Starring – Al Jolson (Jakie Rabinowitz), May McAvoy (Mary Dale), Warner Oland (The Cantor), Eugenie Besserer (Sara Rabinowitz).
Released – October, 1927
Directed By – Alan Crosland
Produced By – Warner Brothers
Distributed By – Warner Brothers
Description – In the Jewish ghetto of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Cantor Rabinowitz expects his son Jakie to continue the time honored tradition of becoming a cantor at the local synagogue.
Jakie has a different dream. As he sings popular jazz tunes at a beer garden he is overheard by a neighbor who informs his father of his activity. Furious, Cantor Rabinowitz forbids his son to ever do this again. This will be their last contact for a long time as Jakie runs away.
Ten years pass and Jakie has changed his name to Jack Robin and made a name for himself singing jazz. After being asked to sing at a cabaret, Jack wow’s the crowd and has a chance to meet musical theater dancer Mary Dale who is so impressed with his performance that she offers to help with his career.
Mary helps Jack get a job with a vaudeville troop and now is constantly traveling around the country. Mary and Jack’s career paths cross again in Chicago where they spend a week together until Mary gets a lead role in a Broadway show.
About to board a train for the next stop in a never ending road trip, Jack learns that he has a chance to get a spot in a Broadway review which would bring him closer to Mary and his mother, who he dearly misses.
Jack surprises his mother with a visit and an expensive piece of jewelry. It happens to be his father’s 60th birthday on this day and Jack sings Blue Skies for his mother at the piano. She loves it. Now, he sings it again with a jazz edge to it, the way he will sing it on Broadway.
It is now that his father enters the room and shouts for him to stop. Jack is banished from the house.
From this point on in his life Jack will be forced to make many difficult choices in regard to his relationship with Mary, his family, and his career as a jazz singer.
NOTABLE: Warner Brothers received an honorary Academy Award for producing the pioneer talking picture that would revolutionize the motion picture industry. The Jazz Singer also received an Oscar for Best Writing, Adaptation.
In 1996, The Jazz Singer was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
The Jazz Singer was the first full-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences. Warner Brothers used its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system.
The stage version of this production starred George Jessel, who along with Eddie Cantor, refused to play the role in the film.
The famous line “you ain’t heard nothin’ yet” was ad-libbed by Al Jolson. Originally, the sound recording was to be used only with music and not speech.
Soon to be extremely popular actress Myrna Loy played a chorus girl in one scene.
The Jazz Singer was the first full-length musical motion picture.