RowanHarper’s review published on Letterboxd:
Watched and studied for my film lit class.
I’m going to put aside the blackface for this review. Obviously that is outdated, disgusting and an unfortunate stain on an otherwise fantastic movie.
I love The Jazz Singer. The first “talkie” ever made and it’s absolutely incredible to watch. The simple rags to riches story works wonders here, with excellent song sequences and a mesmerizing performance from Al Jolson. How does one whistle like that? The world may never know. I actually found the film quite tense which was unexpected, but the plot line with Jackie and his father was pretty intense. A sort of “will he or won’t he” situation. There is an excellent dialogue scene (one of two) with Jackie and his mother, it’s a sweet moment punctuated by dialogue, but than the father barges in and the sound drains out as the film slips back into silence. During that scene I was on the edge of my seat. That one scene is an perfect example of why I love this movie. Well executed drama, set against a happy, jazzy background. This essentially viewing for any film lover, simply to see the birth of the talkie.