The nearly 30-year struggle to bring sound to motion pictures is the backdrop for this insightful documentary. Film historians, and survivors from the era take the audience from the early ... See full summary »
The curtain opens; behind it are two pianos where Charles Bourne and Phil Ellis, billed as the Music Boxes, are seated playing. After a few bars, Blossom Seeley and Bennie Fields enter - ... See full summary »
This film was believed lost for many years. In the 1990s the film element was found in the Library of Congress, having been mislabeled as a trailer for The Jazz Singer (1927). Several months later the Vitaphone disk surfaced from a collector in Maryland, who had retained it despite it having been broken into five pieces. Through extraordinary restoration efforts, the print of the film is in excellent condition with wonderful sound (and no trace of the broken disk). See more »
Al Jolson, in black-face, sings three of his songs in this short musical feature. All it is, is Jolson standing in front of a rural prop (a mural, with a chicken or two walking around) and belting out three numbers. In between, he gives a few thanks yous and comments.
"Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody" starts it off and is my personal favorite of the three. The second number is a much slower tune, "April Showers," and the finale is the upbeat "When The Red-Red Robin comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along"
In between the second and third songs, Jolson gives a few comments. The ending to this is very strange. The picture stops a few times and picks back up each time with Jolson taking more bows and blowing kisses. Then we see an "Intermission" graphic posted, and that's the end!
What's puzzling to me is the question, "Why isn't this film (albeit very short, and no story) considered the first "talkie?" This came out a year before Jolson's "The Jazz Singer." You not only hear Jolson sing, but talk.....so why doesn't that qualify as a "talkie?"
Whatever. The fact is the man could flat-out sing and this is a nice piece of history. It's a bonus feature on the DVD recently released of "The Jazz Singer."
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