Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This Day in History October 6, 1927

All right, I will admit up front that I tried to watch this film, and I was so bored.  I could not get into it.  But it does not diminish its importance in movie history.  It was on this day in 1927 that Warner Bros. released the first feature-length "talkie" The Jazz Singer.

This film starred Al Jolson, and he sang many of the songs that had made him famous on the stage.  Yes, he was known for doing songs in blackface--I'm not saying that was right, but it was acceptable back then.  Frankly, I never liked Al Jolson, but he was a different time era.

This movie was budgeted at $422,000 (which would be 5.3 million in our economy), and the studio boss, Harry Warner, pawned his wife's jewelry and moved the family into a small apartment so he could finance the film.  And it was a gamble that paid off.  From that time forward, "talking pictures" were the rage.  And I think, to a degree, they still are.

This film holds a special place in our culture.  Neil Diamond did a remake of it in 1980, and it is also mentioned in Singin' in the Rain.  While it is not a film  that I recommend going out and renting this weekend, it is something that definitely deserves a distinguished place in film history.

Check out these links for a summary and more:


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