- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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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.