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WHV Announcement: The Jazz Singer 3-Disc Blu-Ray Book


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#1 of 20 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 03 2012 - 09:02 AM

1927 Black and White Award-winning Classic, Starring Entertainment Legend Al Jolson, Changed Film Industry Forever



THE JAZZ SINGER TO LAUNCH WARNER BROS. STUDIO 90TH ANNIVERSARY 2013 GLOBAL CELEBRATION WITH THE RELEASE OF NEW

3-DISC BLU-RAY™ BOOK
from Warner Home Video January 8



Burbank, CA (October 3, 2012) – The Jazz Singer, the first feature-length film with completely synchronized dialogue and musical sequences, will mark another milestone January 8 when Warner Home Video (WHV) releases the Blu-ray™ commencing the 2013 year-long 90thAnniversary of Warner Bros. Studios. The landmark film, which brought Broadway superstar Al Jolson “alive” and seemingly singing from the screen, was an immediate sensation when it opened in 1927 and created a revolution in the history of the motion picture industry. It earned Alfred Cohn an Academy Award®* (1927/28) nomination for Best Writing (Adaptation) and Warner Bros. received an Oscar® as a Special Award -- for producing The Jazz Singer, the pioneer outstanding talking picture, which revolutionized the industry. In 1996 the film was selected for preservation in the U.S. Library of Congress’s National Film Registry for its cultural and historical significance.


Special features include the full-length documentary feature, The Dawn of Sound: How Movies Learned to Talk. The 93-minute film covers the 30+ year struggle to successfully unite sound and image on motion picture screens. The fascinating narrative of failures and triumphs is propelled by insights from notable film historians as well as interviews from many talents who reveal their personal experiences of this tumultuous period in film history.


A separate disc includes more than four hours of extraordinary Vitaphone shorts (see more detail below), unique and historic rarities that capture performances from the era’s great entertainment legends: Burns & Allen, Baby Rose Marie, Weber & Fields, Blossom Seeley and Benny Fields and many others. 


The Jazz Singer will now be offered in an extra premium 3-Disc Blu-ray book format showcasing the feature on Blu-ray for the very first time. The book also includes 90 pages of all of the reproductions, photos and content only previously available in the original 3-Disc DVD Deluxe Edition such as behind-the-scenes collector’s cards, lobby cards, souvenir program, a booklet with reproductions of vintage documents and post premiere telegram from Al Jolson.


Special features include a commentary from film historians Ron Hutchinson (founder of The Vitaphone Project) and Vince Giordano, a selection of vintage shorts and cartoons, a 1947 radio show adaptation featuring Jolson, and more. The Jazz Singer Blu-ray Book will be available for $35.99 SRP. Order due date is December 4.

The Film


The Jazz Singer stars entertainment legend Al Jolson in a story that bore a few similarities to his own life story. Jolson portrays a would-be entertainer whose show business aspirations conflict with the values of his cantor father (Warner Oland). The Jazz Singer began life as a 1925 Broadway play, and was revived early in 1927, starring George Jessel. The part was offered to Jolson, who was then at the height of his popularity.


Jolson had broken new ground on the stage and sold millions of phonograph records. Just his name on the marquee of a Broadway theater, or on a piece of sheet music, almost always guaranteed success. He found the challenge of conquering the screen via the new Vitaphone technology irresistible.


The movie premiered at the Warner Theater in New York City on October 6, 1927 and soon became a national phenomenon, limited only by the relatively small amount of theaters (200) which were already equipped with Vitaphone’s sound-on-disc technology (a process developed by Western Electric and Warner Bros. wherein a 16” disc was synchronized with standard 35mm projection equipment). The film was a smash everywhere it played, and led to the installation of sound equipment all over the nation. Less than 2 years later, nearly 8000 theaters were wired for sound. Fueled by Jolson’s charisma and Vitaphone, The Jazz Singer created the momentum for “talking pictures” that couldn’t be stopped. Silent films would soon become virtually extinct.


Directed by Alan Crosland, the film co-stars Warner Oland, May McAvoy, and Eugenie Besserer. Among the hit songs featured in the film are Jolson’s trademarks, “Toot-Toot-Tootsie, Goodbye,” “Dirty Hands, Dirty Face,” “My Mammy,” and a then-new song composed by Irving Berlin …“Blue Skies.”



Special Features:

·         Commentary by film historians Ron Hutchinson (founder of The Vitaphone Project) and Vince Giordano

·         Collection of vintage cartoons and shorts:

o        “Al Jolson in ‘A Plantation Act’“ - 1926 Vitaphone short

o        An Intimate Dinner in Celebration of Warner Bros. Silver Jubilee – 1930 short

o        I Love to Singa - Classic 1936 WB parody cartoon directed by Tex Avery

o        Hollywood Handicap – Classic 1938 M-G-M short with Al Jolson appearance

o        A Day at Santa Anita - Classic Technicolor WB 1939 short with Al Jolson & Ruby Keeler cameo appearance

·         1947 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast starring Al Jolson (audio only)

·          Theatrical Trailer


The Early Sound Era

·         Feature-length historical documentary The Dawn of Sound: How Movies Learned to Talk

·         Two rarely-seen Technicolor excerpts from Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929 WB film, most of which is considered lost)

·         Studio shorts celebrating the early sound era:

·         Finding His Voice (1929 Western Electric animated promotional short, produced by Max Fleischer)

·         The Voice That Thrilled The World - Warner Brosshort about sound

·         Okay for Sound 1946 WB short celebrating the 20th anniversary of Vitaphone

·         When Talkies Were Young 1955 WB short looking back at the early talkies

·         The Voice from the Screen -- 1926 WB ‘demonstration’ film explores the Vitaphone technology, and looks at the making of a Vitaphone short.


