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The Jazz Singer (1927)

Directed by Alan Crosland. Cast: Al Jolson, May McAvoy, WarnerOland, William Demarest, Eugenie Besserer, Otto Lederer, JosefRosenblatt. A melodramatic story of a Jewish cantor's son (AlJolson) who aspires to be a jazz singer despite his father'sobjection and religious tradition. In motion picture history,this marks the first feature film to utilize synchronous sound.Jolson's songs include "Toot, toot, tootsie", "Blue skies", and"Mammy". 89 min. ;
"Since its premiere in 1927, many jazz critcs haveoverlooked The Jazz Singer, America's pioneer talking picture,in the history of American jazz film. Despite its title, thetalkie's account of Old World vs. New World tension and Jewishassimilation has little to do with the jazz sound made famousby such artists as Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton. Yetas crtic Krin Gabbard argues, the film's appropriation of thetitle jazz reflects the cultural understanding of "jazz" duringthe American Jazz Age. In the 1920s, jazz, referring in generalto up-tempo music, represented the emotional release andfreedom of a generation striving to break established socialconventions. While African American contributions to jazz werelargely overlooked in the rise of Paul Whiteman and Al jolson'sfame, blackface minstrelsy of the age represented whiteAmericans attempt to ventriloquize blacks associated withsupposed freedom of Negro primitivisim. Using jazz to representRaboniwitz's break from Old World tradition and featuring afinale in blackface minstrelsy, The Jazz Singer (as Gabbardargues) lays the foundation for cultural representations ofjazz in American cinema." [http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ASI/musi212/brandi/jazz.html]
Credits andother information from the Internet Movie Database
Awards & HonorsNational FilmRegistry Selection
Awards & Honors National FilmRegistry Selection

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