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The Jazz Singer (1927)

Unrated | | Drama, Music, Musical | 6 October 1927 (USA)
The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz singer.

Director:

Alan Crosland

Writers:

Samson Raphaelson (play), Alfred A. Cohn (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Al Jolson ... Jakie Rabinowitz
May McAvoy ... Mary Dale
Warner Oland ... The Cantor
Eugenie Besserer ... Sara Rabinowitz
Otto Lederer ... Moisha Yudelson
Robert Gordon Robert Gordon ... Jakie Rabinowitz - Age 13 (as Bobby Gordon)
Richard Tucker ... Harry Lee
Yossele Rosenblatt Yossele Rosenblatt ... Cantor Rosenblatt - Concert Recital (as Cantor Joseff Rosenblatt)
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Storyline

Cantor Rabinowitz is concerned and upset because his son Jakie shows so little interest in carrying on the family's traditions and heritage. For five generations, men in the family have been cantors in the synagogue, but Jakie is more interested in jazz and ragtime music. One day, they have such a bitter argument that Jakie leaves home for good. After a few years on his own, now calling himself Jack Robin, he gets an important opportunity through the help of well-known stage performer Mary Dale. But Jakie finds that in order to balance his career, his relationship with Mary, and his memories of his family, he will be forced to make some difficult choices. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

MAMMY! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 October 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Jazzsänger See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$422,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,630,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The world premiere was at the Tower Theater in Los Angeles. See more »

Goofs

In his dressing room before rehearsal, Jack puts on a suit with short lapels and three buttons. But he performs on stage in a jacket with longer lapels and two buttons. Also, a breast pocket handkerchief appears and disappears both on stage and off. See more »

Quotes

Jack Robin: [singing] Blue skies Smiling at me Nothing but blue skies Do I see Bluebirds Singing a song Nothing but bluebirds All day long Never saw the sun shining so bright Never saw things going so right Noticing the days hurrying by When you're in love, my how they fly Blue days All of them gone Nothing but blue skies From now on.
Jack Robin: Did you like that mama?
Sara Rabinowitz: Yes.
Jack Robin: I'm glad of it. I'd rather please you then anybody I know of. Oh darlin, would you give me something?
Sara Rabinowitz: What?
Jack Robin: You'll never guess. Shut your eyes ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Sound of Song: The Recording Revolution (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Sérénade mélancolique opus 26
(1875) (uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played during the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
You need to see Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer and it'll all start to make sense.
15 May 2007 | by Ziggy5446See all my reviews

Director Alan Crosland's and Warner Bros.' 1927 historic milestone film entitled The Jazz Singer was not the first sound film, nor the first "talkie" film or the first movie musical. It's completely baffling to hear many people actually associate this film with the visitation of sound, however, if one can recall the 1926 silent film featuring John Barrymore entitled Don Juan, than they would know that it was the first feature film with a Vitaphone soundtrack, though, like The Jazz Singer, it is by no means the first sound film either. The first sound film can be dated as far back to 1895.

Though, not being the first "talkie", The Jazz Singer, is certainly a remarkable film; it still holds its place as an cinematic landmark for being the first feature-length Hollywood "talke" film in which "spoken dialogue was used as part of the dramatic action." However, it's still largely a silent film with a synchronized musical score and a handful of sound sequences built around singing. It's also become something of a controversial case because of Al Jolson's (arguably the most popular entertainer of his time) use of blackface in some of the musical sequences, forgetful of the fact that this was a theatrical artifice from the era; it wasn't intended as "mean-spirited" as so many claim it to be. It was actually praised by black newspapers in 1927, and was being done by another much defamed minority, a Jew.

You can see what an impact sound must have had in 1927, because it certainly wasn't the movie that made this production a phenomenon. Though, the film itself, is more than just a movie about a guy who likes music. It's also a story about a Jewish kid who turns his back on his heritage to try and make it big on the stage - exceptionally daring subject matter for its era, and still enthralling today. It's certainly not ragged and dull, though, the magic moment when Jolson turns to the camera to announce, "You ain't heard nothing' yet" - a line so loaded with unconscious irony that it still raises a few goose bumps. Audiences were captivated by this and still are to this very day. A must see!!!


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