The Jazz Singer (1959)

Genres - Theater  |   Sub-Genres - Filmed Play, Musical Drama  |   Run Time - 60 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Originally aired in 1959 as an installment of NBC's Lincoln Mercury Startime, Jerry Lewis' earnest tribute to the landmark 1927 Al Jolson film (the first feature to use synchronized sound) tells the tale of a Jewish nightclub crooner who is forced to weigh his career ambitions against his devotion to family after being given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The last in a long line of Jewish cantors, Joey Rabinowitz (Lewis) forsakes singing in the synagogue to entertain audiences as a jazz singer and comedian. Meanwhile, Joey's disapproving father (Eduard Franz) makes no attempts to conceal his disappointment in the fact that his son has gone secular. Just as Joey is beginning to feel as if fame isn't in the cards, a prominent television starlet invites him to perform before a national audience. The very same night that Joey is scheduled to make his big television debut, however, his father's health takes a sudden turn for the worse as he prepares to sing the "Kol Nidre" for their synagogue's Yom Kippur service. Now, with stars in his eyes and his dreams within reach, Joey must choose between taking his one shot at fame, or maintaining family tradition when his father needs him most. Silent film star Molly Picon, Italian actress/singer Anna Maris Alberghetti, and husky character actor Alan Reed (the voice of Fred Flintstone) also star.

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Keywords

dreams-of-success, comedian, entertainer, family-strife, Jewish, tradition