The Jazz Singer


D: Richard Fleischer
EMI (Jerry Leider)
US 1980
115 mins


W: Herbert Baker & Stephen H. Foreman [based on the play by Samuel Raphaelson]
DP: Isidore Mankofsky
Ed: Maury Winetrobe
Mus: Leonard Rosenman; Neil Diamond 
Neil Diamond (Yussel Rabinovitch / Jess Robin), Laurence Olivier (Cantor Rabinovitch), Lucie Arnaz (Molly Bell), Catlin Adams (Rivka Rabinovitch), Sully Boyar (Eddie Gibbs)

The original 1927 film of The Jazz Singer left audience members gasping when star Al Jolson uttered the words "You ain't heard nothing yet." The film became credited as the first Hollywood "talkie" and is still held in wide regard.
This schmaltzy remake of sorts sees Neil Diamond in the Jolson role, a singer involved in a feud with his dad and doting girlfriend. The songs (including "Love On The Rocks") make a basis for a good album, but have very little to do with the jazz genre. 
There are two types of people in the world, those who like Neil Diamond and those who don't, and if you should fall into the latter category, this film should be avoided completely. It was probably a poor career decision for Diamond, who never really cut it as an actor, and it was certainly a poor decision for him to appear in blackface for certain scenes. Laughable. The music's fine, the film is poor.

Neil Diamond in The Jazz Singer
Neil Diamond in The Jazz Singer