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The Jolson Story
Not Rated
128 minutes

The first Columbia picture that could truly be labeled "blockbuster," this remained the studio's top-grossing film for many years. Larry Parks, who had been a reliable leading man in the company's B-pictures, was tapped to play the vaunted Broadway star who'd electrified the world in 1927 in THE JAZZ SINGER. Filmed in Technicolor at a then-immense cost of $2,800,000, it was a labor of love for Harry Cohn, who had idolized Al Jolson since his early days as a song-plugger. Jolson re-recorded his hits for the soundtrack, and doubled for Parks in long shots during the "Swanee" number. Evelyn Keyes co-starred as his wife (Jolson's real-life wife was Ruby Keeler, but the name was changed for the movie), along with William Demarest and Scotty Beckett, who played Jolson as a youth. Alfred E. Green directed the first unit, while Joseph H. Lewis helmed the musical numbers. The film revitalized Jolson's flagging career, spawned a sequel in 1950 (JOLSON SINGS AGAIN), and earned six Oscar® nominations, winning for Musical Scoring and Sound.

Larry Parks
Al Jolson
Evelyn Keyes
Julie Benson
William Demarest
Steve Martin
Bill Goodwin
Tom Baron
Alfred E. Green
Screenplay by Stephen Longstreet; Adaptation by Harry Chandlee and Andrew Solt
Sidney Skolsky
Oscars© Sound, Music (Score)
Country USA
Language English