The Jazz Singer (1952)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB.5.   

USA, 1952.  .  Screenplay by , , , based on the play by . Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

The creative artists who decided to remake this maudlin drama from the 1927 original starring Al Jolson seemed to be quite unaware that the material wasn’t that great in the first place. All that really made the 1927 version memorable was the fact that it was the first film to feature synchronized sound. The story has been opened up to feature  as the Jewish cantor who longs to sing jazz music, while girlfriend Peggy Lee just wants to see him happy.  Mildred Dunnock stars as his softhearted mother who wants to please everyone while her husband turns his back on his son for abandoning his heritage. Sticky and overly sentimental at every chance it gets, it’s still a good thing to see a movie made about Jews during a time in Hollywood where everyone in the movies was white and lived in the suburbs. This benefit, however, doesn’t make the film any better.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Scoring of a Musical Picture

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