This movie shows the idealized career of the singer Al Jolson, a little Jewish boy who goes against the will of his father in order to be in showbiz. He becomes a star, falls in love with a...
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This movie shows the idealized career of the singer Al Jolson, a little Jewish boy who goes against the will of his father in order to be in showbiz. He becomes a star, falls in love with a non-Jewish dancer, and marries her. In the end he chooses success on the stage.Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Al Jolson, along with Frank Sinatra, were perhaps the two greatest singer/entertainers of the 20th Century. This film, made in 1946, was both the launching pad and "ball and chain" for Larry Parks. His performance was so good it earned him an Academy Award nomination. He spent countless hours perfecting the Jolson mannerisms and lip-syncing the songs that the great Jolson recorded for the movie. Unfortunately he became so typecast in the role that his reprise of the role in the sequel in 1949 was his only other claim to fame. That, and his admission and subsequent subliminal blacklist from Hollywood for being a member of the Communist Party between 1941-1951, stopped his career before it ever really had a chance to bloom.
My father had me watch this movie as a kid on Million Dollar Movie and I was taken by the personality, drive, energy, and talent of this great entertainer. Hearing about, and seeing, silent movies made me all the more in awe of the talent Jolson must have been since Hollywood banked it's future on talkies with "The Jazz Singer".
Besides Parks excellent performances are also put in by William Demerest, who many of us remember as Uncle Charlie in My Three Sons, Evelyn Keyes as Julie Benson (Jolson's first wife) and the rest of the cast. The 1949 making of Jolson Sings Again is also worthwhile, if for no other reason than watching Parks do the masterful lip-sync and the incredible vocals of Jolson.
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