The Jolson Story (1946) Movie Script

Over here.
Steve Martin's the name.
It grew.
Thank you. Tell you what I'll do.
You call out a tune, and I'll play it.
Stay in Your Own Backyard.
Too dirty back there.
- Any other tune?
- Banks of the Wabash.
Banks of the Wabash. All right.
Now I'll tell you what I'll do.
I'll play it if you folks will sing it. Right?
The key of C, Professor.
So you won't sing?
Am I asking you to do me a favor?
I'm doing you a favor.
When you sing, what happens?
Your lungs get full of oxygen.
It puts roses on your cheeks.
As a matter of fact, you either sing out,
or you get out.
Now that we understand each other,
let's go, Professor.
The breath of new-mown hay
Through the sycamores
the candle lights are gleaming
on the banks of the Wabash, far away
Fine. Stand up and let the folks see you.
Don't be bashful. Come on, stand right up.
Come on, folks, let's make him stand up.
Attaboy! Let's have it again.
Give that boy a spotlight!
Professor, let's have the chorus again.
Oh, the moonlight's fair tonight
along the Wabash
From the fields there comes the breath
of new-mown hay
Through the sycamores
the candle lights are gleaming
on the banks of the Wabash
far away
- What's your name?
- Asa Yoelson.
Are you in show business?
No, sir, I'm not.
Where'd you learn to sing like that?
I sing with my father at the synagogue.
- Where?
- At the...
The synagogue!
Wait a minute!
Sonny, wait a minute!
Answer me, Asa.
Where were you all that time?
You came like someone
who is running a race.
It's not good to run a race with God, Asa.
Where were you, Asa?
I was... singing.
You mean you stayed home?
- Practicing, is that what you mean?
- No.
Then where were you singing?
Stop cracking your knuckles.
In the street, maybe?
That's not exactly where I was singing.
Singing prayers in the street.
- No, not exactly.
- Exactly?
You must have been exactly somewhere...
singing exactly something...
- and for some exact reason.
- Yes, Papa.
My name is Martin.
I'd like to talk to you for a minute.
Hello, Asa.
You're Cantor Yoelson. I'm Steve Martin.
- How do you do?
- I'm glad to know you.
Your son has a real voice.
You were at the synagogue today
for the service?
Me? No. I just went by there to find out
where you lived.
Then where did you hear my son sing?
- At Kernan's.
- Kernan's?
Yeah. The burlesque house
a few blocks from here.
The burlesque theater?
- Don't you ever go there?
- No, I do not.
That boy's got a future in show business.
I've looked for something like him
for a long time.
I'd like to make him a regular part of the act.
You've nothing to worry about.
I'm booked solid for the season.
I move on to Baltimore tonight.
- Baltimore.
- I know he's pretty young...
but when a boy's got a voice like that,
he ought to let people hear it.
You're right, Mr. Martin. Asa will sing.
But where his people have always sung.
I know how you feel.
It's a beautiful thing to sing in church,
but there's a lot to say for the theater, too.
If you're worried
about my taking care of him...
Excuse me, Mr. Martin.
I think I know what's best for my son.
I was afraid that's how you'd feel about it.
Sorry, Asa.
- Good night.
- Good night.
I want your promise
that you'll never go to that place again.
I can't.
- I can't promise.
- Go to your room.
Ann, go downstairs and get a ladder.
Put it here.
- Why?
- Hurry up. Get the ladder.
What'd you bring me here for?
Why don't you let me find Steve Martin?
What kind of a car was that
you jumped out of?
A cattle car.
What difference does that make?
All the difference in the world, my boy.
- Here's another one, Father.
- Let me go.
Yes, let him go, Riley. Don't mind him.
He just thinks he has to behave
like a policeman.
I don't think he understands boys.
No? I've only got seven of them myself.
That's just what I mean.
Now, suppose you tell me about yourself.
Where are you from?
- Where was he picked up?
- In the freight yard.
He came in on a cattle car. Can't you tell?
If you knew about freight trains,
you'd never pick a cattle car.
- I had to get here.
- To Baltimore? Why?
- He's got a job here.
- What kind of job?
- Singing.
- Singing? Where?
In a show with Steve Martin.
He's in Baltimore right now.
What about your family?
Do they know about this?
I see.
Before we do anything else,
I think you'd better have a hot bath.
- And something to eat, John.
- Come on, my boy.
Why don't you find Steve Martin
and ask him?
That's just what I'll do.
Since it's singing he's interested in,
why not let him sing?
Tell me a little more about your work
in the theater, Mr. Martin.
I've told you about all there is.
Pardon me, Father. I don't get it.
Why would you be bringing me here,
asking me all these questions?
- Is there something you want me to do?
- I'll come to the point in a little while.
- Cantor Yoelson? I'm Father McGee.
- How do you do?
Mrs. Yoelson.
Hello, glad to see you again.
- You know Mr. Martin?
- We know him.
- Is our boy here?
- The description is like Asa.
I have a very strong feeling that...
So have I.
Singing without his cap on.
It's not so much what's on the head
as what's in the heart...
is it, Cantor?
Hello, Mama. Hello, Papa.
Beautiful song, wasn't it?
Get ready, Asa. We're going home.
I'll do it again, Papa. I'll run away.
- I'll find Mr. Martin someplace.
- Now wait, Asa.
I wouldn't have you in the act
if I didn't have your father's consent.
Then I'll get in another act.
I'll keep running away.
- What are we going to do with him?
- We'll decide that at home.
Maybe we should decide now, Papa.
You said you would take
very good care of our boy?
- You would consider this foolishness?
- I'm only asking, Papa.
If Asa is going to keep running away,
I have a right to ask.
I made inquiries about Mr. Martin.
He's a man who can be trusted.
I'm sorry I started all this trouble
and I wouldn't have more to do with it...
but considering his feelings
about show business...
Show business!
Tell me, Mr. Martin,
exactly what would Asa do?
The same as I did at Kernan's, Mama.
- Isn't that what you mean, Mr. Martin?
- Yes.
Mr. Martin's onstage asking everybody
to sing, but nobody does...
'cause they're waiting
for someone else to begin.
I'm up in the balcony, and Mr. Martin says:
"Come on, folks! Join in the chorus!"
"Don't be bashful. All together now."
All of a sudden,
I stand up in the balcony and start singing.
I'm dumbfounded at the kid's voice,
and I say:
"Give that boy a spotlight!"
"Give that boy a spotlight!"
I love you
as I've never loved before
Since first I met you
on the village green
Come to me
or my dream of love
is over
I love you as I loved you
when you were sweet
when you were sweet
"Next week, Philadelphia, then Pittsburgh.
"Feeling fine.
Your loving son, Asa Yoelson."
He's feeling fine.
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh.
Washington was too small for Asa.
- "Indianapolis."
- Indians! He'll come home scalped yet.
- Is this in the United States, Papa?
- Don't be foolish!
- No. That's pronounced Di-bi-kah.
- Dubuque!
Anyway, in Dubuque, he sang two encores.
Now spell "tedious."
Wait a minute. That's wrong.
Try again. "Tedious."
You wouldn't know to spell it
if you didn't have that book.
I'm not learning. I'm teaching.
By the light
of the silvery moon, moon
I want to spoon
to my honey I'll croon love's tune
Honey moon
keep a-shinin' in June
Your silv'ry beams will bring love dreams
We'll be cuddling soon
by the silvery moon
Just a minute.
How come suddenly
in the middle of the song...
you put in a "moo-moo"?
I thought it would be a little better that way.
You thought it would be a little better?
If the guy who wrote the song
wanted to say "moo-moo"...
he'd write it that way.
I just get tired of singing it
the same way every time.
- So you thought up "moo-moo"?
- I didn't think it. It just came out.
It just came out?
Don't let it come out!
Sing that song just like it's written...
and I don't want to hear
no more "moo-moos."
- Yes, sir.
- How do you like that?
He gets tired singing it the same way...
so he puts in "moo-moo."
As if that makes any difference.
And another thing...
you're singing it a little faster every night.
Is that because you're tired, too?
No. That's because you're playing it
too slow.
I'm playing it slow?
Excuse me.
I've only been in this business for 30 years,
making a very nice living.
But maybe an old trouper like you
ought to come on stage...
I thought of that.
I could sing much better on the stage.
You don't tell me.
Then I can sing right to them
instead of the backs of their heads...
- and I could see how their faces look.
- The faces?
