The Jazz Singer script
Synopsis: The Jazz Singer is a 1927 American musical film. The first feature-length motion picture with synchronized sound, its release heralded the commercial ascendance of sound films and the decline of the silent film era. Directed by Alan Crosland and produced by Warner Bros. with its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system, the film, featuring six songs performed by Al Jolson, is based on a play of the same name by Samson Raphaelson, adapted from one of his short stories "The Day of Atonement".

TITLE 1:
The New York ghetto, the daily life of which

throbs to the rhythm of music that is as old as

civilization.

FADE IN:

1. EXT. NEW YORK STREET LONG SHOT

It is a typical East Side business street at the height of the day's

activities, a street that is lined with pushcarts, sidewalk vendors and

little stores, with its milling shoppers, its petty marketing arguments,

its unkempt kids playing in the street heedless of consequences. In the

distance is seen an elevated train flashing across the background like

a comet across the sky.

2.MOVING SHOT SAME

A shot may be made from an auto or truck down the street showing the

teeming life of the ghetto. As the camera reaches a street intersection,

a half dozen kids come into the scene.

3.MED. SHOT KIDS (STUDIO STREET)

They are playing tag on the intersecting street which is given over to

tenements. There are no pushcarts and only a few stores in the basements

or ground floors of the buildings which house many thousands of ghetto

folk. The kids are attracted to something. They all look down the street

and then start running in the direction they have been looking. Some

little girls join them. (Vitaphone street piano, at some distance.)

4.EXT. SIDE STREET MED. SHOT

In front of a low brick building is an Italian with a street piano and

he is grinding out that always popular classic of the East Side, "The

Sidewalks of New York." The kids come into the scene and gather around

the hurdy-gurdy.

5.CLOSE-UP GROUP

The Italian smiles as the children start dancing about. He looks

expectantly at the windows above him and nods pleasantly to someone up

above as he continues cranking the piano.

6.EXT. TENEMENTS LONG SHOT

Looking upward from the street piano. This may be a very effective shot.

In several of the windows women are looking down at the music-maker and

other heads appear in other windows. Several take deliberate aim and

toss coins to the street.

7.CLOSE-UP ITALIAN

He holds out his ragged cap and expertly catches several coins without

once taking his hand from the crank of the street piano. The piece ends.

He pulls a little lever and starts turning on another selection -- some

old operatic favorite like the "Intermezzo" from Cavalleria Rusticana.

He starts moving down the street as he plays.

8.TENEMENT STREET LONG SHOT

As the street piano, still in operation, goes down the street, the group

of kids, now much larger, follows along. The Italian stops in front of

another building, which adjoins the Orchard Street synagogue.

9.CLOSE SHOT FRONT SYNAGOGUE

It bears the name, in Hebrew, of the temple. Several children get up on

the steps in front of the closed doors to listen to the music, which is

approaching. Next door is an old brownstone front, before which the

Italian stops. Underneath is a store, and in the flat over the store

live Cantor Rabinowitz and his family.

10.INT. ROOM IN SYNAGOGUE

Full shot of the little anteroom in which the rabbi holds school for the

children of the congregation and in which the cantor teaches the boys of

the choir the songs and chants of the orthodox -- the prayers set to

music that has been handed down for generations. Several boys are seated

on a bench beside a battered old square piano (one of the old square

Knabes may be obtained here). The sound of the street piano comes

through the open window, and the kids rush to the window. They no sooner

get to it and climb up to look out when the door into the room from the

synagogue proper slowly opens and the head of the venerable Cantor

Rabinowitz appears.

TITLE 2:
Cantor Rabinowitz, who sang and taught the

youth of his congregation to sing the age-old

songs of Judea -- a man revered and respected

by all the ghetto.

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Alfred A. Cohn

Alfred A. Cohn (March 26, 1880 – February 3, 1951) was an author, journalist and newspaper editor, Police Commissioner, and screenwriter of the 1920s and 1930s. He is best remembered for his work on The Jazz Singer, which was nominated for (but did not win) an Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay in the 1st Academy Awards of 1929. Cohn was born in Freeport, Illinois but subsequently moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he began work as a newspaper editor and journalist. He then moved to Galveston, Texas where he ran a newspaper. more…

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"The Jazz Singer" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 19 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/the_jazz_singer_878>.

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