The official word: Celebrating the extraordinary, 80-year career of an iconic show business legend, The Jazz Singer comes to DVD Feb. 7 from Inception Media Group. . . .
While the vast majority of Lewis’ extraordinary body of work is readily available, The Jazz Singer – a rare dramatic performance by Lewis, produced as a special for NBC’s Lincoln-Mercury Startime TV series – has never been rebroadcast or distributed in any home format since its original 1959 airing.
Included are the transfer of a B&W kinescope of the broadcast and an extremely rare video recording, one of the earliest surviving examples of color television. True entertainment history from Lewis’ personal archives, digitally transferred and remastered from original video and audio recordings as well as the kinescope.
In this tribute to the 1927 Al Jolson film classic, Cantor Rabinowitz (Eduard Franz, The Ten Commandments, Hatari!) is upset that son Joey (Lewis) has no interest in becoming a cantor in the synagogue, a family tradition for five generations. Worse yet, he’s left home to pursue a career as a jazz singer and comedian … no laughing matter to his father. After struggling for years, Joey is about to get his big break. But when the cantor suddenly falls gravely ill, Joey grapples with filling in for his ailing father … or seizing the opportunity to be a star.
Also featuring Molly Picon, one of silent film’s biggest stars in the ’20s, she made a successful transition into talkies (including roles in such classics as Fiddler on the Roof) and performed into the ’80s; Anna Maria Alberghetti, the musical Italian bombshell launched on the American screen by Paramount in 1950; and Alan Reed, the burly character who appeared in such classics as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but was best known as the cartoon voice of Fred Flintstone.
To quote Jolson in the original movie, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
The Jazz Singer is presented in full screen with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and Dolby Digital 1.0. Bonus feature includes behind-the scenes photo gallery.