Unless you can see the people's faces,
it's no good at all.
You don't say. And tell me, Mr. Yoelson...
with that spotlight
shining right in your eyes...
- how are you gonna see faces?
- That's easy.
If you turn up all the lights in the theater,
then they can see me, and I can see them.
Asa in long pants.
Goodbye, my bluebell
farewell to you
One last fond look
into your eyes so blue
'Mid campfires gleaming
'mid shot and shell
- You don't wanna be in the act anymore?
- No, Steve.
I'm going home.
Don't be silly.
Your voice is changing, that's all.
In a couple of years,
you'll get it back, better than ever.
And listen, the way
you pulled that whistle out of the hat...
that's showmanship.
Didn't you hear them applaud?
- But it isn't the same.
- What isn't the same?
The act's just as good as it was before.
When you whistle,
their faces don't look the same.
Faces again. This kid'll drive me crazy.
Listen, I didn't say you're gonna whistle
the rest of your life.
Just for a while.
Look, know what we're gonna do?
We're gonna work up
some whistling routines...
and you're gonna
work on the stage with me.
What do you think of that?
And do you know something else?
Then you're gonna get billing.
Yes, sir!
"Meet that scintillating team of artists:
Steve Martin and Asa Yoelson."
Asa Yoelson.
"Now I whistle in the act.
Everyone seems to like it.
"Your loving son..."
- Papa, Asa isn't Asa anymore!
- What?
In Reno, Papa, he's picking up time.
Is time something you can pick up?
This is crazy.
This town they liked so much,
they named it twice.
He says he can't come home this summer.
Maybe next spring.
Since first I met you
on the village green
- Listen.
- What's the matter?
Come to me
for my dream of love
is all
I love you as I loved you
When you were sweet
When you were sweet
What do you think?
Are we going into this again
in the middle of the night?
- It's getting better every time.
- All right, it's getting better.
I told you, let it alone. Give yourself time.
- Go away. Go sing in the bathroom.
- Why not let me try?
You mean all of a sudden,
tomorrow maybe...
- in the middle of the act, you wanna sing?
- Why not?
- You're daffy.
- Why?
We're changing no act
in the middle of the season...
and fall flat on our face.
We're gonna do like I said.
We're gonna knock off a month next spring.
Won't take no. Never stops.
This guy'll drive me crazy.
He's getting close to home.
We'll see him soon, Papa.
- Hello, Pop. How's tricks?
- Letter for you.
Mama. Always on time.
- Overture!
- Come on, Al.
Mama's excited.
Three more weeks, and we go home.
- I could use a nice month's rest.
- Not a month.
I don't want to stay home that long.
Just a few days.
We have to work on the new act
and the stuff I'll sing.
I know. There'll be time.
Take it easy. Just relax.
- Stop arguing.
- Just humming a little.
When you sing,
it means you're getting ideas.
I was thinking of something.
In Nashville and Charleston,
the last two dates...
why can't I sing just one chorus
of Sweet Sixteen?
- No.
- Just to see how it sounds.
Won't matter if I flop.
Just in Charleston, then.
Let me sing it once the last night.
That little Connolly kid
is awful sweet on you.
Give her a tumble
and get your mind on something else.
- Don't you think of girls?
- I haven't got time.
All I'm asking is just one chance. That's all...
Stop arguing!
I bet the Kentucky Derby winner.
I win a snootful!
A snootful is right. You better get ready.
I got ready, boy, and I win!
Get yourself together.
You're on in a little while.
- I'll be there with flying colors.
- He can't go on like that.
We better tell Jonesy to skip the act,
and get ready ourselves.
You get made up.
- I gotta try and pull this guy together.
- All right, but hurry up.
There's a big derby crowd out there tonight.
The house is packed. You gotta go on.
I'm raring to go.
Oscar Hammerstein and Lew Dockstader!
What are they doing here?
Down for the races.
Why did you drag me here
when we could've been playing poker?
Anything on a stage, Oscar, and I love it.
I see them all.
- You're on, Mr. Baron.
- Ready.
Anytime you're ready to go, Lew.
Tom, you're all right? Where's Al?
He was with you, wasn't he?
Where did he go?
All right, Tom.
Tom, come on, get out there. Hurry up!
There's a little bunch of sweetness
that I long to call my bride
And believe me, I'm not happy
But, baby
Funny thing,
I've sung this song a thousand times...
Why I forgot it tonight, I don't know.
You'll hear me call her name
I got it now.
Rosie, you are my posie
You are my heart's bouquet
Come out here in the moonlight
There's something sweet love, I want to say
Your honey boy, I'm waiting
Those ruby lips to greet
Don't be so aggravating
Baron's developed a very nice style.
Very nice.
you are my posie
You are my heart's bouquet
Come out here in the moonlight
there's something sweet love
I'm gonna sing about my baby, your honey
Your boy, I'm waiting
Those ruby, those lips to greet
Don't be so aggravating
My blushin' Rosie
my posie sweet!
Did you hear that finish?
Come on, Tom. Get out there!
I don't know any more of Tom's songs.
Take a bow and collapse.
Get yourself off! Go on!
- What's the matter?
- He's sick.
- Let me help you.
- I'll take him back.
Jimmy, get the adagio team. Hurry up!
I'll murder you!
Give me that key to Baron's room.
He could get thrown out.
But the way I sang that finish.
Give me that key.
We gotta get Tom on his feet.
Get that make up off and you get yours on.
The stage manager
will be here to see if you died.
- I gotta go on!
- Get this through your head.
You've been on. You just came off.
- You got sick and quit after the first song.
- I did?
Don't you understand?
You weren't on at all. You couldn't make it.
- That idiot went on and sang for you.
- You were a big hit, Tom.
I'll talk to you later. Get that makeup off.
He's all right, Jonesy.
Nothing to worry about.
Mr. Hammerstein and Mr. Dockstader
are here to see him.
Hammerstein? Dockstader?
- What's the matter? Let me in!
- Just a minute!
Are you all right?
Did you hear what I told you?
- See, you were a big hit.
- Keep still.
Come in, gentlemen.
He's feeling much better.
Just a little indigestion.
Mr. Baron, gentlemen.
Mr. Dockstader, Mr. Hammerstein.
I'm glad to know you.
You were great out there tonight.
- Sorry you couldn't do more.
- Thank you, Mr. Hammerstein.
This is Steve Martin, gentlemen.
How are you? My partner, Al Jolson.
- How do you do?
- Martin and Jolson.
I have an idea you might do very well
at Hammerstein's Victoria...
if you'd consider opening in two weeks?
I don't know, Mr. Hammerstein.
That's wonderful. He gets an offer
to play on Broadway and he doesn't know.
That's a great break.
I don't carry a contract around with me,
but anything will do.
- I'd like to talk to you.
- Who me?
I'm certain we won't have any trouble
about the terms.
Yes, sir, you're going to enjoy
playing my theater.
What did you say your name was?
Al Jolson.
- Did you ever sing in blackface?
- Him? Never.
You see, he just whistles, Mr. Dockstader.
Blacks up behind the ears to whistle.
I've seen Baron work before.
Hammerstein hasn't.
- I'll go and explain to Mr. Hammerstein.
- I wouldn't.
Hammerstein knows what he's doing.
I don't tell tales.
As for you, Jolson...
you can join Dockstader's Minstrels
in St. Louis next week.
You don't mean it.
- You hear that?
- That's from heaven!
St. Louis next week.
We'd have to leave the show on Saturday.
We can fix that, can't we?
Sure. There's a lot of new stuff
we're planning to put in the act.
- We'll have it ready Saturday.
- I can't use an act.
I only have a place for one man.
You mean you just want me?
What did you think?
What would I be doing with minstrels?
Steve and I have been together a long time
and we're working up a lot of new ideas.
Not me. You.
But this is what a guy like you prays for.
- Dockstader's Minstrels in one jump.
- Where you can sing your head off.
You mean the job calls for a singer?
What are you talking about?
What did you think?
Then I wouldn't be interested.
See, I like whistling.
Steve and I argue about that all the time.
He wants me to sing...
but at heart I'm a whistler.
It makes me happy.
- Martin and Jolson, five minutes.
- That's us.
Thanks a lot.
If you need a whistler, let me know.
Be with you in a minute, Steve.
When are you leaving town, Mr. Dockstader?
Tomorrow evening.
I might drop around to your hotel
in the morning.
