5.8/10
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The Jazz Singer (1980)

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The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of being a popular singer.

Director:

Richard Fleischer

Writers:

Samson Raphaelson (play), Herbert Baker (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Neil Diamond ... Jess Robin / Yussel Rabinovitch
Laurence Olivier ... Cantor Rabinovitch
Lucie Arnaz ... Molly Bell
Catlin Adams ... Rivka Rabinovitch
Franklyn Ajaye ... Bubba
Paul Nicholas ... Keith Lennox
Sully Boyar ... Eddie Gibbs
Mike Kellin ... Leo
James Booth James Booth ... Paul Rossini
Luther Waters Luther Waters ... Teddy
Oren Waters Oren Waters ... Mel
Rod Gist Rod Gist ... Timmy
Walter Janovitz ... Rabbi Birnbaum (as Walter Janowitz)
Janet Brandt Janet Brandt ... Aunt Tillie
John Witherspoon ... M.C. Cinderella Club
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Storyline

Neil Diamond stars in this motion picture as Yussel Rabinovitch, a young Jewish cantor who strives to make a career outside the synagogue in popular music as Jess Robin. Against the wishes of his rigid father and his loving wife, Yussel travels from New York City to Los Angeles to play his music. Swept up by the excitement, he meets a spunky manager who believes in his talent and shares his dream. He grows apart from his family, and becomes confused about what he should ultimately do with his life. Written by Ted Kula <tkula@cs.wvu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes you have to risk it all... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cantaretul de jazz See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$27,118,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

EMI Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | DTS-ES (DVD version)| Dolby Digital EX (DVD version)| 70 mm 6-Track

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A scene was shot, but not used, of Jess visiting his father's bedside. A photo of it implies that his father is sick in the photo, though it is not clear whether this scene was meant to take place before or after Jess left for Los Angeles, so it may also have been a general scene. The shot of this can be found on the soundtrack LP's inner sleeve montage of photos from the movie. See more »

Goofs

In New York at the end of the movie when Leo asks Jess to sing in his father's place, Molly and Jess argue at the piano. Both Jess and Molly are wearing wedding rings. Later that night when Jess goes to reconcile with his father he is no longer wearing a wedding ring. See more »

Quotes

Molly Bell: I'm with Keith Lennox productions. Molly. Molly Bell. That's what they call me. My real name is a lot longer.
Jess Robin: So's mine.
Molly Bell: Belengocavela?
Jess Robin: Rabinovitch?
Molly Bell: Oh. That's not bad.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Halt and Catch Fire: NeXT (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Amazed and Confused
Music by Neil Diamond and Richard Bennett
Words by Neil Diamond
© 1980 Stonebridge Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Jazz Singer-When Accommodations Were Made ***1/2
17 February 2008 | by edwagreenSee all my reviews

Wonderful version of a cantor's son in conflict over his orthodox Jewish beliefs and his desire to be a singing star.

The only major flaw that I had with this film is that by the orthodox Jewish people, there is no accommodation made whatsoever in the field of intermarriage. If it occurs, the person intermarrying is regarded as dead as depicted in the film.

Caitlin Adams, who portrayed Jesse's wife Rivka, is true to life since she chose to break with her husband due to her orthodox beliefs. Others might argue that their marriage was headed towards a downward spiral anyway.

Laurence Olivier is absolutely mesmerizing as Diamond's father. His authentic Jewish accent and tearing his clothes are memorable.

Diamond's voice is superb and is acting is on par for the role. "Love on the Rocks," as well as "Acapulco," and "Coming to America" are wonderfully staged.

In the world of today, we need understanding and accommodation and that's exactly what we get in this fine film.


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