Not much jazz spoken in this 1980 version of the Jolson classic, directed by Richard Fleischer (The Vikings) and starring a very tentative Neil Diamond as a cantor's son who would rather sing commercially than in a synago... more »gue. The soundtrack is tedious, the portrait of L.A.'s music industry preposterous, and Diamond (despite his talents as a singer-songwriter in the real world) can't help but look like a speck on the wall in the presence of Laurence Olivier, who plays his father. --Tom Keogh« less
"Hopefully I am the first to rate the 25th Anniversary DVD of this movie. First of all, if you have the original copy that was released a few years back, get rid of it! The sound quality of this version is WAY better! (No more turning the volume way up for the dialogue, then way down for the music.) This is also done in widescreen, so you can see EVERYTHING! Also, unlike the original, there are actual REAL extras on this version: the original theatrical trailer, a TV spot, commentary by the producer, still shots, mini-bios of Neil, Lucie, Lawrence, and Richard Fleischer, AND you can select the sound as well! This is worth the money! I only wish my mother was here to see this version, as she was a Neil Diamond freak and loved this movie! This would've been one of her Christmas gifts this year."
Diamond's Music, Olivier's Presence, OH MAMMY!
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 10/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to the VHS(1989 paramount) edition of this film.... At the 1927-1928 (First) Academy Awards Presentation "The Jazz Singer" starring Al Jolsen picked up a special award for pioneering the "Talkies". Obviously sound has come alooooong way since then and this 1980 modern day remake makes good use of it. Jess Robinovitch(Neil Diamond)is a 5th generation Jewish cantor,tied to his role in the temple in the lower east side of New York. . His voice is phenominal(of course),he writes his own music, ballads mostly and has a chance to strike out on his own in Los Angeles. He leaves for L.A. against the wishes of father, the 4th generation cantor(Laurence Olivier), and his wife, who likes things just the way they are. It will take a while to achieve super stardom(at least a month!), but with the help of his new manager Molly(Lucie Arnaz),it is accomplished!The problem is his family is unhappy with the situation, his wife liked life when it was just them, his father is torn up about his son going against tradtion.Jess is having trouble coming to terms with the downfall of his relationship with his father. Molly feels responsible for the rift. Get your Kleenex ready as they work this out. Diamond's soundtrack is wonderful. It includes "Love on the Rocks" and "Hello Again".Sir Olivier has not lost his touch, He is still the master. The British legend plays the Jewish cantor steeped in tradtion like he was born to the part, his performance alone is worth the watch. The VHS is in hi-fi stereo, Dolby Surround, which enhances this musical.And for more music from the movies by the fabulous Neil Diamond I would recommend:As Time Goes By: The Movie Album
Need a good cry? This is the one!.......Laurie
also recommended; Stars Fell on Henrietta Empire Falls (Every Small Town Has a Big Story) Vol. 1 and Empire Falls (Every Small Town Has a Big Story) Vol. 1"
Seven million votes
L. Shirley | 06/12/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I don't understand how some have said that this is not a good film. Lucie Arnaz is wonderful in her role as Neil Diamond's supporter and wife. The soundtrack sold over 7 MILLION copies and I remember the feeling the songs gave me years later. The songs are not "soapy" but are full of meaning for people of all ages. Neil Diamond is not a great actor but does a good job all the way through and a great job when dealing with his Jewish father. I saw the movie today for the first time in 12 years and it still brought tears to my eyes. The party scene after they move to LA and get fired is short but so much genuine fun to watch. I thought Lucie Arnaz was the best part of the movie."
Wonderful movie; wonderful music.
FFC | 03/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK, so it's not a "real life" picture of the music business in California, or of how relationships begin and end. But it's a sweet story of a young jewish cantor who respects his roots, but has a deeper yearning to experience life outside the small community of his synagogue. Neil Diamond and Lucy Arnez each give a tender performance. The movie is sad enough to make you cry, but happy enough to make you feel satisfied at the end. To me, the song "Hello Again" is one of the most beautiful ever written. If you like Neil Diamond's music, you'll probably enjoy this movie. And yes, DO bring the kleenex."
Ohhhh Baby, Baby, Ohhhh Baby Baby Now
FFC | Rhode Island | 11/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fabulous movie, father and son relationship is so touching, it makes you cry if you are the sensitive type. As for the editorial written by Keough, he must be jealous. Critics have always been too quick to insult and degrade Mr. Diamond. Shame on them for their jealousy. Mr Diamond at 64 years old is still a heart throb to many many fans. Back to the movie, if you have never seen this movie, it is worth it for many reasons. Mr. Diamond's acting skills are as good as any acting I have ever seen. Mr. Olivier performance when he becomes re-united with his son (Neil Diamond) makes you just cry. Love it, love it. Glad they re-released it, many family members of mine look forward to receiving it. They have had to borrow my copy."