The Jazz Singer

The Jazz Singer

Richard Fleischer (1980)

PG Certificate


Our Score
A "rocked-up" remake of what was touted as the world's first talkie - though, actually, it featured only songs and a few speech fragments. Cracklin' Rosie man Neil Diamond updates the old Al Jolson role, playing a cantor's son who wants to make it big in the rock business. Laurence Olivier takes the money and runs as his understandably dubious dad. Given the "rocky" nature of the film, the title now seems pretty meaningless. But, then, that description could be applied to the whole film which, though adequate, remains more a monument to the egomania of musicians than a significant contribution to world cinema.


A Jewish cantor's son goes against his strict father's wishes and travels to Los Angeles in search of fame and fortune. Remake of the 1927 musical drama, starring Neil Diamond in the role originally played by Al Jolson, with Laurence Olivier, Lucie Arnaz and Catlin Adams.

Cast & Crew

Jess Robin/Yussel Rabinovitch Neil Diamond
Cantor Rabinovitch Laurence Olivier
Molly Bell Lucie Arnaz
Rivka Rabinovitch Catlin Adams
Bubba Franklyn Ajaye
Keith Lennox Paul Nicholas
Director Richard Fleischer
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourAvailable on: video and DVD