3 Not a riveting film but still a piece of historyMotorhead | 27/09/2008 | See all Motorhead's reviews (25)If it wasn't for the fact that this was the first publicly released 'talkie' then The Jazz Singer would probably have faded into insignificance now. As a film in its own right it is not great (although its interesting to see Warner Oland in his pre-charlie chan days) and the script about a father and son who fall out then make up at the end is soppy sentimentalism and like a third rate soap opera in places. There are also some scenes in which blackface makeup is used which may upset some politically correct viewers (remember this film is over 80 years old though so such sensitivities didnt really exist then).However there is no denying the historical significance of this film. Although only a small portion of it actually has any spoken dialogue (recorded and played back seperately on the vitaphone disc system) it showed that audiences wanted to hear actors as well as see them by its enormous box office success, thereby changing the way films would be made forever. Vitaphone would have gone the way of the dinosaurs within five years of this films release (when sound on film proved a more practical way to record sound) but within 2-3 years of this film the major studios stopped making silents and with this a lot of old careers died and new ones were born (see the film 'Singin in the rain' for an idea of the impact of sound). Incidentally 'The Jazz Singers' director Alan Crosland died aged just 41 in 1936Like i said, the Jazz Singer isn't a great film in its own right but the disc is worth getting not just to see the film that changed moviemaking but also because Warner Bros have put a really good set of extras on the disc that should appeal to all lovers of old films and film students.