Essay on The Jazz Singer

1539 Words May 2nd, 2013 7 Pages
“The Jazz Singer”

Before watching “The Jazz Singer”, I had no idea of its cultural or historical significance. I learned that it was the first motion picture to have synchronized dialogue and words. It set the precedent for cinematography, live voice recordings, and real-time dialogue. The film was based on a short story written only a few years prior. The story was called “The Day of Atonement” and was authored by Samson Raphaelson. The short story was then adapted into an onstage musical in 1925 before finally becoming a full length feature film in 1927. The film follows a young man by the name of Jakie Rabinowitz. He lives with his mother and father in the Jewish ghetto of the lower east side of Manhattan. Jakie is an only child
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Meanwhile, Jack continues to travel, sing, and make great money. He is eventually offered a shot at the big time to star in a Broadway show. He takes the gig. He then travels home to see his mother before his show and they have the first ever, true dialogue sequence in film. Jack wants to take his mother away and show her a wonderful life she could have never dreamed up. Jacks father again enters and demands that his son never return. While preparing for the biggest moment of his career, Jack learns that his father has fallen gravely ill. He must choose: miss his Broadway debut, or rush to his father’s side to be there when his family needs him most. During a dress rehearsal, Sara sees that her boy is an amazing performer and “belongs to the world now”. The film ends, however, with Jack choosing his family over his beloved career. He agrees to deliver the performance of Kol Nidre in place of his father at the Yon Kippur service. I was deeply moved by this film. It follows many typical themes such as family heritage, resentment and hate, forgiveness and love, and choice. The foremost of these is the idea of family. According the Jewish board of Education, tradition is what most sustains a Jewish family. Daily life, rituals and rites of passage, and tradition are what make up the core of Jewish family values. Judaism actually considers family to be the

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