7.2/10
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The Jolson Story (1946)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Music | 10 October 1946 (USA)
This movie shows the idealized career of the singer Al Jolson, a little Jewish boy who goes against the will of his father in order to be in showbiz. He becomes a star, falls in love with a... See full summary »

Director:

Alfred E. Green

Writers:

Harry Chandlee (adaptation), Stephen Longstreet (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Larry Parks ... Al Jolson
Evelyn Keyes ... Julie Benson
William Demarest ... Steve Martin
Bill Goodwin ... Tom Baron
Ludwig Donath ... Cantor Yoelson
Scotty Beckett ... Asa Yoelson / Al Jolson - as a boy
Tamara Shayne Tamara Shayne ... Mrs. Yoelson
Jo-Carroll Dennison ... Ann Murray
John Alexander ... Lew Dockstader
Ernest Cossart ... Father McGee
The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir ... Church Choir (as Mitchell 'Boychoir')
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Kellard ... Henry - Orchestra Leader (as Bob Stevens)
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Storyline

This movie shows the idealized career of the singer Al Jolson, a little Jewish boy who goes against the will of his father in order to be in showbiz. He becomes a star, falls in love with a non-Jewish dancer, and marries her. In the end he chooses success on the stage. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Music...The Magic...The Times...of America's Greatest Entertainer

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Al Jolson See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The soundtrack album on Decca, released in 1947, was the first of its kind for a film. The album consisted of six two-sided 78s of many of Al Jolson standards, all re-recorded y Jolson himself, each in a sleeve, like pages in a book. LPs would not be introduced until 1949. See more »

Goofs

The Jazz Singer had its world premiere at the Warner Theatre in New York, not the Winter Garden as depicted in the film (as "The Jolson Story" was a Columbia picture, the change is understandable). See more »

Quotes

Al Jolson: ...trying to make songs out of music I picked up. Music nobody ever heard of before, but the only kind I want to sing.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Goddess (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

The Spaniard That Blighted My Life
(uncredited)
Written by Billy Merson
Sung by Larry Parks (dubbed by Al Jolson)
Originally from the Broadway musical "The Honeymoon Express", 1913
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Greatest.
5 December 1999 | by elgeeSee all my reviews

"Let me sing a funny song, with crazy words that roll along, and if my song can make you happy, I'm happy.....I'm happy....." Al Jolson sang those words of the song, ' Let me sing and I'm happy,' in the opening of The Jolson Story, words that epitomized the passion and energy in his music. The Jolson Story does a magnificent job in giving us a taste of Jolson's magic that spellbound America in the twenties and early thirties, most of his songs are in the show, April Showers, Swanee, Mammy, California Here I Come and , the incomparable, The Anniversary Song, sang as only Jolson can. And, due to some enterprising technology at the time we also hear more of his voice in the Movie that perhaps his fans did in those days with Film Studio microphones capturing and accentuating a deep resonance that is solely Jolson's. The Film doesn't attempt to factually explore his life, although we do get a chance to see some truths of the relationship with his real life wife, Ruby Keeler, who in the Movie was known as Julie Benson, played by Evelyn Keys. Interesting to note was the fact that Columbia Pictures, who released the Movie failed to give Warner Bros.the Film company responsible for giving Jolson the role in The Jazz Singer, any recognition whatsoever, presenting further evidence of the Producer's and Jolson's desire to give us some entertainment, as opposed to a lesson in history. And, entertained we are, as Larry Parks, with his unbelievable miming to Jolson's songs......apart from a cameo from Jolson singing Swanee....takes us from Vaudeville days in the twenties with all Jolson's great songs and routines, to his semi retirement in the thirties. The Jolson Story is a wonderful experience, full of songs we still sing today more than fifty years after they were released, and sung by the man most of us remember as the greatest entertainer of them all......Al Jolson.


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