... makeup artist
Jerry Kerns .... hair stylist: Neil Diamond
Christine Lee .... hair stylist
B.J. Pardo .... hair designer: Lucie Arnaz
Daniel C. Striepeke .... makeup artist (as Dan Striepeke)
 
Production Management
E. Darrell Hallenbeck .... executive production manager
Patrick Stansfield .... concert production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alice Blanchard .... second assistant director
Jack Clinton .... second assistant director
John Eyler .... second assistant director
James Turley .... assistant director
Robert Webb .... assistant director (as Robert M. Webb)
 
Art Department
Leamon Adams .... lead man
Wilbur Finks .... lead man
Arthur Gelb .... graphic designer
Carmine Goglia .... stand-by painter
Christopher Horner .... set designer
David Kirschner .... logo designer
Mark Poll .... set designer
John J. Rutchland III .... construction coordinator
V.R. Bud Shelton .... property master (as Vincent 'Bud' Shelton)
Alan Sims .... assistant property master
 
Sound Department
Bill W. Benton .... sound assistant engineer (as Bill Benton)
David Bianco .... sound assistant engineer
Andy Bloch .... sound designer
Jack Crymes .... technical assistance
Mark Eshelman .... sound assistant engineer
Bob Gaudio .... sound supervisor
David Hawkins .... sound editor
Ron Hitchcock .... sound designer
Dennis Jones .... boom
Jack Kirschner .... sound editor
Gregg Landaker .... sound re-recording mixer
Steve Maslow .... sound re-recording mixer
Stan Miller .... concert and playback sound (as Stan R. Miller)
Robert Nichols II .... sound recordist
Tom Overton .... production sound mixer (as T.G. Overton)
James A. Sandweiss .... sound assistant engineer (as Jim Sandweiss)
Paul Sandweiss .... sound assistant engineer
Jack Schrader .... sound editor
William L. Stevenson .... supervising sound editor
John Taylor .... concert and playback sound
Elliot Tyson .... adr mixer
Bill Varney .... sound re-recording mixer
Ron Hitchcock .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Duncan McEwan .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Donald C. Rogers .... technical director of sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Lambert Powell .... special effects
Ken Speed .... special effects coordinator
 
Stunts
John Ashby .... stunts
Chris Howell .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Larry Barbier .... still photographer (as Laurence L. Barbier)
Howard Block .... camera operator
Alfred Budniak .... best boy
James Chaisty .... electrician
James F. Cornick .... electrician
Don Duffield .... key grip
Jake Jarrell .... gaffer (as Jacob Jarrell)
Michael J. Krones .... concert lighting team
Marilyn Lowry .... concert lighting team
Owen Marsh .... camera operator
Bill Masten .... assistant camera (as William N. Masten)
Tom May .... second grip
Tom D. May .... second grip
Benny McNulty .... best boy (as Bernard McNulty)
Douglas L. Pope .... concert lighting team
Herb Roberts .... camera operator (as Herbert C. Roberts)
Mike Tapp .... dolly grip
Rick Tschudin .... assistant camera (as Rich Tschudin)
Ronald Vidor .... Steadicam operator
Jonathan West .... additional camera operator
 
Casting Department
Janice Spitzer .... extras casting (as Jan Spitzer)
Peter Spitzer .... extras casting
Bryan Buchanan .... extras casting (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bruce Ericksen .... costumer: men
Peggy Thorin .... costumer: women (as Margaret Thorin)
James W. Tyson .... costumer: men
Bill Whitten .... wardrobe designer: Neil Diamond
 
Editorial Department
Donah Bassett .... negative cutter
Derek Brechin .... assistant editor (as Derek G. Brechin)
Mark Eggenweiler .... assistant editor
Dennis E. Lew .... assistant editor
Eric A. Sears .... assistant editor
Alec Smight .... apprentice editor
Frank J. Urioste .... supervising editor
 
Music Department
Andy Bloch .... music recording mixer: remote
Vince Charles .... musician: percussion/steel drums (with The Neil Diamond Band)
King Errisson .... musician: percussion (with The Neil Diamond Band)
Bob Gaudio .... music producer
Tom Hensley .... conductor
Tom Hensley .... musician: keyboards, with The Neil Diamond Band
Ron Hitchcock .... music mixer
Linda Press .... vocals (with The Neil Diamond Band)
Reinie Press .... musician: bass (with The Neil Diamond Band)
Doug Rhone .... music collaborator
Doug Rhone .... musician: guitar, with The Neil Diamond Band
John Rosenberg .... music contractor
William Saracino .... supervising music editor
Marston Smith .... musician: cello
Dennis St. John .... musical director
Dennis St. John .... musician: drums, with The Neil Diamond Band
John Michael Weaver .... assistant recording engineer (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Steve Bonner .... driver
E.O. Braden .... transportation
 
