The Jazz Singer DVD Neil Diamond Laurence Olivier
In New York City, Yussel Rabinowitz (Neil Diamond) trains to be a cantor. Although his father (Laurence Olivier) and wife, Rivka (Catlin Adams), don't approve, he also sings and writes songs for a black soul group under the name Jess Robin. When the group gets an opportunity in California, their leader, Bubba (Franklyn Ajaye), asks Jess to join them. Reluctantly, Rivka and his father let him go. In Los Angeles, Jess meets record company executive Molly Bell (Lucie Arnaz). Impressed by his music, she tries to promote him. However, Jess still struggles and is about to give up when Molly gets him a solo TV spot. Just as Jess seems set for stardom, Rivka and his father arrive to plead for his return.Samson Raphaelson's play about a talented singer's attempts to break away from a restrictive religious family was first filmed in 1927--when it became the first talkie. This--the third version--was made in 1980. Directed by Richard Fleischer after another director was dismissed, the film focuses on Molly's struggles to find opportunities for Jess, then on Jess's subsequent concert performances. Neil Diamond carries the film, singing his own songs with verve.