The Jazz Singer

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Jerry dreams of becoming a famous jazz singer, but to accomplish that, he must defy his father, a Jewish Cantor who opposes such a dream as a future for a son of his.

ACTORS :  Danny Thomas, Peggy Lee, Eduard Franz

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1952

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Storyline

The Jazz Singer, Jerry dreams of becoming a famous jazz singer, but to accomplish that, he must defy his father, a Jewish Cantor who opposes such a dream as a future for a son of his.

Very Good Remake of ’27 Classic

 The Jazz Singer, By 1952 Hollywood decided to remake the Al Jolson first-talking classic.

This time the Cantor’s son was played by Danny Thomas. Coming home from the army, it is expected that he follow in the footsteps of his father and other male relatives by becoming a cantor. However, young Mr. Golding has quite a zest for show business.

At this time, he meets Peggy Lee, an aspiring singer. She acts very well and her rendition of her favorite song, Lover, is remarkable. The film writers were smart not to plug the obvious Jewish guy and non-Jewish girlfriend relationship. If anything, this is glossed over. In his anger, for betraying his pledge to become a cantor, his father makes the traditional Jewish sign indicative of a loss in the family. This would not be done under circumstances of breaking a pledge, it would be done if among the orthodox, an inter-faith marriage would take place.

Thomas does a really good job of playing the cantor’s son. His singing is up to par as the film ends on a positive note.

Am surprised that technical advisers did not realize that women do not carry pocketbooks into synagogue on the sabbath or at all during that period.

Hey, It’s Pretty Good!!

 To be frank, this is probably the best version in my book as a sound movie version of the Jazz Singer. The 1927 version is really a silent movie despite its build-up as the first talkie.

Danny Thomas is a great comedian, and he sings very well. He does the Jewish stuff with feeling. Peggy Lee is great and any film that has her is always entertaining. Allan Joslyn is not too entertaining and we could have done without him. One question: since when do Cantors live in such luxurious houses???

 

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