During the 1920’s, sound and music was about to changethe look of shorts and movies,and the film that started it all was TheJazz Singer (Alan Crosland,1927). This was thefirst feature length film that was able to synchronize dialogue, and because of this it influencedand revolutionized the generation of movies we see in our present day lives; aswell as the end of the silent film era.As soon as the Jazz Singer became such a massive success, early films that had sound in themcould usually fill a theatre; even if the movie was absolutely terrible. Major studios like UniversalPictures and Paramount Pictures took notice of what Warner brothers had doneand started to convert to sound films as well; a single film forced the majorfilm industries to change the way they do films or they would be left behind. One of the 1920 popular silent films, The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin,1925), was a massivesuccess,but it would have done a lot better if there was sound. That was why it was released inthe 1940’s with sound; this would not have happened without The Jazz Singer being a huge success aswell.
Even with thesound conversion,where large films used these new techniques,The Jazz Singer came out of adifferent style,which used an ethnic story,which was popular type of film at the time.Hence in what way did the Jazz singerimpact films later on in the 1920s and the modern day films? Now even though TheJazz Singer is nationally acclaimed for being the first sound feature lengthfilm, it was not thefirst. When WarnerBrothers was extremely small compared to now,they had bought a sound system called the Vitaphone which debuted on 1926 with Don Juan (Alan Crosland, 1926,)a costume drama featuring a score performed by the New York Orchestra. The Jazz Singer however,was the second Vitaphone feature that had its first full feature film with itsown sound track that included dialogue.It is too bad that Don Juan had set records when playing at least eight weeksat 100% of capacity,and while Jazz Singer had only 80%fir its best week; but this does not take away how importance of The Jazz Singer was to modern era films. As Jonathan Tankel says “The JazzSinger weakens any kind of argument that any sound film could significantlydepress the box office of a good quality silent film.” (Tankel, 1978).
Thefilm industries extensive conversion to sound was such a monumental process inwhich were there is undying proof that this is all because of the significantdirect impact of The Jazz Singer. Such information in and of itselfshould cause some doubt in accepting the standard explanation. Although The Jazz Singer is viewedas an important influence and had an impact on the conversion to sound, it was not a fundamental cause. The audiences had to respond in agood way,or else there would have been no reason to convert, which would be the worst possibility. In the early days of sound films, just before company’s decided toconvert to sound,they were made with special care,and each one was better than the others.
Now if we look at sound now,it has become a tool in which ordinary films could be made more appealing to anaudience than they had been; whether it is a big budget film like star wars ora small media assignment by a student,sound has become essential to bring life to these films. Without a doubt, The Jazz Singer was the final proof of that the success of sound, was mandatory to our modern dayfilms. Now let us look at amore modern film like Hairspray (AdamShankman, 2007). The amount of flare, pop, and musicalatmosphere can be seen throughout the entire movie, and it would nothave been possible without The JazzSinger being what it is; they both take on different themes, but are most knownfor their beautiful musical score.
Imagine if yourfavourite film did not have any music or sound, would you stillenjoy it? The reason why so many people in the 1920s adored and praised The Jazz Singer, was because it gavelife, it turned films on its head, because no longerdid you need to come up with the sounds yourself; this is why The JazzSinger is so highly regarded as it is today to most film critics. Though it had controversialthemes like blackface, it is still important to this day.