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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.

Directors:

Richard Fleischer, Sidney J. Furie (uncredited)

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:

His story will make you cry. His music will make you sing. His triumph will make you cheer. 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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

Though this movie was one of the Top 30 highest grossing movies in North America in 1980 (earning twenty-seven million dollars), Sir Lew Grade, who invested in the movie, stated that the box-office results were "disappointing", and that his company failed to recoup their advertising and distribution costs. The soundtrack album made more money than 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

Jess Robin: [Watching as Keith Lennox does a rock version of "Love on the Rocks"] He's just kidding around, right?
Molly Bell: No, they're doing it for real.
Jess Robin: This song's supposed to be a ballad.
Paul Rossini: That's his style, mister. Made him a millionaire.
Jess Robin: Yeah, but the thing is it's too fast. You can't hear the words.
Paul Rossini: Yeah, that's why we brought you down here. He changed the tempo. You got to change the lyrics.
Keith Lennox: [Yells] Hold it!
[Whistles, then screaming at the top of his lungs]
Keith Lennox: HOLD IT!
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saving Silverman (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

You Baby
Words and Music by Neil Diamond
© 1978 Stonebridge Music
See more »

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User Reviews

A microcosm of a man in turmoil, facing a difficult choice...
20 June 2003 | by lancer525See all my reviews

Between his duties and responsibilities, and his dreams and love. For those who want to pick the movie apart, without looking inside the story it tells, skip this comment.

Given the choice between one's responsibility to family, parents, religion, tradition, and duty, or choosing love, dreams, goals, and the pursuit of happiness through following our heart, which choice would we make?

The movie tells a story of strength through failure, of living versus wasting away in a life spent pleasing others, and of giving our heart and our dreams sway over the path we take in life.


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