Maybe we should have started our series of musical posts with the beginning of “talkies”, but it is never too late to come back to our classics… Here are two clips from The Jazz Singer, directed by Alan Crosland and starring Al Jolson.
I can only imagine the beaming smile on people’s faces when they first saw that sound seemed to be coming out of Al Jolson’s lips on a black and white screen in 1927.
You can tell the character who plays Al Jolson’s mother, Eugenie Bessererer, is still used to the silent and dramatic way of acting. Her acting career started in 1910 in an early version of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Here we notice she doesn’t speak much and mainly acts with her body, while Al Jolson already seems very at ease with the new technology. He steals the spotlight by improvising dialogue and by pulling the action foward for the first time into the age of talking cinema.
But as Al Jolson says in the movie, “You ain’t heard nothing yet!” – Here is “Blue Skies” written by Oscar winner Irving Berlin.