Vitaphone Shorts


In the 1920’s Warner Bros. began producing a series of short films which utilized the Vitaphone process. These films ran the gamut from musical theater legends and vaudeville acts, to dramatic vignettes and classical music performances from the most prestigious artists of the era.


Most of these were shorts considered lost for decades, until a consortium of archivists and historians joined forces with a goal to restore these magnificent time capsules of entertainment history. Up until now, contemporary audiences have only been able to see these shorts via rare retrospective showings in a few large cities, or through the limited release of a restored handful of the earliest subjects, which were part of a 1996 laserdisc set.


·         Over 3 1/2 hours worth of rare, historic Vitaphone comedy and music shorts

·         Elsie Janis in a Vaudeville Act: Behind the Lines”

·         Bernado Depace: Wizard of the Mandolin

·         Van and Schneck: The Pennant Winning Battery of Songland

·         Blossom Seeley and Benny Fields

·         Hazel Green and Company

·         The Night Court

·         The Police Quartette

·         Ray Mayer & Edith Evans: “When East Meets West

·         Adele Rowland: “Stories in Song

·         Stoll, Flynn and Company“The Jazzmania Quintet”

·         The Ingenues in “The Band Beautiful”

·         The Foy Family in Chips off the Old Block

·         Dick Rich and His Melodious Monarchs

·         Gus Arnheim and His Ambassadors

·         Shaw and Lee: The Beau Brummels

·         Larry Ceballos’ Roof Garden Revue

·         Trixie Friganza in “My Bag O’ Tricks”

·         Green’s Twentieth Century Faydetts

·         Sol Violinsky: The Eccentric Entertainer

·         Ethel Sinclair and Marge La Marr in “At the Seashore

·         Paul Tremaine and His Aristocrats

·         Baby Rose Marie: The Child Wonder

·         Burns & Allen in “Lambchops “

·         Joe Frisco in “The Happy Hottentots





THE JAZZ SINGER 3-DISC BLU-RAY BOOK

Street Date: January 8, 2013

Order Due Date: December 4, 2012

Price: $35.99 SRP

Feature Run Time: 88 minutes

Cat# 1000330127


Note: All enhanced content listed above is subject to change.


Academy Award(s)® and Oscar(s)® are registered trademarks and services marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.



Warner Home Video Blu-ray Discs™ offer resolution six times higher than standard definition DVDs, as well as extraordinarily vibrant contrast and color and beautifully crisp sound. The format also provides a higher level of interactivity, with instant access to extra features via a seamless menu bar where viewers can enjoy features without leaving or interrupting the film. For more information, visit warnerbros.com/warnerblu.


About Warner Home Video
With operations in 90 international territories, Warner Home Video, a division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc., commands the largest home entertainment distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Warner Home Video's film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Video and New Line Cinema.


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 20 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted October 03 2012 - 09:21 AM

I might double dip on this. I'll wait for reviews and content comparison with the previous DVD set.



#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Adam4Rizzel

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Posted October 03 2012 - 09:32 AM

I assume the Vitaphone shorts are in HD. If they are then I'm all for this set!

#4 of 20 OFFLINE   MattPeriolat

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Posted October 03 2012 - 09:56 AM

Oh hell ya. I've actually been procrastinating about Jazz Singer on DVD for cost reasons, but I am all in now, especially if I get a financial break over Christmas. Now, WB, about the MGM silents...
So much TV... So little money! Please visit my blog at: http://tvhistoryondvd.blogspot.com/

#5 of 20 OFFLINE   lukejosephchung

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Posted October 03 2012 - 10:07 AM

"The Jazz Singer" in HD blu-ray??? About friggin' time!!! I'm getting' THIS!!!Posted Image



#6 of 20 OFFLINE   SD_Brian

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Posted October 03 2012 - 10:22 AM

I assume the Vitaphone shorts are in HD.!

My guess would be that discs 2 and 3 will be DVD (identical to the DVD box set) and only The Jazz Singer will get the HD treatment. Warner doesn't seem to upgrade bonus feature to HD very often.

