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The Jazz Singer - 25th Anniversary Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 487 customer reviews


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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Jazz Singer - 25th Anniversary Edition
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  • The Jazz Singer - Original Songs From The Motion Picture
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  • All-Time Greatest Hits [2 CD][Deluxe Edition]
Total price: $94.95
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Neil Diamond stars as Yussel in this tale of a young Jewish cantor who strives to make a career in music. Against the wishes of his rigid father and his loving wife, Yussel travels to California to play his music. Swept up by the excitement, he meets a woman who shares his dream. He grows apart from his family, and becomes confused about what he should ultimately do with his life.

Amazon.com

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 synagogue. 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

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary with Producer Jerry Leider
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Poster & Still Gallery
  • Cast & Crew Bios

Product Details

  • Actors: Laurence Olivier, Neil Diamond, Lucie Arnaz, Catlin Adams, Franklyn Ajaye
  • Directors: Richard Fleischer
  • Writers: Herbert Baker, Samson Raphaelson, Stephen H. Foreman
  • Producers: Jerry Leider, Joel Morwood, Martin Wiviott
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (DTS ES)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: October 18, 2005
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (487 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AQ69SQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,195 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Jazz Singer - 25th Anniversary Edition" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Lentz on October 18, 2005
Format: DVD
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.
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Format: Audio CD
For some reason, Neil Diamonds's peers have not held him in the same high esteem his fans have. The fans are rigght and his peers are wrong. This CD has three top ten tunes in it, "America," "Hello Again," and "Love on the Rocks." All are great songs and all were hits 20 years ago. There were additional great rockers like "You Baby Baby" on this CD. Inexplicably the academy did not even so much as nominate the movie "The Jazz Singer" for the best score nor did any of the three mega hits get a nomination for best song. This was an unconscionable dump on a great star and songwriter. He deserved an Oscar and did not even get a nomination!
I recommend both the cd and a video of the movie. The cd has great studio versions of the songs whereas the movie has some great, energetic live performances, particularly of "You Baby," and "Amazed and Confused." This cd is abslolutely classic and as of the writing of this review, "America" is particularly uplifting so soon after the terrorist attack on New York & the Pentagon. Indeed, the night before this review was written, I saw Neil Diamond in concert at Madison Square Garden & he had the crowd on it's feet with "America." This is a cd that we as fans know is great regardless of what his peers may have thought. I hope in the future, some justice will be done and he will be inducted into the Rock n roll Hall of Fame.
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By A Customer on June 11, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was only a little concerned when I saw that it was a Korean copy, as I had gotten another old movie before, made in Korea, and it was in good shape. That's not the case here. The picture looks like it is being shown through a grey veil, and on a low power TV station. I had to put the brightness on the TV at its highest setting. Also, the picture "jiggles" whenever the camera moves at more than a slow speed. The sound is just mediocre, but I overcame that by switching the feed through my stereo sound system. I would go through the hassle of returning it, but I have to admit that I mainly bought it for the music. It's a great example of "you get what you pay for."
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Format: Audio CD
It is always risky to say an album is a classic but I will take that chance happily here because this one is. It contains the highlights everyone knows - "Love on the Rocks" and the even stronger "Hello Again" which must rate as one of his best songs ever. The strength comes from the quality of the other songs - "America" with it's message of hope and infectious beat, "You Baby" and "Hey Louise" adding good up tempo backing, and the under rated "Amazed and Confused". It contains a couple of lesser tracks which set the scene for the film, otherwise it is pure Diamond at his best, writing and singing his songs like no one else can.
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Format: VHS Tape
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Perhaps because of my Music Teacher background, this movie rings so many chords...it is not for the teenage boys, who only enjoy motorcycle mania or special effects. This is a movie for folks who enjoy seeing and hearing art being created, the struggles involved and sacrifices given, the labor in bringing it forth.
Mr. Diamond does very well in his only acting venture, helped by the greatest actor who every lived, Sir Lawrence Olivier (Heathcliff, Henry 5, Hamlet etc. etc.) Who wouldn't be intimidated just being in the same room with the man, never mind having to share lines with him. Mr. Diamond's performance showed a great reverance for both the story line taken from the original "Jazz Singer" by Al Jolson, and the new update with wonderful music, plus the feeling of being honored to share a stage with Sir Olivier. It is a film for Teachers and Lovers of musicals, a genre which has been lost in Hollywood and in the Music industry.
No wonder there is no music left, only two-note noise. Buy this movie and be surrounded by singable tunes.
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