->''"You ain't heard nothing yet!"''

The 1927 film ''The Jazz Singer'' tells the story of Jakie Rabinowitz (played by Al Jolson), the son of a Jewish cantor, who declines to follow in his father's footsteps. Instead, he dissembles his Jewish identity while trying to make it in the world of [[{{Jazz}} popular music]]. Just as Jakie is about to hit the big time, his father falls ill, forcing Jakie to choose between his family and his show-biz dreams.

''The Jazz Singer'', despite its reputation as the first "talkie," is fundamentally a silent film, with an atmospheric musical backdrop, no sound effects, and dialogue on title cards. It ''does'', however, have several recorded songs which are lip-synced (with [[HongKongDub variable success]]), and during the filming/recording of one of these songs, Jolson ad-libbed a spoken intro: "Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain't heard nothin' yet! Wait a minute, I tell ya! You ain't heard nothin'!" (Additionally, the film has one short synchronized dialogue scene where Jolson talks to his mother.)

Audiences at the time heard ''something'' in that.

Experiments in recorded film sound were nothing new; as far back as 1894, an Edison film of a violin player was paired with a recording of the instrument. In 1926, the Creator/WarnerBros film ''Don Juan'' was released with a prerecorded, instrumental soundtrack, eliminating the need for live accompaniment. ''Film/{{Sunrise}}'', a critically adored experimental melodrama released the same year as ''The Jazz Singer'' featured a line or two of background chatter as part of the soundtrack. What ''The Jazz Singer'' brought to the table was an ambitious use of synchronization (or, as Warner dubbed it, the "Vitaphone" process). Even that, if confined to the songs, might have remained a sterile gimmick. But speech -- that was something else. The first "all-talking" picture was ''The Lights of New York,'' a gangster film released in 1928.

Oh, yeah -- the {{blackface}} scene. The redeeming element may be that the song -- "My Mammy" -- reflects Jakie's reconciliation with his own mother; in a way, Jakie is identifying very deeply with the stereotyped "darkie" character he portrays. It was also [[ValuesDissonance 1927]]. It was very common in [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation old cartoons of the 1930s]] to reference this scene via Blackface gags (i.e. [[AshFace smoke or ash being blown onto the victim's face]], which somehow makes them want to shout "Mammy!").

Creator/MyrnaLoy had one of her first big film parts as a chorus girl in the 1927 film.

There were two {{re|vision}}makes of this film, one in 1952 starring Danny Thomas and one in 1980 starring Music/NeilDiamond.

!!Tropes included in either the 1927 or the 1980 versions of this film include:
* ArtifactTitle: Neil Diamond's character does not sing jazz. Also applies to the original film, by modern standards. Al Jolson's character never sings "jazz" as modern audiences expect - aside from the "blackface" scene (which is in the "Traveling Minstrel" tradition) - all of the music would be what we would today identify as "ragtime." "Jazz" in this context is more synonymous with "ruckus" or "noise," actually bringing it in line with its use in the Neil Diamond remake.
* BeardOfSorrow: Neil Diamond version, after his HeroicBSOD.
* BillyElliotPlot: Sort of, if you consider singing to be "feminine" and being a cantor to be "manly."
* {{Blackface}}: One of the most famous examples in film in the 1927 version, and one of the most infamous examples in the 1980 version!
* DiesWideOpen: Cantor Rabinowitz in the original, oddly enough, closes his eyes first, slumps, and then opens them again after he dies.
* HaveAGayOldTime: In the original, Jakie's producer warns him that he'll "queer (him)self on Broadway" if he skips the show to sing Kol Nidre.
* HongKongDub: Jolson's singing appears to have been recorded live. But the first song, the scene where a child Jakie is singing in a club, is dubbed very very badly.
* IHaveNoSon: In both versions, but ''much'' sillier in the remake.
* MythologyGag: Neil Diamond wearing {{blackface}} so he can sing with an R&B group is a nod to Al Jolson's blackface routine in the original.
* NeverLearnedToRead: In the 1927 film, Jakie's mother has to have a neighbor read the letters Jakie sends home.
* NonActorVehicle: The 1980 version was this for Neil Diamond. While his performance "won" the first Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor, the soundtrack was a big hit so his career held up.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Inverted in the original; Cantor Rabinowitz dies after Jack returns to the synagogue and sings, thus earning his father's forgiveness.
* SilenceIsGolden: Oddly, for a film that is rightly remembered as ushering in talking pictures, the bulk of the original is silent. The use of sound is confined to 1) Jolson's songs and 2) one four-minute dialogue scene (when Jack comes home to see his mother).
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler:Cantor Rabinowitz]] in the 1980 remake.
* WellDoneSonGuy: All the Jazz Singer wants is his father's approval.
* WhamLine: In the era of silent film, hearing Jakie actually speak the line "You ain't heard nothing yet!" came as a shock to a number of viewers at the time.

!!Parodies of the basic plot (not specific to any of the film versions) include:
* An ''{{SCTV}}'' sketch guest-starring Al Jarreau as the title character reverses the plot: The father expects the son to be a jazz singer like himself, but the son instead becomes a cantor.
* The obscure direct-to-video film ''That's Adequate!'' (which has a variety of parodies of Hollywood classics) features another reversal: ''Singing in the Synagogue''. David Alan Grier, a few years before ''Series/InLivingColor'', plays the hero and dons ''whiteface'' to make it big!
* ''TheSimpsons'' episode "Like Father, Like Clown", guest-starring the voice of Jackie Mason as Krusty's estranged father Rabbi Hyman Krustovsky. The IHaveNoSon moment is memorably spoofed. (Mason himself is to some extent a RealLife instance of ''The Jazz Singer''; under pressure from his father he received rabbinic ordination as his brothers did, but he subsequently chose to become a comedian.)
* The 1936 [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Merrie Melodies]] cartoon ''WesternAnimation/ILoveToSinga'', directed by Creator/TexAvery, featuring fledgling jazz singer "[[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed Owl Jolson]]" rebelling against his family of traditionalist musicians. This film was intended to advertise the title song, "I Love To Singa" which was featured in an Al Jolson and Music/CabCalloway film released around the same time.