The Jazz Singer

Director: Alan Crosland
Year Released: 1927
Rating: 1.0

Even if you ignore the evilness of the 'blackface' scenes in this famous first talkie it's still lousy. There's only one central conflict (that it spreads thin): the tension between the main character (Al Jolson), who wants to be a jazz singer, and his Jewish father, who wants his son to be a Cantor. The dialogue scenes are still silent, and the only time sound is properly incorporated is for the singing parts, of which there are many, many more than needed (the songs pad the running time). By the conclusion, the movie turns to melodrama and camp, as Jolson's mother begins acting like an evangelist and his father has a sprawling deathbed scene.