Other crew
Lea Andrews .... production coordinator
Kathy Breen .... assistant to director
Barry Cardinael .... equipment manager
Harry Clein .... unit publicist
Sam Cole .... crew chief
Chris Coles .... coordinator: New York
Kimberley Coy .... unit publicist
Debbie Eisen .... production assistant
Sonny P. Filippini .... script supervisor (as Sonny Filippini)
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Uri Frenkel .... technical advisor (as Cantor Uri Frenkel)
Harriet Greenberg .... assistant to producer
Carin I. Gronhagen .... assistant production controller
Beatrice E. Marks .... assistant: Bob Gaudio
Donald McKayle .... choreographer (as Don McKayle)
Terry Merchant .... equipment manager
Tom Mooney .... road manager
Jerry Murphy .... road manager
Burt Nodella .... production executive
Matt Nodella .... location manager (as Matthew Nodella)
David Oliver .... title designer
Joe Olshan .... production assistant
Victor T. Salant .... production controller
Gary Schilz .... production assistant
Bill Sheehan .... first aid nurse
Vincent Staraci .... production assistant
Clayton Townsend .... location assistant
Walt Von Hauffe .... marketing coordinator
Alison Zanetos .... assistant: Mr. Diamond
 
Thanks
Max Gordon .... acknowledgment: produced on the stage by
Sam Harris .... acknowledgment: produced on the stage in association with (as Sam H. Harris)
Albert Lewis .... acknowledgment: produced on the stage by
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
115 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Dolby | DTS-ES (DVD version) | Dolby Digital EX (DVD version) | 70 mm 6-Track
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
According to the DVD sleeve notes, Producer Jerry Leider "knew he would have to keep the powerful emotions from the original The Jazz Singer (1927)] and at the same time provided audiences with a contemporary story. Many changes were made to the script [i.e. the original story]".See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Jess first sits down to write Love on the Rocks in his bathrobe there is a menorah on the table near a beer can. The next shot of the table a minute later reveals the menorah is gone and the beer can is turned.See more »
Quotes:
Molly Bell:Pretend you don't know me.
Eddie Gibbs:Don't tell me Mr. Wonderful is back?
Molly Bell:And just in time for Zany's Autumn Special in New York.
Eddie Gibbs:Are you kidding? He walked out on Zany last year. The answer is no.
Molly Bell:One song, Eddie, that's all I'm asking.
Eddie Gibbs:No!
Molly Bell:You owe him!
Eddie Gibbs:He took a hike. Who remembers him?
Molly Bell:His album went gold.
Eddie Gibbs:A year ago
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
JerusalemSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
A great score applied to a great story, 26 May 2006
Author: SmgBag1 from United States

I try to go into a movie uncolored with opinions, and thankfully hadn't heard any negative reviews on this one prior to seeing it for the first time in 1980. That allowed me to view it with an open mind.

The score is superb. It's what makes the movie what it is. The songs fit the mood in every scene, and are all well-placed. The acting, while not the best I've ever seen, isn't nearly as bad as made out to be by critics. Let's face it. Neil Diamond is not an actor. He is a singer, a performer. In this movie he does that very well. And yet, he manages to pull off his character, Yussel Rabinovich, without a hitch. His scenes with Sir Lawrence Olivier are touching and believable. They are indeed a good match as father and son cantors. But for Yussel, his heritage isn't enough. His music roots drive him, and that's what he sets out to discover. Against the will of his father, and over the protest of his wife Rivka, he leaves his home in New York for L.A. and seeks his destiny.

Lucie Arnaz turns in a good performance as Molly Bell, a "retired" music promoter who sees potential in Yussel and takes him under her wing. What follows is a tug-of-war, a battle of values—old and new—as Neil's character, now Jess Robin, climbs the charts professionally, yet never really forgets where he came from.

Watching Neil perform in this movie is like seeing one of his concerts. He's all-show, and not a bit shy. When he picks up a guitar, you know you're in for a treat, and he does music as only he can. It's a great story, well-told and, on the whole, well-acted. Neil gives emotions where called for. But in this movie, the music's the star. That's where Neil really delivers.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Jazz Singer (1980)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
forget the acting, this movie was about the music fuggetaboutit
Lucie and this guy, Neil Diamond jbaer-5
If Kermit Could Sing... dannieboy20906
Lucie looking directly into the camera, etc. CAastronaut
Neil Diamond is great csjaffe2003
Hello Again Hello... MargaretTyler
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