I wonder what the porter did
with my bags. They're not here.
- Must be on the train somewhere.
- I'll see.
Hello, Jolson.
Hello, Mr. Dockstader.
I thought you were going to St. Louis.
I am. So are you.
- All aboard!
- Where's Steve?
He's not coming.
- Then I'm on the wrong train.
- No, you're not! This is the right train.
Steve wants you to go with me.
- I can't do it, Mr. Dockstader.
- But you're throwing away a great chance.
I want a girl
Just like the girl
That married dear old Dad
She was a pearl
And the only girl
That Daddy ever had
A good old-fashioned girl with heart so true
One who loves nobody else but you
And that's why I want a girl
Just like the girl
That married dear old Dad
Excuse me, Mr. Dockstader.
- It's been almost a year now...
- And you're doing fine.
You're making real progress
and I have some ideas for you.
I'm going to move you into a quartet.
Thanks a lot, Mr. Dockstader,
but you see, I had some ideas myself...
Steve Martin said
you break out with a rash now and then.
Ideas about what?
I wanted to talk to you
about the kind of song we're singing.
- Same one always in the same way...
- That's what they come to hear.
- It's tradition.
- But they might like something different.
My boy, minstrels have been doing fine
for 50 years.
We take pride in doing it
like it's always been done.
- I know that...
- But you've got a great point there.
We'll talk it over sometime.
She was a pearl and the only girl
That Daddy ever had
A good old-fashioned girl with heart so true
One who loves nobody else but you
Excuse me, Mr. Dockstader.
- I've been looking for a chance for weeks...
- I agree.
You've worked in that quartet long enough.
Time you moved up.
- I'm going to give you a chance in a duet.
- That'd be fine, Mr. Dockstader...
but the point is, if I do,
I'd like to try a different kind of song.
I mean something with a style
that's better for me...
faster tempo, more rhythm.
I'd like to look for something like that.
Sure. Talk to you about that again.
Must be some song around
you'd be happy with.
I want a girl, just like the girl
That married dear old Dad
She was a pearl and the only girl
That Daddy ever had
- Where you going to eat?
- I think I'll take a look at the town.
- I've never been in New Orleans before.
- Don't get lost. We've got a show tonight.
Mr. Dockstader,
Jolson hasn't showed up yet.
It's too late now anyway. Cut the duet.
I'm sorry I'm late...
It's intermission.
We had to skip your number.
I'm very sorry.
I just forgot.
I know that sounds crazy,
but I heard some music tonight...
something they call "jazz."
Some fellas just make it up
as they go along. They pick it out of the air.
They tell me they play it
for weddings, funerals...
Don't get the wrong idea.
You've never heard anything like this.
I sang with them. Nothing with words,
because the song doesn't have any.
In fact, it isn't even a song.
But you can make it one
and get words to fit.
It just needs to be worked on a little.
It's exciting.
It'll make the show a hundred times better.
I'm happy with the show as it is.
But you aren't, are you?
In fact, you never will be.
You'll always be chasing something
up ahead...
and keep forgetting your act
in a little thing like a minstrel show.
So, maybe, we ought to call it quits.
Don't you think so?
Yeah, I think you're right.
Good luck, Jolson.
I hope you find what you are looking for.
Thanks, Mr. Dockstader.
Papa, you're not
going to start again tonight?
Can't a man ask himself questions?
In six months, three cards.
I would really like to understand.
He leaves Dockstader
and then no cards. Why?
Because he did not leave Dockstader
for a better position...
because, for a long time, he isn't working.
Excuse me, are you the Yoelsons
who have a talented son in show business?
Yup, it's the right Yoelsons.
Mama, you got younger.
- Why didn't you say you were coming?
- Isn't this better?
- This way Mama's having a good cry.
- How are you?
- Look at him, a man.
- Did you eat, Asa?
- Eat? What's that?
- Mama, he didn't eat!
Come on, sit down. Papa and I just finished,
but there's plenty. I got everything.
I got to tell Ann!
Sit down. Make him sit down, Papa.
Ann Murray!
Why is she so excited?
What's there to be so excited about?
Mama takes all the medals.
Still the best cook in the United States.
After what you've been eating,
by comparison I'm wonderful.
Look at him. Shows you what you can tell
from pictures. He is skin and bones.
You see...
That's nice, to put a cap on when you eat.
But, Asa...
did you wear one all the time
you were away?
- As a matter of fact, I didn't.
- For me, it's not necessary.
- Gefilte fish I made this morning.
- And horseradish, fresh-grated an hour ago.
Look out for it, Asa. It's very strong.
Who's that again? Not Ann Murray?
Of course. She grew up.
And look how pretty.
That's what I mean. It can't be.
She was just a funny little girl
with funny ribbons in her hair.
Listen to that, Mama.
And you were such a prize, I suppose?
- Asa was a beautiful boy.
- You see?
- Let him eat. The fish.
- I can taste this already.
- Not too much horseradish.
- I don't have to worry about...
See? I knew he would like it.
Wonderful, Mama.
Really, the best you ever made.
Mama, you're terrific.
- Tell me, Papa, how's everybody been?
- Mama and I have been well.
By the way, do you know who came
to see us a few weeks ago? Steve Martin.
- How is he?
- I don't know.
He didn't look so well.
He said he was picking up time.
- Is that good?
- Lf you don't have a regular booking...
that means you're picking up
whatever work you can get.
- And you...
- Papa, please, he's eating.
- You can talk business later.
- I'm sorry.
It's all right, Mama.
It's true. I've been picking up a little time
now and then.
- You see...
- But wait.
I'd have had regular booking
if I'd wanted it. But I've had other ideas.
They sound a little crazy to anyone but me.
Like what, Asa?
Like spending most of my time
in hotel rooms with songwriters...
whenever I met up with one...
trying to make songs out of music
I picked up.
Music nobody ever heard of before,
but the only kind I want to sing.
Is this music so peculiar?
You sing it all the time, Papa.
- You want to sing prayers on the stage?
- No, just the feeling in prayers.
That's what's in the people I got it from...
and that's what's in their music,
even when it's fast and happy.
But they tell me it won't go, Papa.
It's never been done.
In fact, I'll tell you a secret.
They say your son's a little crazy.
Mama, our son is a little crazy.
But what can we do? He is our boy.
We have got to love him.
But about crazy people, Asa...
it's very funny.
See, once they prove they are right,
they are suddenly great people.
I'll go. Eat, Asa.
Hello. Yes?
New York?
Hello. Yes?
Asa? He is right here.
Yes, and who is this, please?
A Mr. Tom Baron.
Hello, Tom? How are you?
Where'd you drop from?
How'd you know I was here?
I got your home address from an agency.
It's about this, Al.
You remember that contract
with Hammerstein?
I was so bad that he paid me off
if I'd stop singing.
That's how it happens I'm managing
the new Winter Garden Theatre.
I got you to thank for the whole thing.
Look, my friend, we open in three weeks.
There's a spot in the show for you,
if you want it.
If I want it?
Winter Garden?
Yes, I heard you, Tom. It's just a spot...
but Broadway.
Except, tell me, Tom, what do I do?
- I mean, exactly what do I sing?
- I don't know.
Any one of the songs
that's been written for the show.
Why can't I pick my own, Tom?
Not exactly my own.
It's stuff I picked up. Terrific songs.
They need to be polished up
by someone good. Won't take much time.
They're terrific, but not written yet?
What's the good, if it won't help the show
and I can't do what I can?
I don't care if it's the biggest show,
I rather pass it up.
Let me bring the stuff on
and help me get it into shape.
You will? You're marvelous.
I can leave right away.
I'll be on that train in an hour.
- He just came home.
- Right, Tom, the minute I get there.
- Asa, you are leaving?
- Just right next door, New York. I'll be back.
Honey, what a break this is.
New York, Broadway,
Winter Garden, here I come.
How do you like that?
It's got to be his own song...
- and his own way of singing it.
- Hasn't changed a day.
Thanks a lot.
Don't tell him I had anything to do with it.
This could turn out to be a pack of trouble.
Al? Trouble? I can't imagine what you mean.
Show's running too long.
It's almost 11:00 p.m.
- Who's on next?
- Jolson.
- Cut him and jump to the finish.
- Wait a minute.
Tell the orchestra leader about it.
Look, I want to go on.
Where's Baron? Ask Tom.
Baron isn't running this end of it. I am.
- Hold it. You're not on.
- That's what you think.
