The Jazz Singer - First "Talkie" Film

We do not hear the first words, spoken in film, at the beginning of this 1927 movie. That happens later - after we have experienced what silent movies were like.  In the first talking picture, we actually transition from the old to the new.

The story is about a young Jewish boy's struggle to follow his own dreams.  His father, a cantor, wants his son (who has a beautiful voice) to be a cantor.  The boy (Jakie Rabinowitz) does want to sing - but he wants to be a jazz singer.

In this clip, the young lad follows his heart - to a New York saloon where he entertains the patrons.  Found out by a family friend, the boy is punished by his father.  Then he decides to leave home.

Jakie's childhood environment, from an historical standpoint, is remarkable because we are able to see authentic street scenes.  This was the Jewish part of New York City at the time the film was made.

We do not hear the first words spoken by an actor in film until after Jakie Rabinowitz has transformed himself into Jack Robin, the jazz singer.  The first words are:

Jack Robin:  Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain't heard nothin' yet! Wait a minute, I tell ya! You ain't heard nothin'! You wanna hear "Toot, Toot, Tootsie"? All right, hold on, hold on ...

Media Credits

Clip from The Jazz Singer

Premiere:  October 6, 1927 - in New York City

Directed by Alan Crosland

Play written by Samson Raphaelson

Adapted for the screen by Alfred A. Cohn

Warner Brothers

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"The Jazz Singer - First "Talkie" Film" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Oct 17, 2019.
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