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 »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 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 ... 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:

HERE IS A LOVE STORY WITH A NEW TWIST! (Print Ad-New York Sun, ((New York, NY)) 31 October 1927) See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Al Jolson's mother was first offered to Slovenian actress Avgusta Danilova, but for some reason she refused it. If she had accepted the role, she would become the first Slovenian actress to appear in a Hollywood film. See more »

Goofs

During the audience applause after "Tootsie", it's clear that the clip is just being looped, as a person behind the counter in the background repeatedly enters from off-screen without exiting. See more »

Quotes

Pianist: Ragtime Jakie is with us - give him a break.
Jakie Rabinowitz - Age 13: [singing] They called her frivolous Sal, A peculiar sort of a gal, With a heart that was mellow, An all 'round good fellow, Was my gal Sal...
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Connections

Featured in The Movies: The Golden Age (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Pélleas och Mélisande: Mélisande
(1905) (uncredited)
Music by Jean Sibelius
Played during the score. The autor complained the unauthorized use of his music.
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User Reviews

first talkie, first successful talkie, not the first successful talkie, eh, who cares? It's a great movie.
8 August 2002 | by ajdagreatSee all my reviews

I saw this movie for its historial value, but I stayed for its greatness. Because, first talkie or not, this is just a great movie. The 6.3 rating baffled me; didn't everyone else like this interesting story about a boy who abandons tradition and his father who disowns him? I can't think of anything not to like about the movie. It's a fabulous movie, and a filmmaking landmark.

I'd like to comment on someone else's comments now. Someone said this movie was very racist and that's why it was successful, saying, "Would this film have still been successful if it was just Jolson as himself and not black-faced? Probably not. That's because people watched it to make themselves feel better about themselves."

I wonder if this commenter actually saw the movie. Jolson is only wearing blackface for about 15 minutes for a performance. The rest of the movie, Jolson IS himself. Jolson never plays an African-American as his character in the movie, he just sings a song as one. Yes, the song is somewhat racist by today's standards, but most of this comment is not valid at all. In fact, I suspect the comment was written solely based on a glance at the video box cover.

Anyway, if you wanna see a historical landmark in film or if you wanna see a fabulous movie (half-talkie, half-silent), go ahead and see "The Jazz Singer."


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 February 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Jazz Singer See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$422,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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