Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
April 17
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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