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The Jazz Singer

The Jazz Singer(1953)

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This film is a remake of the 1927 Warner Bros.' film The Jazz Singer, which was directed by Alan Crosland and starred Al Jolson, May McAvoy and William Demarest (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30). According to a Los Angeles Examiner item, Warner Bros. first announced plans to remake The Jazz Singer in December 1943 with Frank Sinatra as the star. Two years later, executive producer Jack L. Warner announced he had selected actor Dane Clark for the Jolson role. Plans for what became the 1953 version were announced as early as August 1949. According to a July 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item, The Jazz Singer was one of five films requiring outdoor sets that were delayed due to a Warner Bros. studio fire resulting in an estimated $5,000,000 in damages.
       Studio publicity material dated July 31, 1952 indicates that Jim Backus was originally slated for the part played by Allyn Joslyn. Although their appearance in the film has not been confirmed, August and September 1952 Hollywood Reporter news items add Charles Wagenheim, Betty Jane and Anne Lea Ulrich to the cast. According to a contemporary article in Los Angeles Daily News, crew members Herbert "Limey" Plews and Ralph Owen worked on both this film and the 1927 version. As the article also noted, film editor Alan Crosland, Jr. was director Crosland's son. Although an October 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Max Steiner and Ray Heindorf would collaborate on the score, Steiner is not credited onscreen and Heindorf is credited as music director only. However, both men were nominated for an Academy Award for the film in the category of Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.