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The Jazz Singer 80th Anniversary Edition (R1) in October - Artwork added

Warner Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of The Jazz Singer (80th Anniversary 3-Disc Collector’s Edition) on 16th October 2007. Experience film history on October 16 when Warner Home Video (WHV) debuts on DVD the studio’s landmark motion picture, The Jazz Singer, the first feature-length film with synchronized dialogue and musical sequences. The movie, which brought Broadway superstar Al Jolson “alive” and seemingly singing from the screen, was an immediate sensation when it opened in 1927 and created a revolution in the history of the motion picture industry.

WHV proudly presents The Jazz Singer in a deluxe 3-disc 80th Anniversary Collector’s Edition (at $39.92 SRP), with the film itself immaculately restored and remastered from earliest surviving nitrate film elements and original Vitaphone sound-on-disc recordings. Hours of rare, and never-before seen features include a myriad of vintage shorts and film excerpts, a 1947 radio show adaptation featuring Jolson, a commentary from film historians Ron Hutchinson (founder of The Vitaphone Project) and Vince Giordano, and a wealth of collectible memorabilia.

Disc two contains a new full-length documentary feature, The Dawn of Sound, commissioned by Warner Home Video specifically for this very special DVD release. The 93-minute film covers the 30+ year struggle to successfully unite sound and image on motion picture screens. The fascinating narrative of failures and triumphs is propelled by insights from notable film historians as well as interviews from many talents who reveal their personal experiences of this tumultuous period in film history.

The third disc includes more than four hours of extraordinary Vitaphone shorts (see more detail below), unique and historic rarities that capture performances from the era’s great entertainment legends of the era: Burns & Allen, Baby Rose Marie, Weber & Fields, Blossom Seeley and Benny Fields and many others.

Said George Feltenstein, WHV’s Senior Vice President Theatrical Catalog Marketing, “Since the arrival of DVD more than ten years ago, we have had a torrent of requests for this cinematic milestone. However, we wanted to take the necessary time and care to create a unique collectible release in a special multi-disc presentation that explores the historical context. We anticipate that this will become a ‘must have’ item in any serious DVD collection, and we hope the film’s legion of fans will be pleased.”

DVD Special Features:

Disc 1 – The Movie

  • All new feature digital transfer and immaculately refurbished soundtrack from restored picture elements and original Vitaphone-Sound-on-Disc recordings
  • Commentary by film historians Ron Hutchinson and Vince Giordano
  • Collection of rare cartoons and shorts:
    • I Love to Sing-a classic 1936 WB parody cartoon directed by Tex Avery
    • Hollywood Handicap classic M-G-M short with Al Jolson appearance
    • A Day at Santa Anita classic Technicolor Warner Bros. short with Al Jolson & Ruby Keeler cameo appearance
    • “Al Jolson in ‘A Plantation Act’ “1926 Vitaphone short made a year prior to The Jazz Singer
    • An Intimate Dinner in Celebration of Warner Bros. Silver Jubilee
  • 1947 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast starring Al Jolson (audio only)
  • Al Jolson Trailer Gallery

Disc 2 – The Early Sound Era
  • All-new feature-length documentary The Dawn of Sound: How Movies Learned to Talk
  • Two rarely-seen Technicolor excerpts from Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929 WB film, most of which is considered lost)
  • Studio shorts celebrating the early sound era:
    • Finding His Voice (1929 Western Electric animated promotional short, produced by Max Fleischer)
    • The Voice That Thrilled The World - Warner Bros. short about sound
    • Okay for Sound 1946 WB short celebrating the 20th anniversary of Vitaphone
    • When Talkies Were Young 1955 WB short looking back at the early talkies
    • The Voice from the Screen 1926 WB ‘demonstration’ film explores the Vitaphone technology and, looks at the making of a Vitaphone short.


In Warner Bros. began producing a series of short films which utilized the Vitaphone process. These films ran the gamut from musical theater legends and vaudeville acts, to dramatic vignettes and classical music performances from the most prestigious artists of the era. Most of these were shorts considered lost for decades, until a consortium of archivists and historians joined forces with a goal to restore these magnificent time capsules of entertainment history. Up until now, contemporary audiences have only been able to see these shorts via rare retrospective showings in a few large cities, or through the limited release of a restored handful of the earliest subjects, which were part of a 1996 laserdisc set. This new collection will finally make these amazing rarities available to the thousands of film fans awaiting their DVD debut.

  • Over 3 1/2 hours worth of rare, historic Vitaphone comedy and music shorts

    Elsie Janis in a Vaudeville Act: “Behind the Lines”
    Bernado Depace: “Wizard of the Mandolin”
    Van and Schneck: “The Pennant Winning Battery of Songland”
    Blossom Seeley and Benny Fields
    Hazel Green and Company
    The Night Court
    The Police Quartette
    Ray Mayer & Edith Evans: “When East Meets West”
    Adele Rowland: “Stories in Song”
    Stoll, Flynn and Company: “The Jazzmania Quintet”
    The Ingenues in “The Band Beautiful”
    The Foy Family in “Chips off the Old Block”
    Dick Rich and His Melodious Monarchs
    Gus Arnheim and His Ambassadors [
    Shaw and Lee: “The Beau Brummels”
    Larry Ceballos’ Roof Garden Revue
    Trixie Friganza in “My Bag O’ Tricks”
    Green’s Twentieth Century Faydetts
    Sol Violinsky: “The Eccentric Entertainer”
    Ethel Sinclair and Marge La Marr in “At the Seashore”
    Paul Tremaine and His Aristocrats
    Baby Rose Marie: “The Child Wonder”
    Burns & Allen in “Lambchops “
    Joe Frisco in “The Happy Hottentots”

    Outstanding Collector’s Edition Bonuses:
    • Rarely seen behind-the-scenes Photo cards
    • Original release Lobby card reproductions
    • Original release Souvenir Program book reproduction
    • Booklet with vintage document reproductions and DVD features guide
    • Reproduction of post-premiere telegram from Al Jolson to Jack L. Warner

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