A look back at this day in film history
November 29
October 6, 1927
Jolson’s Jazz Singer breaks the movie sound barrier

It is not hyperbole to say that The Jazz Singer, released 80 years ago today, changed everything. The legendary All Jolson movie was the original “talkie,” with the newly developed Vitaphone sound system piping songs and dialogue into theater auditoriums for the very first time. Jolson’s words, “Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain't heard nothin' yet!,” were the first in spoken in movie history — but with a lot of audiences, they really hadn’t heard anything yet. The Jazz Singer was a major success and one of the biggest films of 1927, but was not the overwhelming smash hit it could have been because most movie theaters outside of the major cities had not yet installed sound systems. It was not until 1928 that movie lovers throughout the country got to hear — rather than just see — what all the fuss was about.

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Jorge Muller and Carmen Bueno November 29, 1974
Carmen Bueno and Jorge Muller arrested

On Friday, November 29, 25-year-old film actress Carmen Bueno and 27 year-old cameraman Jorge Muller were working a documentary for the Peace Committee of the Chilean Churches when a dark car pulled beside them, shoved them in the back seat, and tore off.

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November 29, 1981
Natalie Wood dies

Hollywood legend Natalie Wood died November 29, 1981, at the age of 43. Wood first impressed audiences at the age 9 when she appeared in two Hollywood films: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and, most famously, Miracle on 34th St.

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November 29, 1945
Wilder's Lost Weekend

In 1945 Billy Wilder followed his hit film Double Indemnity, co-written with Raymond Chandler, with what was, for its era, a bold and startling movie––The Lost Weekend. “How daring can the screen dare to be?” asked the marketing materials, as Wilder and star Ray Milland chronicled a frustrated writer’s four-day drinking binge with the same expressionistic lighting and camera that Wilder previously used to depict noir obsession and betrayal. The film won four Oscars, including Best Actor, Director and Screenplay, surprising those who argued, pre-release, that the film was too shocking for theater audiences. Also, the alcohol industry lobbied Paramount Pictures against releasing the film (Wilder claimed Paramount was offered $5 million to shelve the picture) while temperance groups fought against it too, feeling that the pic glamorized drinking.  But there were still some aspects of its story that the filmmakers avoided. In the Charles Jackson novel on which the film is based, Milland’s character is driven to drink by the shame of a homosexual affair. In the film, his alcoholism is “explained” by a case of writer’s block.

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