The Jazz Singer (1927)


From the perspective of a century later, we despise Al Jolson’s minstrel routine in this movie, but can’t deny the film’s cinematic importance as the first talkie. (Or at least, partial talkie.)

The Jazz Singer was the first feature-length motion picture to use synchronized recorded music and lip-synchronous singing and speech, and paved the way for every single movie that came later.

We certainly agree with the National Film Registry, which announced it would preserve the film, in 1996, as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

It’s one of those old movies we respect but would never throw on some Friday night.

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