We're cutting the Jolson number.
I'm next, folks.
- You lucky people.
- But he's here, in front of me.
Oscar, what are you doing with that phone?
This is no time to call up women.
- I can't get up there and pull him off.
- Close the curtains on him.
Oscar, if you insist on phoning,
get one for me.
Hello, Oscar, remember me? Jolson.
Now, boys, take it easy.
Next they'll turn out the lights on me,
but I wouldn't mind that.
Professor, my song, if you please.
Settle back, folks.
You ain't heard nothing yet.
Everything seems lovely
when you start to roam
The birds are singing the day that you stray
But wait until you are further away
Things won't be so lovely
When you're all alone
Here's what you'll keep saying
when you're far from home
The sun shines east, the sun shines west
I know where the sun shines best
My little mammy
My heartstrings
are tangled around Alabamy
I'm a-comin'
Sorry that I made you wait
I'm a-comin'
Hope and trust that I'm not late
My little mammy
I'd walk a million miles
For one of your smiles
My mammy
My little mammy
The sun shines east, the sun shines west
I know where the sun shines best
It's on my mammy I'm talking about
Nobody else's, my little mammy
My heartstrings are tangled around
Mammy, I'm comin'
I hope I didn't make you wait
Mammy, I'm coming
I hope I'm not late
Mammy, look at me
Don't you know me? I'm your little baby
I'd walk a million miles
for one of your smiles
My mammy
Asa smashed something?
That actor you wanted to interview
for the new show...
- want to see him now?
- Send him in.
Hello, Steve. Haven't seen you
in a long time. How have you been?
Fine. Glad to see you, Al.
Sit down. Just cleaning up.
Look, about this part, Al.
It's nice of you to think of me,
but it might not be right.
- I'm considering a few other things...
- Sure, I realize that.
But it's like this. I've clicked on Broadway
and things are piling up on me.
Music contracts, record-making,
sheet music.
Now we're putting together a new show
starring Al.
It's a great show.
You should hear the songs.
- We go into rehearsal next week.
- But what's this got to do with the part?
I'm telling you the part.
I need a man who knows show business.
I need a man to move in
and help me run my career.
I need a manager. What do you say?
It's a nice part, Mr. Jolson,
but not in my line.
You old dog, you got to do it.
I need you, been looking all over for you.
Quit kidding. You got Tom.
I have to run the shows.
Somebody's got to run Al.
- Come on, say you'll ride along with me.
- At my age, ride on a comet?
Tom, meet my new manager,
Mr. Steve Martin.
Great pleasure, Mr. Martin.
Great pleasure, Mr. Martin.
And I'm sittin' on top of the world
I'm rollin' along
Just rollin' along
Don't want any millions
I'm getting my share
I've only got one suit
just one, that's all I can wear
A bundle of money don't make me feel gay
A sweet little honey
is making me say
I'm sittin', sittin' on top
Top of the world
I'm rollin' along
Just rollin' along
And I'm quittin' the blues of the world
I'm singin' a song, just singin' a song
Glory Hallelujah, I just phoned the parson
Hey, Par, get ready to call
Just like Humpty Dumpty
I'm going to fall
And I'm sittin', sittin' on top
Top of the world
I'm rollin' along
Rollin' along
11:40 p.m. Why doesn't he phone?
- The show isn't over yet, that's all.
- So what are you worried about?
Mama, when will you learn
about show business?
Running time is everything.
You can have a smash show,
but if it's too long, it can take a nosedive.
It happens all the time.
What's the matter, Miss Sally?
Just tell your old Uncle Gus everything.
It can't be as bad as all that.
Henry will never believe I love him
and not Lester.
Why don't you just explain it to Henry?
He won't even listen to me.
- He won't?
- No.
Honey, Henry better listen pretty soon
or this show's going to run till 1:00.
A lot of these folks live in Brooklyn.
They got to catch a train.
He really loves her and she really loves him,
and it comes out all right anyway.
Henry, please come here and tell her
you love her so we can get to the finale?
Come on, Henry. Come on out.
You remember Henry.
Go ahead, kids, do your stuff.
That's enough. Besides, you're getting paid.
Now that we got that set,
take this curtain up.
Has he lost his mind?
Go ahead, take it up.
Hello, kids, how are you?
Wait a minute. Hold it. Don't go.
Don't mind the customers. Do like I tell you.
Everybody, come back and sit down.
Anyway, kids, you're tired...
and this may go on for a long time.
Because I got another dozen songs in me
and I'm raring to go.
Wait a minute.
I've made up my mind.
If I'm going to sing to you,
I want to see you.
Steve, tell the electricians
to turn up the lights.
Go ahead.
All the houselights. Every one of them.
Houselights? Why?
How else you going to see faces?
That's more like it.
I've been waiting for this a long time.
I've been waiting for this a long time.
Professor, You Made Me Love You.
And if that ain't a song cue,
I never heard one.
You made me love you
I didn't wanna do it
I didn't wanna do it
You made me want to
And all the time you knew it
I guess you always knew it
You made me happy sometimes
You made me glad
But there were times, baby
You dog
You made me cry for
I didn't wanna tell you
I didn't wanna tell you
I want some love that's true
You know I do, indeed I do, yes, I do
Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme
what I cry for
You know you got the kind of kisses
that I'd die for
You know you made me love you
Beginning of the second year
and still socko, Mama.
I want to get past those footlights
and a lot closer to the audience.
I want a runway from the stage
running right down the center of the house.
Then I can sing right at them.
Put a thing like that up,
you lose 100 seats every performance.
And your show has twice as long a run,
a clear profit.
Look, right down here...
Swanee, how I love you, how I love you
My dear old Swanee
The folks up north will see me no more
when I get to that Swanee shore
I love the old folks at home
Swanee, how I love you, how I love you
My dear old Swanee
The folks up north will see me no more
When I get to that Swanee shore
"Robinson Crusoe, after two years,
still sockeroo."
What is "sockeroo," Papa?
Sockeroo, Mama? That's double socko.
Take a big Broadway show like this on tour?
Drag it all over the country into tank towns?
Al's out of his mind. It's never been done.
Neither was lighting up the audience,
or runways.
But why this, Steve?
Because it's a brand-new audience,
he says, millions of them.
People who never saw a Broadway show
and never heard him sing.
But you go ahead, Tom, talk him out of it.
I will.
Here's a laugh.
Some boys at the club were saying,
"Give Sunday night concerts...
"so actors and people in show business
can get a chance to see you perform."
How do you like that?
That's the most exciting audience
in the world.
That's a great idea.
Make a note of it, Steve.
Tell Tom to arrange it.
Wait. The minute we get back to New York...
you want to start to work on the new show,
without even a day's rest.
So what?
Soon, you're doing eight performances
a week again...
like you've done steady for five years.
And now you want to add
an extra show on Sunday.
That's a shortcut to the morgue.
Sweetheart, what you like doing
keeps you healthy.
I know you'd rather sing
to a live face than eat...
but I call this winding up
with nothing for yourself.
I'm talking about some life
outside of a theater.
Like what?
Like slowing down a little
and having some other kind of fun...
like a family, like some girl.
Don't worry, pal, there's always been a girl.
- Look, when do we play Washington?
- Two weeks.
The night we open there,
let's make it a real celebration.
Get a box for Mama and Papa,
Ann Murray and her folks...
and tell Papa to bring the president.
- Of the United States?
- No, the synagogue.
List'n to me while I tell you
of the Spaniard who blighted me life
List'n to me while I tell you
of the man who stole my future wife
- 'Twas down at the bullfight we met him
- Yes! Yes!
- And during his daring display
- What then?
And while I went out
for some peanuts and a program
that dirty dog stole her away
- The pig!
- Oh, yes!
Oh, no!
- Oh, yes!
- Oh, no!
So tonight
I will have my revenge
Tonight he will have his revenge
If I catch Alphonso Spugoni
- the toreador
- He'll rue the day
With one mighty swipe
I will dislocate his bally jaw
He will, he will
I'll get him, the blighter, I will
and when I get him, that blighter I'll kill,
he shall die!
- He shall die
- He shall die
- He shall die
- He shall die
- He shall die
- I'll kill him
- He shall die
- I'll kill him dead
I'll raise a bunion on his Spanish onion
If I catch him bending tonight
- He shall die
- He shall die
- He shall die
- He shall die
He shall die
He shall jolly well die
- He shall die
- He shall die
He shall die
Oh, it's too high
One of us should have stayed home
For I'll raise a bunion on his Spanish onion
If I catch him bending tonight
A Spaniard all of sudden.
