The Jazz Singer
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Pop singer Neil Diamond stars in this ill-begotten second remake of Al Jolson's seminal 1927 musical The Jazz Singer. The moth-eaten story concerns a cantor's son who desires success as a pop singer, despite the wishes of his imperious father. The film takes place in the present day with Yussel Rabinowitz (Neil Diamond) playing a young (though middle-aged looking) cantor performing at the synagogue of his father (Laurence Olivier). Yussel is married and has settled down to a life of religious devotion to the teaching of his fath. But on the side, he writes songs for a black singing… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 15%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The most cautious soft-rock superstar movie debut you'll ever get to see."
‑ , Time Out
"Richard Fleischer's direction is appropriately close-in and small, and Diamond himself, while no actor, proves to be a commandingly intense, brooding presence."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"painfully schmaltzy"
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"An unintentional laff riot. Olivier is so over the top that it's mesmerizing."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"The Jazz Singer has so many things wrong with it that a review threatens to become a list."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Stick with Jolson's version via 1927. Or even the Danny Thomas take. Skip Neil."
‑ Steve Crum,
"Diamond tries his best. Olivier over compensates, but the songs are classic."
‑ Michael A. Smith, Nolan's Pop Culture Review
"... 111 minutes is a lot to take for anyone but the most keen Diamond fans."
‑ Brian Webster, Apollo Guide
"Mr. Diamond, looking glum and seldom making eye contact with anyone, isn't enough of a focus for the outmoded story."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"The third and, one hopes, final remake of THE Jazz Singer is the least interesting attempt so far."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The roughest of Diamonds, this will only interest fans of the singer and those with a passion for poor pictures."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for The Jazz Singer on Rotten Tomatoes