Jolson's singing proves the big excitement for this Technicolorful film biog of the great mammy-singer's career.

Jolson’s singing proves the big excitement for this Technicolorful film biog of the great mammy-singer’s career.

The Jolson Story emerges as an American success story in song. The yearning to sing to give generously of himself, cued by the still famed-in showbiz catchphrase, ‘You ain’t heard nothin’ yet’; the Sunday nights at the Winter Garden, the birth of the runway as Jolson got closer to his audience, the incidental whistling in between vocalizing – all these are recaptured for the screen.

But there’s lots more on and off the screen. As Evelyn Keyes plays Ruby Keeler – only she’s called Julie Benson – in meticulous manner, she helps carry the boy-girl saga.

But the real star of the production is that Jolson voice and that Jolson medley. It was good showmanship to cast this film with lesser people, particularly Larry Parks as the mammy kid. It’s quite apparent how he must have studied the Jolson mannerisms in black-and-white because the vocal synchronization (with a plenitude of closeups) defies detection.

1946: Best Sound Recording, Scoring for a Musical Picture.

Nominations: Best Actor (Larry Parks), Supp. Actor (William Demarest), Color Cinematography, Editing

The Jolson Story


Columbia. Director Alfred E. Green; Producer Sidney Skolsky; Screenplay Stephen Longstreet; Camera Joseph Walker; Editor William Lyon; Music Morris Stoloff (dir.); Art Director Stephen Goosson, Walter Holscher


(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1946. Running time: 120 MIN.


Larry Parks Evelyn Keyes William Demarest Bill Goodwin Ludwig Donath Tamara Shayne
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