- Mr. And Mrs. Murray, glad you're here.
- You were great. I enjoyed it.
Mr. Samuels, how are you?
How'd you like it?
When I sing in the synagogue,
I never get applause like that.
Papa, if you want to get ahead singing,
you got to have Steve manage your affairs.
Asa, you look thin. You need a rest.
Rest? There's a new show coming up...
and now a performance every Sunday night.
- Sunday nights, too?
- By popular request. Don't worry about it.
- AI, it was marvelous.
- I'm glad to see you, Ann.
I know him.
That's Roy Anderson, Al.
He was in school with us.
- Sure, hello, Roy.
- How are you?
We're going to be married next month, Al.
You and Roy?
What do you know!
We've been experimenting with talking
pictures for years. We know it'll work.
But we want a star
in our first sound picture.
But why Al?
It's logical. He's the biggest singing star
and he's led the way ever since he began.
So Al should risk his career
on a newfangled invention like this.
- What if this thing is a flop?
- With Jolson, we don't think it will be.
Before Al goes into anything like this,
he's gonna knock off for a year and rest.
How many people do you figure
see a good movie?
Fifty million in this country alone.
The rest of the world besides.
Never was an audience like that in history.
- That may be true, Al, but...
- It's an audience that never saw a live show.
People in small towns can afford a movie
but can't afford anything else.
Audience of millions. Be singing
to every one of them at the same time.
- That's really something.
- Ready for the finale, Mr. Jolson.
Stick around, Mr. Glenn.
We'll talk about it later.
Pictures that talk?
- Is that possible, Papa?
- Certainly. It's a new invention.
But tell me, exactly, how does this work?
It's very complicated, Mama.
You wouldn't understand it.
Al, The Jazz Singer is all set. All that's
left to do is to make the announcement.
Al, there's your music.
Announcement? There's only one place
to make the announcement.
Hi, folks.
Hello, Jerry.
Show people are crazy.
Work in the theater all week.
Sundays, you come here.
I'm crazy, too.
Tonight, folks, I'm only gonna sing
2,000 songs. One to a customer.
I should live so long.
Hold this, will you, Henry?
Sorry I'm late, but we were discussing
a business deal in the back of the house.
As a matter of fact,
I'm gonna tell you about it right now.
See, tomorrow I leave for Hollywood.
I'm going into
what they call "talking pictures."
Don't know what'll happen to me.
But if I wanna come back,
you'll let me, won't you?
Thanks, I'll remember that.
So this is a kind of a farewell.
If you don't mind,
I'll sing till you ask me to stop.
You ain't heard nothing yet.
Well, I see a rival producer
sitting down front.
Mr. Ziegfeld.
Ziggy, will you stand up and take a bow?
Try and stop him.
Not too much, folks.
Say, Ziggy, who's that pretty gal with you?
This is Julie Benson,
the star of my next production, Show Girl.
Mr. Ziegfeld, you will please
not advertise on my time.
Glad to know you, Miss Benson.
Look, I'm giving a little farewell party up
at my place tonight, Miss Benson.
I don't live very far from here.
You can bring Mr. Ziegfeld along.
- What'll it be?
- Swanee.
Wait a second. Hold it.
I don't care what you mugs want.
I want to know
what Miss Benson would like to hear.
Miss Benson, what is your pleasure?
April Showers.
Let's not keep the lady waiting, Henry.
Though April showers
may come your way
Just for you.
They bring the flowers that bloom in May
So if it's raining
have no regrets
because it isn't raining rain, you know
It's raining violets
And where you see clouds
upon the hills
you soon will see crowds
of daffodils
So keep on looking for a bluebird
And listening for its song
Whenever April showers
come along
Though April showers
may come your way
They bring the flowers
that bloom in May
So if it's raining
have no regrets
because it isn't raining rain, you know
It's raining violets
And where you see clouds
Where you see clouds on the hills
Look, look, they're not clouds, no, no
They're crowds of daffodils
So keep on looking for a bluebird
and listening
for its song
Whenever April showers
come along
Folks, I'm calling the next one.
I want to sing about
that big, beautiful state I'm going to.
And I don't mean Florida.
Hit it, Professor!
Hit it, Professor!
California, here I come
Right back where I started from
Where bowers of flowers
bloom in the spring
Each morning at dawning
birdies sing and everything
A sun-kissed miss said, "Don't be late"
That's why I can hardly wait
Open up that Golden Gate
California, here I come
California, here I come, yeah!
Right back where I started from
Where bowers of flowers
bloom in the spring
Each morning at dawning
birdies sing and everything
A sun-kissed miss said, "Don't be late"
That's why I can hardly wait
Come on, open up, open up, open up
that Golden Gate
Here I come
California, here I come, yeah!
Right back where I started from
Where bowers of flowers
bloom in the spring
Each morning at dawning
birdies sing and everything
A sun-kissed miss said, "Don't be late"
That's why I can hardly wait
Come on, open up, open up, open up
that Golden Gate
here I come
I'm afraid I'll have to talk to you, my friend.
- Please, Mr. Jolson, I'll never do it again.
- You sure?
A million imitators of Al Jolson,
but none of them touch the original.
That's a cute speech.
You know, I'd sort of like to touch you.
I don't know. It's funny.
I can't seem to make it.
That's good.
You know, you get prettier
every time I see you.
- The first time was just a few hours ago.
- Yeah?
- Then you got prettier since then.
- Thank you.
- Look, will you do me a big favor?
- What?
Will you marry me, Miss Benson?
I'll do you a bigger favor, Mr. Jolson.
I won't marry you.
I didn't suppose you would,
but you could think about it.
You'd have to decide tonight.
I'm going to California tomorrow.
- This last evening belongs to your friends.
- Wait. You mean in there?
Tell you a secret,
don't even know most of them.
How'd they get there?
It always seems to happen.
You see, I ask a few people up.
Then they ask some people
I never heard of...
and those strangers ask some
other strangers and before you know it...
- You're singing for them.
- Yeah, just for three or four hours.
You work till midnight and then you come
home and work three or four hours more?
I don't mind.
- You mean you love it.
- Yeah, I guess I do.
It's more than just singing.
I don't know how to tell you...
- You really don't have to, Mr. Jolson.
- Yes, I do.
I gotta tell you everything.
- AI, it's getting late and the gang wants...
- Go away, Steve, I'm busy.
Caught a cold. Can't sing a note. Go away.
You really ought to go in, Mr. Jolson.
No, I've got to tell you how I feel.
And it's gonna take me hours.
I shouldn't be rushing you like this.
You'll think I'm kidding.
But look, you see, I've been waiting
for something for a long time.
I didn't know what it was.
Steve was trying to tell me, it was about...
All about getting everything
and nothing out of life.
I didn't know what he was talking about,
and then I saw you.
Yes, sir, then I saw you.
Look, got a great idea.
Suppose you and I got married and went
to California together? How about it?
Of course, I'm rehearsing Show Girl,
and we open in two weeks.
Yeah, that's too bad.
If it just wasn't for that?
And a few other things.
Go ahead, tell me.
That's what I want to know. Like what?
That street down there.
Broadway? What a street.
You know something, baby?
It belongs to me.
You know something else?
If you want it, I'll give it to you.
That's the point. It's yours all right.
It's your whole life, too.
But I don't think it'll ever be mine.
Why, it's gonna say "Julie Benson"
down there in great big lights.
- Do you mean to say you don't want that?
- Yes, I want that.
- I'm just normal enough to want that.
- Sure. You're just a little scared now.
When you get some confidence
you'll begin to love it...
begin to feel it in your blood.
- That's the big difference.
- What's the big difference?
It was in your blood when you were born.
But I'm just a pretty good hoofer,
and I got a lucky break.
All I know is, I want a lot besides this.
Like what, Julie? Gotta know.
Well, in the first place, like a real home.
Sure, everybody wants a home.
- You won't care for the kind I'm thinking of.
- Why not? Why wouldn't I?
It would have to be far enough away.
Maybe way out in the country,
so that by the time you got there...
and closed the door, you'd have forgotten
all about show business.
It's funny, all of a sudden that's what
I've always wanted, to close a door.
I'll tell you something. I know the spot.
It's in Westchester.
Acres of pretty land, trees all around.