#7 of 20 OFFLINE   Adam4Rizzel

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Posted October 03 2012 - 10:45 AM

Was just confirmed by WB that the Vitaphone shorts are NOT in HD. Damn http://www.facebook...._t=feed_comment

#8 of 20 OFFLINE   Adam4Rizzel

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Posted October 03 2012 - 10:50 AM

Confirmed by Warner Brothers that the Vitaphone shorts are NOT in HD. Damn. http://www.facebook...._t=feed_comment

#9 of 20 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted October 03 2012 - 11:35 AM

Yeah, this appears to essentially be the DVD set with just Disc 1 upgraded to Blu-ray.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#10 of 20 OFFLINE   battlebeast

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Posted October 05 2012 - 04:48 AM

I hope Warners does what Universal and Paramount have not, and that`s release some previously unreleased films. Granted, Paramount released Wings, but that`s the ONLY one they`ve NEWLY released. And Universal has only repackaged their best films (correct me if I'm wrong.)


Come on Warners, release some rare films!


A Best Picture Nominee collection would be nice...


I recently watched all 485 Best pictures (plus about 10 others films) in 365 days! www.oscarmovs.com

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 11 2012 - 04:42 AM




Now available for Preorder






Ronald J Epstein
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#12 of 20 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 11 2012 - 04:45 AM

$25 bucks for all this?

And a potential further Amazon drop?

This is soooooo ordered.


Never saw this film but looking forward to it.


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#13 of 20 OFFLINE   Neil S. Bulk

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Posted October 11 2012 - 05:09 AM

Wasn't there a sync issue on the DVD release? Hopefully that's been addressed.



#14 of 20 OFFLINE   John Morgan

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Posted October 11 2012 - 05:24 AM

Wasn't there a sync issue on the DVD release? Hopefully that's been addressed.

Also, wasn't there a scene that was repeated too? I haven't looked at my DVD since I originally got it. It is one of those films I feel I need to own, but rarely look at.

#15 of 20 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted October 11 2012 - 06:15 AM

I'm not sure I've even watched mine all the way through.


But I wouldn't be without it, and I will make a point of getting to it one of these days.  And that beautiful box set ain't going nowhere.



#16 of 20 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted October 11 2012 - 08:24 AM

I'll be curious to read the reviews of this before I buy. I'm not sure how much better they can make this film look even with more digital clean-up, etc. than it's already had. I'm not sure HD will be a blessing with this one.



#17 of 20 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted October 11 2012 - 08:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattH. 

I'll be curious to read the reviews of this before I buy. I'm not sure how much better they can make this film look even with more digital clean-up, etc. than it's already had. I'm not sure HD will be a blessing with this one.

I agree. The advertising picture looks like the bonus discs are the same SD copies of the material already released in the prettier DVD set that I already have (going from memory, my set is packed up in a box at the moment so I can't check). Even if this new transfer gets high marks I'll probably wait for it to hit a cheap sale before purchasing. They could of sweetened this set past a standard upgrade by including prime Jolson films like "Mammy" and "Wonder Bar" in the set that currently languish in the Archives. If that happened I'd be more apt to jump on it.

#18 of 20 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted October 11 2012 - 08:42 AM

Funny how the list price for this bluray-book is $5.00 cheaper than the DVD. Then again, the DVD had a very nice and sturdy box with several pieces of bonus reprinted memorabilia which is still unique to the DVD set, especially the reprinted theater program. I'm not all that surprised that the other discs are SD given that the documentaries are likely SD to begin with and some of the vintage shorts may only survive in 16mm. Still, it would have been nice. One thing I've always found odd is that Warner Brothers never includes the 1953 remake starring Danny Thomas. They own it and have so far only included it in the Warner Archive. It would have made a nice bonus, though I suppose it would have driven the price of the set up and also wanted to keep the set Vitaphone-era. Now Sony has to get those Jolson Story films out on HD.

#19 of 20 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted October 11 2012 - 08:50 AM

They could of sweetened this set past a standard upgrade by including prime Jolson films like "Mammy" and "Wonder Bar" in the set

Those would have made great additions. Mammy in particular would certainly be made available in HD given that the Archive disc was derived from a UCLA restoration done quite recently and would have looked gorgeous. Wonderbar may still need to be remastered in HD, however. The Archive discs could have still been sold as singles for those who didn't want to buy the full set.

#20 of 20 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted October 11 2012 - 08:57 AM

Originally Posted by JoHud 

Funny how the list price for this bluray-book is $5.00 cheaper than the DVD. Then again, the DVD had a very nice and sturdy box with several pieces of bonus reprinted memorabilia which is still unique to the DVD set, especially the reprinted theater program. I'm not all that surprised that the other discs are SD given that the documentaries are likely SD to begin with and some of the vintage shorts may only survive in 16mm. Still, it would have been nice.
One thing I've always found odd is that Warner Brothers never includes the 1953 remake starring Danny Thomas. They own it and have so far only included it in the Warner Archive. It would have made a nice bonus, though I suppose it would have driven the price of the set up and also wanted to keep the set Vitaphone-era.
Now Sony has to get those Jolson Story films out on HD.


Nice points on the 1953 remake and the Jolson Story films. I'd forgotten about those, the Jolson Story was my intro to Jolson. There should of been a Jolson boxset.


Oh if only it was 2006 again! Posted Image






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