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The Jazz Singer (1980)

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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.

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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Cantor Rabinovitch
...
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Rivka Rabinovitch
...
...
Sully Boyar ...
...
Leo
James Booth ...
Luther Waters ...
Teddy
Oren Waters ...
Mel
Rod Gist ...
Timmy
Walter Janovitz ...
Rabbi Birnbaum (as Walter Janowitz)
Janet Brandt ...
Aunt Tillie
...
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>

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Sometimes you have to risk it all... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cantaretul de jazz  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$27,118,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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| (DVD version)| (DVD version)|

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is listed among The 100 Worst Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book "The Official Razzie® Movie Guide". See more »

Goofs

When Jess first sits down to write Love on the Rocks in his bathrobe there is a menorah on the table near a beer can. The next shot of the table a minute later reveals the menorah is gone and the beer can is turned. See more »

Quotes

Bubba: Boom boom boom! I want more boom boom boom! I want more boom boom boom!
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Soundtracks

Havah Nagilah
Traditional Adaptation by Neil Diamond
Adaptation © 1980 Stonebridge Music
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User Reviews

 
"I haf no son!"
5 December 2001 | by See all my reviews

...and not much of a movie either. Pointless remake of the 1927 "talkie"--the plot was old then; the plot was still old in the 1950s Danny Thomas remake; it was laughable in 1980. If Neil Diamond really wanted to do a movie, why not do a concert film?

Diamond plays a Jewish man who wants to sing rock music--his father (Laurence Olivier!!!!! Why Larry?) wants him to perform only traditional Jewish songs. Also he falls in love with a non-Jewish woman (Lucie Arnaz giving the only good performance) which he knows his dad would never approve. Yawn--what a lousy script.

The acting is beyond belief--Diamond is a great singer but he's no actor--he was very bad; Olivier is a howl as his father--he hams it up mercilessly and just gives an unbelievable (I don't mean that in a good way) jaw-dropping performance. Olivier was one of the most respected actors around--why did he do this? Didn't he read the script? It's obvious he's hating every moment--I guess he was really hard up for the money. Arnaz is actually very good despite everything--she also has the film's second best line (after Olivier's "no son" line). She tells Diamond seriously, "You're too talented to waste everything on singing". Sheesh!

What saves this movie from total disaster is the singing--Diamond was (and is) a good singer and some of the songs are great. When he's singing the movie is OK--when he's not it's a laugh a minute. ALMOST bad/good.


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