The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of being a popular singer.

Directors:

Richard Fleischer, Sidney J. Furie (uncredited)

Writers:

Samson Raphaelson (play), Herbert Baker (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Neil Diamond ... Jess Robin / Yussel Rabinovitch
Laurence Olivier ... Cantor Rabinovitch
Lucie Arnaz ... Molly Bell
Catlin Adams ... Rivka Rabinovitch
Franklyn Ajaye ... Bubba
Paul Nicholas ... Keith Lennox
Sully Boyar ... Eddie Gibbs
Mike Kellin ... Leo
James Booth ... Paul Rossini
Luther Waters Luther Waters ... Teddy
Oren Waters Oren Waters ... Mel
Rod Gist Rod Gist ... Timmy
Walter Janovitz ... Rabbi Birnbaum (as Walter Janowitz)
Janet Brandt ... Aunt Tillie
John Witherspoon ... M.C. Cinderella Club
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Storyline

Neil Diamond stars in this motion picture as Yussel Rabinovitch, a young Jewish cantor who strives to make a career outside the synagogue in popular music as Jess Robin. Against the wishes of his rigid father and his loving wife, Yussel travels from New York City to Los Angeles to play his music. Swept up by the excitement, he meets a spunky manager who believes in his talent and shares his dream. He grows apart from his family, and becomes confused about what he should ultimately do with his life. Written by Ted Kula <tkula@cs.wvu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

His story will make you cry. His music will make you sing. His triumph will make you cheer. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sound mixer Tom Overton said of this movie's sound recording and four 24-track music recording machines: "People are too sophisticated today to sit through a movie filmed to playback music. They want to hear what they see, and that's the way we're doing it. Neil Diamond's songs and score sound just great. We're a hell of a way from those dear old Vitaphone days to which we all owe so much." See more »

Goofs

In New York at the movie's ending, when Leo asks Jess to sing in his father's place, Jess and Molly argue at the piano. Both Jess and Molly are wearing wedding rings. Later that night, when Jess goes to reconcile with his father, he is no longer wearing a wedding ring. See more »

Quotes

Molly Bell: Honey, what happened? What was that all about?
Jess Robin: When a Jew mourns somebody dead, they tear a piece of their clothing.
Molly Bell: Who's dead?
Jess Robin: [bitterly] I am.
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Connections

Featured in Bad Movie Beatdown: The Specialist (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Amazed and Confused
Music by Neil Diamond and Richard Bennett
Words by Neil Diamond
© 1980 Stonebridge Music
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User Reviews

Hilariously Bad!
27 July 2002 | by roger-134See all my reviews

I've seen this movie about five times (well spaced out . . .) and each time I'm shocked anew at how bad it is; each time I laugh out loud at scene after scene.

The closest comparison is Spinal Tap . . . except, incredibly, this wasn't meant to be a comedy!

The plot is high on melodrama, the music is high on schmaltz, and Larry Olivier must have been high on something. High points: New wave version of "Love on the Rocks", and Neil shouting "What happened to the groove?" as he storms out of the studio.

Seriously, though, if you want to know how the music industry really works, this is an excellent, gritty tutorial.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Jazz Singer See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$27,118,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,118,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

EMI Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | DTS-ES (DVD version)| Dolby Digital EX (DVD version)| 70 mm 6-Track

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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