“Blue Skies” transforms film industry

23 11 2011


Excerpts from The Songs of Hollywood  By Philip Furia

“Blue Skies” thus resonates with the dramatic moment in “The Jazz Singer” when Jolson, after many years of missing his beloved mother, is reunited with her. Before he sings, the scene is silent. Jolson enters his parents’ apartment, surprising his mother, and we see his father giving Hebrew lessons in another room. After a few moments of title-card dialogue, Jolson offers to demonstrate one of the songs in his new Broadway show. As synchronized sound comes up again, Jolson strides to the parlor piano and launches into “Blue Skies.” While he renders the song as a performance, his hammy, flourishing rendition portrays him as a kid showing off for his mother.

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