The Jazz Singer

The Jazz Singer
The Jazz Singer 1927 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlan Crosland
Screenplay byAlfred A. Cohn
Based onThe Jazz Singer
by Samson Raphaelson
Produced byDarryl F. Zanuck
StarringAl Jolson
May McAvoy
Warner Oland
Yossele Rosenblatt
CinematographyHal Mohr
Edited byHarold McCord
Music byLouis Silvers
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • October 6, 1927 (1927-10-06)
Running time
89 minutes
96 minutes (with overture and exit music)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$422,000[1]
Box office$2.6 million (gross rental)[1]

The Jazz Singer is a 1927 American musical drama film directed by Alan Crosland. It is the first feature-length motion picture with both synchronized recorded music score as well as lip-synchronous singing and speech (in several isolated sequences). Its release heralded the commercial ascendance of sound films and effectively marked the end of the silent film era. It was produced by Warner Bros. with the Vitaphone sound-on-disc system and features six songs performed by Al Jolson. Based on the 1925 play of the same title by Samson Raphaelson, the plot was adapted from his short story "The Day of Atonement".

The film depicts the fictional story of Jakie Rabinowitz, a young man who defies the traditions of his devout Jewish family. After singing popular tunes in a beer garden, he is punished by his father, a hazzan (cantor), prompting Jakie to run away from home. Some years later, now calling himself Jack Robin, he has become a talented jazz singer, performing in blackface. He attempts to build a career as an entertainer, but his professional ambitions ultimately come into conflict with the demands of his home and heritage.

Darryl F. Zanuck won an Academy Honorary Award for producing the film; Alfred A. Cohn was nominated for Best Writing (Adaptation) at the 1st Academy Awards. In 1996, The Jazz Singer was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" motion pictures. In 1998, the film was chosen in voting conducted by the American Film Institute as one of the best American films of all time, ranking at number ninety.

  1. ^ a b Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1–31, p. 6 doi:10.1080/01439689508604551

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