Go away, Steve.
Feeling worse all the time. Go away.
- Tell Ziggy I'll see Miss Benson home.
- It's getting pretty late, Mr. Jolson.
Late? But, baby, I'm going away tomorrow.
We're just getting places.
Come here, sit down.
Look, can you cut out that "Mr. Jolson"?
Why don't you just call me
by my southern name: Honey.
I know what's the trouble.
You don't believe me.
You don't believe I want anything different.
I'm trying to tell you, I was barging
through this big, beautiful world like a fool.
I do believe you, honey.
I always thought I'd like to fall in love
with the man I'll marry.
You're absolutely right,
and I'm not gonna rush you, baby.
In fact, we won't get married till I get back
from California. How's that?
Hello, darling. How are you?
How'd the dress rehearsal go?
Fine, Al. Yes, honest.
But opening tomorrow night
will be something else again.
I'm scared to death.
You got nothing to be scared about, honey.
You're gonna be wonderful.
Yeah, I'm still at the studio, working hard.
We shoot pretty soon.
It's gonna be all right, I think, when
I find out which end of the camera's which.
Get a good night's sleep and don't worry,
you hear? You're gonna knock them dead.
Yeah, I'll call you again tomorrow night.
Goodbye, angel.
- She all right?
- She says she's scared. She sounds it.
Steve, if I got a plane,
a special plane to fly right through...
I can be in New York
for that opening tomorrow night.
- What can you do in New York?
- I don't know.
I want to be there. Get on that phone.
Get the plane.
- You can't walk out on the studio.
- Be back soon and work twice as hard.
Phone Ziegfeld, tell him to hold me a seat
and not to tell Julie I'm coming.
... is rewarded when the world
will become aware
that Liza
is the fairest
of the fair
Liza, Liza, skies are gray
But if you'll smile on me
all the clouds will roll away
Liza, Liza
don't delay
Come, keep me company
and the clouds will roll away
I just made a date with Parson Brown
Liza, Liza
name the day
When you belong to me
all the clouds will roll away
Liza, Liza, skies are gray
But if you'll smile on me
all the clouds will roll away
Liza, Liza
don't delay
Come, keep me company
and the clouds will roll away
See the honey moon a-shinin' down
I just made a date with Parson Brown
Liza, Liza, name the day
When you belong to me
all the clouds will roll away
- Hello, baby.
- Hello, honey.
Hello? Who?
Al, how are you? Tell me, how'd it go?
What? I can't hear you.
What are you doing in Connecticut?
You what?
- Meet Mrs. Jolson.
- Oh, my.
- Asa!
- I'm so happy, dear.
Mama, please. Please, give me a chance.
I don't understand. Married a few hours,
he runs to California...
It'll take me a couple of months to make
this picture, then I'll be home.
And that's where he's gonna stay.
Asa staying home. That will be a miracle.
Julie, there's only one thing
the matter with Asa.
He's got to sing. It's a wonderful thing.
Success is beautiful.
But Mama and I have worried...
because a home with love in it
is even better.
The way you say that is a little corny, Papa,
but you're right. Julie agrees with you.
What do you think we'll do?
We'll build a real home and settle down...
out in the country where it's nice
and quiet, with crickets and frogs.
I'll teach the frogs to sing Mammy,
so Al won't be lonely.
Thank you, honey.
- Asa, are you serious?
- Sure.
In fact, Julie doesn't know this yet.
I've got an architect at work.
I told him, "Build a house for Julie.
The sky's the limit."
- That I approve of.
- So do I.
Here. Here have some gefilte fish
with the horseradish, Julie.
Look out for the horseradish.
That stuff will curl your hair.
I think we'll have a barn, Mama,
and some cows.
- I'm gonna milk them myself.
- You?
- You, milk cows, Asa?
- You have to get up at 5:00 a.m.
We'll keep the cows up at night
so they'll sleep later in the morning.
Julie, you got too much.
There's a rainbow around my shoulder
and a sky of blue above
Oh, the sun shines bright,
the world's all right
'cause I'm in love
There's a rainbow around my shoulder
and it fits me like a glove
Let it blow and storm
I'll be warm 'cause I'm in love
Hallelujah, how the folks will stare
when they see that great big solitaire
Let Jolson sing it, mister.
He's doing all right.
Think so?
Yes, sir
There's a rainbow around my shoulder
and a sky of blue above
And I'm shouting so the world will know
that I'm in love
"Jazz Singer marks the end
of silent pictures."
"First talking picture sensation."
I have followed show business
for many years...
but I must say,
I have never seen a thing like this.
- My expert.
- I haven't seen anything like it either.
- It's almost 3:00. Where's Asa?
- You know what a half-hour business talk is.
- You go to sleep. Tom and I'll wait for them.
- Who can sleep on a night like this?
Hello, everybody.
We didn't realize how late it was.
- Did you see the papers?
- We saw them at Glenn's office.
- They're really something.
- "Something," he says.
I'm sorry, baby,
I wanted to celebrate tonight...
but we got to talking over...
I know, they want you to go right back
to the Coast to make another picture.
- How did you know?
- That was tough to figure out.
They said the first talking picture
will be a great hit.
- It ought to be followed with another one.
- You ought to go.
The point is I'd have to go alone. You can't
leave your show in the middle of a run.
We'll just have to wait a little while longer.
What happens
to the new Winter Garden show?
- That waits like Julie does.
- We'll talk about that later.
Wait a minute, Julie will be here,
Asa in California...
so where will you build your house?
In Kansas City?
Don't worry, Mama, we'll build it.
You're terrific to take it this way.
Another bad break, but it won't be for long.
Then you'll get everything you want, angel.
In fact, while I'm gone
you go ahead with the house.
Get it ready. Start building it. Start teaching
those frogs how to sing Mammy.
Yes, we're closing Saturday. It's definite.
I want you to fly here when you're through.
You were coming east when you're through.
A little change in plans, baby.
A big surprise.
But, Al...
Be on that plane no later than Sunday.
I'm dying to see you.
California, here I come.
Here we are, baby, home.
This is really something.
- How are you, Henry?
- Meet Mrs. Jolson.
Great to have her here, isn't it?
Here, baby, let me take this.
You want something? You want to clean up,
want something to eat?
- Henry will rustle up some grub.
- I don't want a thing.
Come on, let's go inside then.
Come on, fellas.
It's been a long time, honey.
Here, wait a minute, let me look at you.
- Never gonna let you out of my sight again.
- Good for you.
Sit down, Dick. This may take a little time.
- It's a little large, isn't it?
- It ain't exactly small.
You see, they used to play football here
before they built the Coliseum.
You wouldn't care for a place like this,
but don't let it get you down.
Darling, since we don't have to stay here
very long, I just love it.
Yeah, that's right.
Yet, on the other hand, baby, you know...
Come here. Sit down.
Got something to tell you.
On the other hand, what?
On the other hand,
he's talking through his hat.
We had a little dinner planned.
Forget what we arranged.
I can't wait, gotta tell her now.
What goes on here?
Honey, talking pictures are here for good.
They're getting better all the time.
In a few years, they'll have audiences
nobody ever dreamed of.
Studio's got terrific plans.
All I know is a man would have to be insane
to walk away from this now.
- AI, you went and did it.
- What?
You bought a house here. Or you're
building one with sunken gardens.
- That was the surprise you talked about.
- No, honest.
- You ain't heard nothing yet, Julie.
- You said it.
- Now, baby, now, listen...
- AI, are you gonna sing Mammy?
Quit clowning. Look,
you don't think I'd ask you to give up...
the stage and dancing and just have you
come out here and settle down?
I'd consider it.
I wouldn't let you do that. You're too terrific.
In fact, do you know what pictures need?
Talent, and something beautiful
at the same time, like you.
- Wait a minute.
- Listen, show business is here now, baby.
You belong in it, you and me both.
If we're together, who cares where we live?
The world's gotta hear about you.
Your name on billboards in 97 languages.
Greatest star pictures ever had.
You can't miss. The document?
- You didn't forget to bring it?
- Here.
Your studio's about to own
the biggest hunk of talent.
Papa's been working on this contract.
It's all ready to sign.
Wait a minute. Julie hasn't said anything.
- I can't think of anything.
- There you are.
Maybe she doesn't want her name
in more than 17 languages. Or maybe none.
Don't listen to him. For weeks he's
squawking about me rushing you into this.
This guy is out of his mind about pictures.
