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.