The Jazz Singer ( 1927 ) Some info on the upcoming DVD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Doug Bull, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Warners have been working on the DVD of the historic first ever sound feature, 1927's "THE JAZZ SINGER"
    While no release date has been yet been announced, some information has become available.

    The DVD will feature a much improved Soundtrack.
    All Video and TV presentations up until now have originated from an early primitive 30s sound-on-film print.
    This new DVD will be Digitally Mastered for the first time directly from some recently discovered, excellent condition, Original Vitaphone Sound Discs.
    Working Digitally from these original discs should improve the quality of the sound quite dramatically.

    The DVD will include for the first time, the Intermission music, also extras such as Posters, Programs and several shorts of the period.
    Al Jolson's "A Plantation Act" (1926) and the Trailer are confirmed extras.
     
  2. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    We can get a Jolson film entitled "A Plantation Act" but still no SONG OF THE SOUTH. Sigh.

    On topic, I can't wait for this release. It's not a great film, but it is a piece of history.
     
  3. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    I have never seen this one, and I will buy this when it comes out

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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    Good news!! I have a tape I took off of a recent showing on one of the cable/satellite channels (I think it was AMC). The quality is what I would have expected but from what Doug is saying this will be much improved. I look forward to it.

    I don't know if this would constitute a 'great' film (it's a bit over the top by today's standards) but considering that such films as Star Wars (banal dialogue, in my opinion) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (good B-movie fare, but fun) are on the AFI list along with this one it fits as a true American Classic.

    Doug, do your sources predict a 2003 release schedule?

    Joel
     
  5. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    It is fun to watch this one, knowing its impact at the time. Good news.[​IMG]
     
  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I'm looking forward to this.

    The film's story is pretty lame, but the song sequences with Jolson are excellent. It's easy to see why the film was popular...not only by the audio, but Jolson being a great entertainer.

    Not to be a nit-picker, but this would be an interesting opportunity for WB to use the cool stylized poster art from the original release and perhaps make the disc art look like a Vitaphone disc. [​IMG]
     
  7. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Sorry Joel, no date, but going by the information available, I would say that the DVD's production is well on it's way and I wouldn't be surprised to see it announced sometime in the second half of this year, though that's just my opinion.

    The Movie certainly is no masterpiece, but as it is acknowledged as the first ever Sound Feature, it does hold one of the most important places in the History of Cinema.

    As a side note it should be mentioned that Warner's "Don Juan" which was made in 1926 and introduced the Vitaphone Sound on Disc a year before "The Jazz Singer", should really be given the title of the first sound feature.

    The main difference I guess is that "The Jazz Singer" does feature synchronised songs and dialogue while "Don Juan" only featured a Music Score and synchronised sound effects.

    "The Jazz Singer" for those that haven't seen it, is classed as a part talkie, so it is basically a silent film with subtitles, it features a complete music score, but the songs and dialogue sections are presented in a rather spasmodic way and sometimes seem to hamper the flow of the film.

    In the historic words of Al Jolson ..."You ain't heard nothing yet"
     
  8. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    Wasn't there a Neil Diamond movie called THE JAZZ SINGER also? Is that on DVD?
     
  9. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    THE JAZZ SINGER was remade twice--once with Danny Thomas around 1950, and then with Neil Diamond in 1980. Not sure if the latter is on DVD. Diamond's version is probably now more dated than Jolson's. [​IMG]
     
  10. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    I enjoyed seeing "Don Juan" on TCM, and it would be an excellent DVD choice- it's a hybrid as a primarily silent film with a Vitaphone music & sound effects (swords clashing against each other during duels), and it has John Barrymore and Mary Astor as the leads. BTW, I do remember that some of the early Warner/MGM sound films and Vitaphone shorts were put out on laserdisc- let's hope that Warner Bros. can do the same for DVD!
     
  11. Scott Leopold

    Scott Leopold Supporting Actor

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    I've been eager to see this on DVD since seeing the footage from it on the new Singin' in the Rain SE. I recorded it off TCM last year and really enjoyed it. It's probably not appropriate for all audiences today, but taken in context it's an enjoyable film. I recently read that Myrna Loy plays one of the chorus girls, so I'm eager to rewatch it and try to spot her. This is a definite must-buy for me.
     
  12. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Speaking of Don Juan...

    I think all the pre-feature shorts survive (and have been restored by the Vitaphone project), so WHV could actually re-create Don Juan's roadshow format by including the shorts on the same disc.
     
  13. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    Patrick,

    All the DON JUAN shorts do survive, and were not preserved by the Vitaphone project. There was no need for this. They have been accessable for years.

    In fact, the old MGM/Turner laserdisc has the entire opening program of shorts preceding the DON JUAN feature.
    Just like on opening night in 1926.
     
  14. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    Can't wait. Blue skies...
     

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