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The Jazz Singer (25th Anniversary Edition)

31 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Laurence Olivier, Neil Diamond, Lucie Arnaz, Catlin Adams, Franklyn Ajaye
  • Directors: Richard Fleischer
  • Writers: Herbert Baker, Samson Raphaelson, Stephen H. Foreman
  • Producers: Jerry Leider, Joel Morwood, Martin Wiviott
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Release Date: Oct. 18 2005
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AQ69SQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,643 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: VHS Tape
This review refers to the VHS(1989 paramount) edition of this film....
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
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Format: VHS Tape
I have just finished watching the DVD, which recently has been released here in Victoria, Australia.
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,
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Format: VHS Tape
"The Jazz Singer (1980)" marks Neil Diamond's theatrical debut as an actor, that is, unless you count The Band's "The Last Waltz", in which ND makes a cameo appearance. His performance in "TJS" as an assistant cantor isn't half-bad. Complimenting Neil's role quite nicely is an Oscar-winning caliber performance by the late, great Sir Laurence Olivier, who is stupendous as a stern, yet stubborn Jewish senior cantor. I've viewed this movie quite a number of times, and what I was expecting from the first viewing was an exact remake of the original 1927 version, but that wasn't quite the case, although I've never seen the entire original version. The premise of this version is sort of like the original, in that the premise of the story tells of an assistant cantor, Jess Robinovich, aka Robin (Diamond), who'd rather write and record songs for pure enjoyment and please his soon-to-be-fan base than remain in the synagogue and please his senior-cantor father (Olivier). Catlin Adams (Rivka Robinovich) and Lucie Arnaz (Molly Bell) offer fine supporting roles as ND's present, then future "significant other(s)". Molly is first Jess' manager, then his future wife. The scenes focusing on Jess and Molly's relationship will tug at your heart strings, so it's nice to have a box of Kleenex handy. Comedian/Actor Franklyn Ajaye has a role as one of Jess' backup singers. Neil Diamond also wrote the songs that also appear on the soundtrack, and they're good ones: "Love On The Rocks", 'America", "Hello Again", "You Baby", "Jerusalem", "Kol Nidre" and "Songs Of Life." It is also rumored that ND currently has a theatrical project in the works slated for release sometime in 2001. It's about time!Read more ›
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By A Customer on Sept. 12 1999
Format: VHS Tape
So everyone's a critic. :o) I first saw this film when I was in High School with friends from Choir and the Drama department. I have loved it ever since! What do I expect out of a film or play? To be entertained. I am always entertained when I watch The Jazz Singer. (A must for the video library of any N.D. fan) Did I expect an Academy Award winning performance by Neil Diamond or any others? No. However, I thought Neil did extremely well for not being an "actor". I was impressed. Laurence Olivier did a wonderful job, as usual. Yes, I am a Neil Diamond fan! How can anyone hear his voice alone, and not be moved, let alone with his music and lyrics? Neil Diamond's voice pierces my soul! My two favorite songs from the film are "Love On The Rocks" and "Hello Again". I highly recommend this film to music lovers, anyone who wants to be entertained, and to "thirty somethings" like me. I watched it two days ago and still have goose bumps! Andrea
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