With its “You ain’t heard nothing yet!” chutzpah, Alan Crosland’s 1927 Jazz Singer is a cornerstone of cinema history. At best, Neil Diamond’s 1980 remake is a small leaky roof tile at the back of the extension.
At 39, Diamond was far too old too be playing the Jewish boy who pursues a career as a professional crooner. He might have got away with it if he was a better actor, but even a woefully hammy turn from Laurence Olivier seems glowingly lifelike by comparison. Diamond comes alive during the songs, but just buy a concert DVD if that’s your bag. With a complete lack of extras and a grainy transfer, there’s no reason for fans (hello Mum!) to upgrade from their cherished VHS copies.