The Jazz Singer (25th Anniversary Edition)
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Not much jazz spoken in this 1980 version of the Jolson classic, directed by Richard Fleischer (The Vikings) and starring a very tentative Neil Diamond as a cantor's son who would rather sing commercially than in a synagogue. The soundtrack is tedious, the portrait of L.A.'s music industry preposterous, and Diamond (despite his talents as a singer-songwriter in the real world) can't help but look like a speck on the wall in the presence of Laurence Olivier, who plays his father. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
At the 1927-1928 (First) Academy Awards Presentation "The Jazz Singer" starring Al Jolsen picked up a special award for pioneering the "Talkies". Obviously sound has come alooooong way since then and this 1980 modern day remake makes good use of it.
Jess Robinovitch(Neil Diamond)is a 5th generation Jewish cantor,tied to his role in the temple in the lower east side of New York. . His voice is phenominal(of course),he writes his own music, ballads mostly and has a chance to strike out on his own in Los Angeles.
He leaves for L.A. against the wishes of father, the 4th generation cantor(Laurence Olivier), and his wife, who likes things just the way they are.
It will take a while to achieve super stardom(at least a month!), but with the help of his new manager Molly(Lucie Arnaz),it is accomplished!The problem is his family is unhappy with the situation, his wife liked life when it was just them, his father is torn up about his son going against tradtion.Jess is having trouble coming to terms with the downfall of his relationship with his father. Molly feels responsible for the rift. Get your Kleenex ready as they work this out.
Diamond's soundtrack is wonderful. It includes "Love on the Rocks" and "Hello Again".Sir Olivier has not lost his touch, He is still the master. The British legend plays the Jewish cantor steeped in tradtion like he was born to the part, his performance alone is worth the watch.
The VHS is in hi-fi stereo, Dolby Surround, which enhances this musical.
Need a nice cry? This is the one!.......Laurie
I first saw "The Jazz Singer" In Melbourne, back in '80-'81, with my eldest son, who was 16 at the time. I went to the theatre under duress, doing my duty as "dad", and came away elated - much to my son's great satisfaction . . .
My response to it then has increased the more! I am no movie critic, like my hero & guide in these matters, Leonard Maltin, however I find that 'The Jazz Singer' has an emotional relevence & impact that has increased with time. I am not surprised to learn from your reviewers that the sound-track has sold 7 million plus!
The multi-layered themes of the film & the acting of the widely differing characters, their social and heart-felt situations in life, let alone the presentation of the music, seem well-placed to draw at my heart-strings - notwithstanding the age of the movie, or the "canning" it has received over the years.
Incidentally, my grand-children love it too, especially my 16 year old grand-daughter, who is very much of the new generation.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity of "sticking my oar in", as the old saying goes, and many thanks to those who have shared their reactions to this old Movie.
With every good wish,
RAOUL JOHN CAMPBELL.
Most recent customer reviews
Although it wasn't intentionally released as a comedy (I think?) you can't help but laugh when you see Neil Diamond in black face (Al Jolsen is rolling in his grave). Read morePublished on April 25 2012 by Bobo
The Jazz SInger DVD came quickly by mail and the product was exactly as described. I will purchase from amazon again, and this seller. It was a great experiencePublished on Dec 12 2011 by Natandmatt
i recently ordered The Jazz Singer DVD, but when opened the case there was no dvd inside, and upon letting amazon know, I had absolutely no problem, I was simply told to return the... Read morePublished on Sept. 7 2011 by Mary Ann Niemandt
Ugh. Poor plot development and cardboard characters. For example, he loves his wife sooooo much and discards her sooooo easily? Not likely. Read morePublished on March 10 2004 by Carol A. Friedlander
This is not a great adaptation of the Jazz singer,the acting is mediocre,the progress of the plot is unrealistic,but Neil Diamond`s great music makes it worth watching. Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2004 by Ben W.
I can't understand why this movie was so poorly accepted. It was a well acted, well directed film.Published on Nov. 19 2003 by S. West
I saw this movie for the first time when I was 8 years old and I loved it and I just saw it again today at age 31 and I still love it...It was written great, and its a great movie! Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2003 by S. Mcgraw