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The Jolson Story
Not Rated
128 minutes
Musical
1947

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.

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