The Jolson Story

The Jolson Story

DVD - 2003
Average Rating:
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The story of Al Jolson, the legendary performer who went from humble beginnings in vaudeville to the pinnacle of success on stage and in motion pictures.
Publisher: Culver City, Calif. : Columbia Pictures, 2003, c1946
Edition: Full screen
ISBN: 9781404931107
1404931104
Branch Call Number: DVD MUSICAL JOL
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 130 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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t
ThomasJWhiting
Jul 10, 2016

GREAT 1946 Hollywood Technicolor bio-pic of Al Jolson, one of the world's great show-biz entertainers who died in 1950.
I am only beginning to appreciate Jolson's accomplishments as I explore the musical past from decades before my time.
I do think his stardom status comparisons to Elvis Presley are appropriate. I grew up with Elvis, who didn't do actual blackface (part of decades older minstrel show productions) like jolson, but did integrate lots of Southern country and black influences into his work before expanding into films, etc. Elvis is revered as king of rock n' roll, while Jolson is king of previous decades jazz, blues and ragtime.
I do want to see that first talkie starring Jolson 'The Jazz Singer', but surprisingly can't find a copy at KCLS.
I did enjoy Larry Parks acting - and the high production standards of the film - but the obvious (to my eye) lip synching to the overdubbed Jolson singing became a bit distracting.
And it was fun to see his father change/age over the course of the film.

f
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
Feb 11, 2015

1946's The Jolson Story (in all of its lush, Technicolor glory) may not have been an accurate depiction of entertainer Al Jolson's life, per se, but, in the long run, it was still quite an engaging production (in a kitsch sort of way).

Corny, nostalgic and very sentimental, The Jolson Story is a film that is certainly true to form when it comes to the likes of being your typical 1940's Bio-picture.

With its $3 million budget (which was obviously well-spent on its numerous, lavishly-staged musical numbers, and such), I give a lot of credit to actor Larry Parks who played Jolson (as an adult) in the story. Parks' exuberant and likable portrayal, along with his seamless lip-syncing of Jolson's songs, were, to me, what clearly helped carry The Jolson Story successfully along to its unbelievable "happy ending" nonsense.

*Note* - Back in his heyday, Al Jolson was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer". At the peak of his career he was America's most famous and highest-paid performers, bar none.

In 1950, at the age of 64, Al Jolson died from a massive heart attack.

h
history1970
Dec 01, 2013

Interesting & entertaining.

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