The Jazz Singer (1927) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 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.

  • In New York, thirteen year-old Jakie Rabinowitz is the son of a stern Jewish Cantor. When Rabinowitz is informed by Moisha Yudelson that Jakie is singing ragtime in a club, he beats his son. The traditional cantor expects that Jakie sings in the synagogue like his previous generations did, but the boy dreams on becoming a jazz singer. Jakie leaves home pursuing his dreams. 10 years later, Jakie is in London where his artistic name is Jack Robin. When he meets the famous stage performer Mary Dale, she helps him in his career. Sooner, he travels to New York for the greatest chance of his life in an important show on Broadway and he visits his parents. However, his father banishes him from home. On the opening day, the manipulative Moisha Yudelson invites him to sing in the Atonement Day since his father is very ill, but the emotional blackmail of the Jewish leader does not work. When Jakie is ready to the rehearsal, Moisha brings Jakie's beloved mother to press him to sing in the synagogue. Now Jakie will choose between his career and Mary Dale and the bonds with his family and religion.

  • After getting a severe beating for singing in a saloon, the young Jakie Rabinowitz leaves home vowing never to return. His father, cantor at his synagogue, had wanted Jakie to follow him as a cantor and is heartbroken as a result. Jakie gets his big break when stage star Mary Dale hears him sing. He makes a career for himself and after many years on the road gets his chance to perform in a Broadway revue. His return home is bittersweet: his mother is overjoyed to see him but his father asks him to leave. When Cantor Rabinowitz falls seriously ill, Jakie is asked to sing in the synagogue but it conflicts with his big opening night on Broadway, forcing him to choose between his career and his family obligations.

  • Jakie Rabinowitz comes from a long line of Jewish cantors. He has inherited the singing ability of the Rabinowitz men before him and has also inherited his place as cantor at the local synagogue following his father. But Jakie instead wants a life as a jazz singer, something he has known since he was a young teen. This move places a wedge between him and his father, who disowns his son. A grown Jakie, choosing the stage name Jack Robin, does have some success as a jazz singer in touring musical revues after Mary Dale, an established musical performer, hears him sing. When Mary gets her big break to star in a musical revue on Broadway, she decides to bring Jack with her. But a chance at reconciliation with his father may come at the price of his Broadway debut.

  • 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.


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