The latest type of Jolson rocket
is taking off.
I've been riding those dizzy things for years.
It's all right with me.
But maybe you had something
a little slower in mind.
Baby, what's he talking about?
Haven't the faintest idea.
My dear Mr. Martin, pictures need talent...
and what girl would take 17 languages
when she can have 97?
Shall I sign this now, Mr. Jolson?
Thanks, Steve, you talked her into it.
Here you are, baby.
Got a pen, Dick? We'll do this right now.
Call the studio. Mrs. Jolson's ready
for her first starring vehicle.
Call the studio. Mrs. Jolson's ready
for her first starring vehicle.
She's a Latin from Manhattan
You can tell by her manana
She's a Latin from Manhattan
And not Havana
Though she does the rumba for us
And she calls herself Dolores
She was in a Broadway chorus
known as Suzie Donahue
I can take a tambourine and whack it
But with me it's just a racket
She's a hoofer from Tenth Avenue
I'm a Latin from Manhattan
I'm a Forty-Second Streeter
She's a Latin from Manhattan
Senorita Donahue
- Here's to the real star of this family.
- I'll have a drink to that.
I thought I was pretty good.
- Now to Julie's next picture.
- Wait, let's not even think about it.
Not another one. Not right away.
I couldn't go through all that work again.
You can't stop now. You're up there.
Do another one
and prove the first one wasn't a fluke.
You won't mind the next one,
you're used to it.
And after the first dozen,
you won't mind anything.
My mother said, "Always be kind to
tired ladies, especially when they're pretty."
- Is the mob getting you down, babe?
- No, I like people, Steve.
I just wish sometimes
there weren't so many of them.
Funny how they never get tired
listening to him. Night after night.
Not so funny. He's a pretty remarkable fella.
That he is.
Soon, you and Al will wash up the pictures,
and you'll knock off for a long rest.
That'll take a miracle, Steve.
When I'm finished, he's in the middle of one
and vice versa.
We'll never come out together.
Then somebody's got to quit for once
and wait for the other.
No waits, no delays
in the life of the Jolsons.
Just a matter of
putting your foot down once.
He'll know the right time, Steve.
He's happy, so am I.
And it's not nice to put your foot down.
Good night, my friend.
Remember those plans you had
for that house in the East?
I just happened to think of that
the other day.
Find a piece of land in the country
around here, in the Valley, for instance...
and get the thing built. You'd get
a big kick out of that, wouldn't you?
I don't know, Steve.
That was just a romantic idea I once had.
What's wrong with this house?
It's got marble, even.
Good night, Steve. I'm absolutely dead.
I agree with you, baby. No more contracts.
I've told Dick how you feel.
But this last one, this isn't just another one.
This is you and me in the same picture.
It's one thing I've had my heart set on.
When we've done it, we've done everything.
Then we blow this town,
do anything you want.
- The script is ready.
- It's good.
- You could shoot in a month.
- A hard month of dance rehearsals.
This will be fun.
Why don't you go away for a year
and do this when you come back?
That's no good. Say yes, Julie.
- You can say no, too. You're a citizen.
- Shut up, Steve.
The stars are gonna twinkle and shine
This evening about a quarter to nine
My loving arms
are gonna tenderly twine, tweet, tweet, twine
Around you, around a quarter to nine
I know I won't be late
'cause at half past eight
I'm gonna hurry there
I'll be waiting where the lane begins
Waiting for you on needles and pins
And then the world is gonna be mine
mine, all mine
This evening around a quarter to nine
Good evening.
- How was the picture?
- Wonderful.
- Henry, it was a mild sensation.
- I'm glad.
There's nobody here.
What do you know? A big Jolson preview
and no mob waiting at home?
- What do you suppose happened?
- It could be me.
- Could be you?
- I told Henry to tell any callers...
that we went straight from the theater
to Santa Barbara for the weekend.
- Suppose that did it?
- You're kidding.
Show you how it works. Listen.
Sorry, Mr. And Mrs. Jolson
left for Santa Barbara.
That's too bad.
Say we stopped by, will you?
- Good night, Henry.
- Good night.
- Simple.
- Sweetheart, that's cute.
Should have thought of it a long time ago.
- You don't really mind, do you, Al?
- Mind?
You see, tonight's a different night.
The last picture's finished.
We're free. Not a contract in the world.
- The governor sent the pardon.
- That's right.
I thought a quiet evening around the fire,
discussing plans for the future.
Look, sandwiches, coffee...
and we'll play some records
by a fella named Al Jolson, very talented.
That guy's washed up,
hasn't even got a picture contract.
- Have some coffee, Steve?
- Thanks, Julie, I will.
Honey, you sound like a gal
with a program all figured out.
First we shake this town for points east...
maybe farther east than that,
across the Atlantic, who knows?
Cream for you, Steve.
And when that's out of our system,
there's a little matter of building that house.
That I gotta see if I never see
another house in the world.
I kind of got a hankering to see it myself.
I'm glad to hear that,
because I can have it up in no time.
I know every room in the place.
I've even got it furnished.
Just one thing...
in our travels to find the right place
to put that house.
You don't mean the East, do you, baby?
That was the original idea. Why change it?
We've gotten used to this country here.
I like it.
I don't know, it feels more like home
than any place in the world...
and it doesn't matter too much to you,
does it, sweetheart?
No, not really. And if it does to you, Al.
Don't put it that way. There's nothing
special you want in the East, is there?
No, that's true. That settles it.
It's going to be here.
- Wonderful!
- And you keep quiet.
Only, Al, we could get out
in the country a little way, couldn't we?
- Sure, why not?
- Thanks.
That's all I wanted.
With no number on the house,
and some vicious dogs in the yard...
you can keep the callers
down to practically nothing.
It's Friday. What about train tickets
out of here, say, Sunday?
I can be ready tomorrow,
but Sunday will have to do.
What's the rush?
Let's give ourselves a little time.
Let's say a week or so.
What do we want with a week or so?
No kidding, a week would wrap up
everything fine for me.
- What have you got to wrap up?
- Not a thing.
He just thinks he has.
Nothing important at all.
Have a coffee, Al. It's great.
- Look, boys, is something cooking?
- No, there's nothing cooking.
It was just an idea, that's all.
A proposition about putting a company
together and making our own pictures...
Nothing definite, just talking about it.
Of course, in a week or so it could gel.
It might be a pretty exciting thing
to come back to. That's all it was.
Sorry, no gelling. First thing you know,
you've set a date to make a picture.
Then we'll have to travel with one eye
on the calendar or something just as bad:
Talking about a picture
all the time we're gone.
- Not a peep. Give you my word.
- Fine, darling.
But I know this is silly,
but it's gotten to be a sort of principle.
Once we do say
we're going to quit for a while...
- Who said we weren't?
- Then, whatever this proposition is...
it'll still be there
in three months or six months...
And just as hot, so why bother now?
Why don't you lay off, Al?
What a beating I'm taking here.
But look, honey, remember me?
This is Jolson.
I go with the principle every time,
but all I'm talking about is a couple of days.
When you want to spend them that way, Al,
that's where the principle is.
It isn't the days.
It doesn't have anything to do with time.
If you can't see that, Al,
I wouldn't know how to...
Holy smoke, this is a kid stunt, isn't it?
I'll be right back.
First time I ever saw Julie cry.
- Something wrong with me, I guess, Steve.
- Yeah, has been for a long time.
You're going to hate to stop work
and go away, aren't you?
It's going to be awfully tough, isn't it?
Not singing always is.
And here I am asking you to go away
without any plans...
without even any work to come back to.
Honest, it doesn't matter that much, baby.
You know how it is
when an old fire horse hears the bell.
I didn't say it was your fault.
That's not what I'm trying to say.
What we've got to discuss is you and me.
Please, Al, just listen hard for once,
will you?
You see, I'm like somebody
with one desperate chance left.
I couldn't go on this way if I wanted to.
That means you'd have to change.
You'd have to get off this merry-go-round
and quit for once, for a long time.
And I know you'd make promises
and try to keep them.
But I'd know how you felt.
I couldn't have any happiness
out of wishing the tiniest misery on you.
Any way you look at it,
there's got to be misery for both of us.
And the way we feel about each other, rather
than let that die a slow, painful death...
I think we ought to have the courage
to quit now.
That's the one thing that can't happen.
- Be honest, Al.
- I never understood a thing.
You've heard of fellas who hit the bottle
and wind up hopeless drunks.
