- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- don letta
This is a great historical treasure, although you will probably be humming the same tune leaving the theater as the one you hummed, going in... that being Rhapsody in Blue. Whiteman brought it to the public a few years before the film was shot, establishing a sound that defined modern jazz music for the next few decades.The rest of the musical numbers are woefully dated... interesting but not memorable (Sinatra certainly brought a cool jazz sound to It Happened in Monterey twenty five years later). Some of the dance numbers were great, but what lives on is the design... costumes, sets, cinematography... and that glorious two-strip color. Too bad Anderson didn't go on to great success, as did Busby Berkeley.All in all, an uneven film with much to forget, and equally much to fondly remember.Oh, yes, Crosby was already establishing his rep. for being a drunk. One of the numbers he was scheduled for was given to another singer, while he sobered up. He later was signed by Paramount, which seemed to be the home-base for alcoholics
Catch it while you can!
- Linda DiBenardo
Keep in mind this is a 90 year old movie and packed with fun. Watch it for the incredible dancing, art deco sets, kaleidoscope scenes, and over the top performance of Rhapsody in Blue.
Two strip or not two strip!
- Jay Nunnally Allen
The exact role of the Surrealist and Dada movements in early cinema is a question that lingers for the dedicated student of film history. One pass at Paul Whiteman in "The King of Jazz" is enough to convince one that the likes of Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dali had their hands all over celuloid's pre-code era. "The King of Jazz" has a far-reaching (sheet-music) wrap-around; a cartoon opening that's right out of a horror movie; the always weird two strip color; and amazing amazing amazing dancing. This is an incredible one-of-a-kind movie. Must see.
Who was that man?
- Film lover
Wasn't it a double who performed the dance that Paul Whiteman appeared to be doing. Who is he?
- David Major
Wonderful show. Didn't know it existed. Der bingle and his early jazz chops are great to see. And the girls! Very cute. Didn't know they made them like that. The music is so melodic and appropriate for the time. Can't say enough. Show it again. David.....
What were they smoking?
- Kristin of MD
This is one of the strangest and most enjoyable musical revue movies I have ever seen. My personal favorite was the bizarre Ragamuffin Romeo dance. The lineup of ballerinas on a giant piano in Rhapsody in Blue was also quite special. The movie is packed with many famous singers and musicians, but the dancers were truly astounding. We even get to see the rather rotund Paul Whiteman do a fabulous dance routine. Who knew the famous band leader could dance. Great fun.
This musical is an extraordinary Hollywood treasure presenting the character, greatness and glamour of the 1920's. The music is fabulous and entertaining. The cast is full of stars and celebrities. Please encourage the release of this piece of history in DVD.
The King of Jazz. 1930
This is a great musical , displaying the phantasy and glamour of the culture of the 30's. Paul Whiteman's orchestra plays the classic George Gershwin's " Rhapsody in Blue" in amazing style. It is an academy award winner movie and it has over the years received deplorabaly insignifant attention.
- Timothy Donovan
There have been some postings regarding Bela Lugosi's presence on the King of Jazz set. A photo of Lugosi shaking hands w/Whiteman in front of the "Scrapbook" but why? Yes, Universal was filming "Dracula" at the same time, but also Lugosi was the Emcee to take the place of Charles Irwin's filmed sequences for the Hungarian Language release of King of Jazz. If these survive, it would be well worth the time to show them as additional footage. It would be more than interesting to see any related film footage connected with King of Jazz to show proper perspective as to the activities surrounding the film and what the times were like. Another note. The Sisters G. Interpretive Dancers obviously from the Isadora Duncan School of the Dance. They figure prominently in this Cinema classic, but are not mentioned in the opening credits. Seems unequal. These Weimar era beauties are hot, & are very talented. Why no Credit?
A film that survives despite ignorance
- Timothy Donovan
This example of Americana is timeless. King of Jazz although released in 1930, during a time, when Musicals were becoming Passe'. When it was produced is was considered Overblown, Gargantuan, and Sumptuous which describes this icon of musical Artwork. References to portraying African Americans negatively are nonsense. The Rhapsody in Blue sequence which opens with a Dancer atop a Drum Head in a Watusi costume is certainly not negative. Remember it's the 1930's, with a 1920's mentality. the"Bench in the Park" sequence features both a shot of the original "Sunny Jim" (Jams & Jellies) popping out of the bell of a Tuba, along with Whiteman "bouncing " one of the original "Gold Dust Twins" (popular Soap product at the time). on his knee. They interact well together to the point of cuteness. Note the pack of Old Gold Cigarettes showing out of the top of his tunic pocket. All subliminal advertising. Ingenious
Restoration and digital enhancement
The only version available is on VHS and thus it is becoming more and more a difficult film to acquire.Before any release on DVD, this film needs the modern treatment of restoration to return it to it's former glory and perhaps better than when it was originally screened as they have done to several films. Elvis films, like G.I. Blues for example, get the full treatment of careful and loving digital restoration because of the continuing marketability. Whereas films like King of Jazz get left out because there is no mass appeal. However, King of Jazz should have some priority in that it is the earliest film featuring Bing Crosby.As the decades move from one to the next, the likelihood of a complete restoration for this historically significant film is getting depressingly smaller.
Worthy of Restoration and DVD
This film is important in several respects, some of which have already been noted: mostly, this is a rare pre-depression record of the jazz musical style in all-color (not just sequences). Sound is fairly good. It completed (or nearly completed) filming just prior to the stock market crash of '29 and showcases vaudville talents of whom there is no such other record. Lavish color musicals would not resurface until the late 30's, and by then the musical styles were quite different (though still valid in their own right). This film warrants a full restoration, of both sound and music. A possible reason this film's being ignored are the unfortunate, demeaning sequences depicting African Americans in a degrading manner. A disclaimer would be called for, though not a censoring. Other important films in which there are degrading references have not been censored; the racist elements are seen as distressing artifacts of the time in which they were produced, or of the period in which the film is set (e.g., Gone with the Wind).
Great musical of the thirties
- Carlos Monzon
Paul Whiteman was at the top of his performance in this classic musical. It has been disregarded and ignored. It has incredible music and it is a treasure of the 1930's culture.Why ist not availabe in DVD? It is worth every minute of it.
King of Jazz (1930)
Please encourage the release of the King of Jazz (1930) on DVD. This musical film contains one of the few recorded records on film of some of the great vaudiville and musical acts that were extant during the late 20's and early 30's. Its historic nature can only enhance appreciation of today's musical fare with an understanding where and how popular music evolved. Besides, it's a total enjoyable hoot to view.