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The Jazz Singer 80th Anniversary SE (R2) in November

Warner Home Video have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of The Jazz Singer (80th Anniversary 2-Disc Special Edition) on 12th November 2007. Warner 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.

Warner Home Video proudly presents The Jazz Singer in a deluxe 2-disc 80th Anniversary Special Edition 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 Tex Avery cartoon and a commentary from film historians Ron Hutchinson (founder of The Vitaphone Project) and Vince Giordano.

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.

Those features in full…

Disc 1: Main Feature

  • 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 (Extra Features)
  • 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.

The third disc of Vitaphone shorts found on the R1 is not included on the R2 release.

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