Whatever drives me that way
and won't let me understand...
it's the same thing.
I've been like a fella
who's been drunk all his life.
And you know,
a guy like that will get so bad...
he'll pass up the thing he wants
more than anything else.
You don't have to tell me
how you feel about me. I know that.
No, listen, baby.
I do have to tell you, because listen...
I've been kicked around in my time.
I thought I could take anything,
but your saying you want to quit because...
Look, baby, if it means losing you...
It isn't even a contest.
I don't want any more contracts, or shows,
or any singing in the world.
You can't make me a gift of your whole life.
I just couldn't take it.
No, look, baby, it's giving you nothing...
except this show business,
and that's cheated me all my life.
It stands to cheat me right now
because I know what would happen.
I'd go on the same way,
working my head off...
living everybody's life but my own,
and at the same time...
Iose the only thing
I was lucky to get out of it.
I know what you're thinking.
I'm kidding myself and don't know it.
Maybe, yes. I don't know.
When you've been all your life like a drunk...
you can't quit all of a sudden.
Sometimes you crave this stuff.
But I am sober now, baby.
And I want you to help me.
If I start yelling, hit me over the head,
tie me down.
Because when you go, baby,
I got nothing left.
So, be a pal, Julie. Do what I ask you.
- Hello, Henry.
- Sir, welcome.
Honey, it's a miracle.
Why, it fell from heaven.
You're over the threshold, you fool.
Put me down.
- It's a sensational job, Julie.
- Thank you, boys. Thank you.
Alice, Henry, the house looks beautiful.
You've done a wonderful job.
You've worked hard enough now.
Why don't you take the rest of the day off?
That's right. Go ahead.
- Don't worry about dinner. We'll get a snack.
- Kitchen snack. That's for me.
- Shall I take the bags up now?
- Don't worry. We'll take care of them.
Yeah, so long, Henry. Have a good time.
I used to be a champ back in Washington.
Come on, I'll play you a game.
Checkers, now? You just came in.
How about unpacking?
- We got months to unpack.
- Months.
Wood and everything. I'll light a fire.
We'll play right over here, nice and cozy.
It's not cold enough for a fire.
If he wants to light a fire
in his own home, he can.
That's telling him, baby.
Move that lamp off.
We'll bring the table right here.
Steve, get this one out of the way.
- What'll I do with it?
- Put it anyplace.
Get that, will you, Steve?
- Where?
- In the library.
Put it there. Steve, the phone.
Let's take that telephone out, Julie.
Don't be silly. We need a telephone.
Why? People got along without them
for thousands of years.
Anybody wants to get in touch with us,
let them do it by carrier pigeon.
We've retired, sweetheart.
Come on, sit down.
I'll play you for who's going to be boss
in this house.
- It's Dick Glenn, the studio.
- Not here.
- He wants to wish you luck in the new home.
- Tell him thanks.
If the studio has this telephone number,
change it.
Your move, baby.
- Big fire, isn't it?
- Yeah, it sure is.
- Want to move this way a little bit, baby?
- All right.
Cozy, Steve?
For a Turkish bath, it's very nice.
- Is it a little warm in here, baby?
- It is, a little.
There's nothing like a five-alarm fire
on a nice spring day.
You know,
I never wanted this table in the living room.
It should be in the library.
It's much cozier in there.
- You want to move in there now, honey?
- Yeah, let's.
We'll be with you in a minute, Steve.
Just sit down and relax.
It's your home, too, you know.
New Zealand. Go Into Your Dance
was playing there lately. Funny.
Still hearing from places like that
after all this time.
It's the fan letters from China I like to read.
- Where's Julie?
- She'll be back.
- For lunch?
- That's what she said.
- Where'd she go?
- Into town. I don't know.
Why didn't she tell me?
I could have gone along for the ride.
Your folks' wedding anniversary tomorrow.
You'll phone them?
- I wish we'd have gone east and celebrated.
- Julie wanted to go, and you said no.
I know. I just didn't feel like it then.
We should've brought the folks
to California for their anniversary this year.
We talk about doing it every year,
and never do. It would have been nice.
I wish Julie had told me
where she was going.
She'll be here in a little while. Look, Al...
this manuscript of Baron's new show.
You want to change your mind and read it,
or shall I send it back?
I don't know. Better send it back.
- He's wired about it twice.
- Why doesn't he stop wiring?
We've told him 50 times in this last year,
I'm not interested in any shows.
Wait a minute. Tom knows that.
All he wants is your opinion,
and any ideas you might have.
Tell him I'm sorry, Steve.
I don't want to read it. Haven't the patience.
- Hello, Al.
- There she is.
- Mama, Papa!
- Asa!
- What a surprise. Who thought of this?
- Steve.
- Julie.
- Mama.
No, Papa.
- Look, he's gonna cry.
- Go away.
A big boy like him.
This is the life.
You know, Mama,
if I tried, I could get used to this.
- You go right ahead and try, Papa.
- You and Mama ought to move out here.
Henry, will you see who that is, please?
We've got acres of land.
We'll build you a house right next door.
Next door?
How would Papa get to a synagogue
on the Sabbath?
You know, on the Sabbath, you mustn't ride.
It would be a long walk back to Washington,
especially two trips a week.
Mr. Baron.
- Hello, everybody.
- Tom, how wonderful to see you.
- Looking fine. Where'd you drop from?
- New York, Steve. How are you?
- Cantor, please sit down.
- Thank you.
- Mrs. Yoelson.
- How do you do, Mr. Baron?
Al, you look wonderful.
- Hello, Tom. When did you arrive?
- Just flew in.
- Had no idea I'd find the whole family here.
- You lost no time finding me.
- That's right...
- You wasted a trip.
You can turn around and go back.
I'm not interested in your show.
Steve's told you that, hasn't he?
- AI, wait a second.
- I've quit. I've worked enough.
For you, too. Busting out here
like this'll get you nothing.
Al, what's the matter with you?
You happen to be wrong, Al.
To cast a Broadway show these days...
you have to come to Hollywood
to find the actors.
I can't imagine coming here
and not saying hello to you...
- after quite a few years together.
- Of course.
- You'll have lunch with us, won't you?
- Julie, I'd love to, but as a matter of fact...
As a matter of fact,
we wouldn't think of letting you go.
Henry, set Mr. Baron up here.
Move over, Steve.
Come here, Tom, sit down.
Look, pal. Look, everybody.
There was a crazy fella here a minute ago,
but I think he's gone now.
You can relax.
- How long are you staying?
- I'm flying back late tomorrow night.
Mama and Papa have the guest room.
There's a studio bed in the library
for Tom tonight. With bath.
- What do you say, Mr. Baron?
- No, I really...
That's settled.
And tomorrow night you will attend
the wedding anniversary dinner...
- of Cantor and Mrs. Yoelson.
- I wouldn't miss that for anything.
- But about tonight, I've got a hotel room.
- Sorry, you're staying here, my boy.
And look, son, I'm gonna read
that little show of yours tomorrow.
Yes, sir, I'm gonna give it Mr. Jolson's
personal attention and advice.
And tomorrow night...
What do you say to our
having the dinner party here?
- What do you think of that idea, Papa?
- This I could also get used to.
It's gonna be beautiful out there tonight.
It's about time those two
stopped talking in there.
- Luck to it, Tom.
- You've been a big help to me, Al.
I got a kick out of working on it.
Like old times. It happens to be good.
If I ever had any idea
of going back to the old grind...
it's the kind of a show I'd want.
Not that I have any such idea.
Matter of fact, I couldn't stand it.
- What do you mean?
- A show's a big job. You gotta be up to it.
Look at me.
Laying off for a long time like this.
Pipes not what they used to be.
I'll tell you something you never knew.
Every opening night of my life,
I used to have knots right in here.
No, that's all behind me, Tom.
Luck again, pal.
Al hasn't been as excited about anything
in a long time, has he, Steve?
I don't know.
- Must be a good show.
- Not bad.
He gave Tom some good ideas
this afternoon.
Julie, make him sing tonight.
I'm afraid we won't have any more luck
than we had last night.
He'll play records again, but that's all.
Well, I can understand.
He has sung enough.
- Let the records sing for a change.
- Nice idea, Cantor.
Speaking of change, Papa,
do you think it's been good for Al?
- Good? How do you mean?
- Does he seem happy to you?
Of course.
- Exactly like he used to be?
- A little more settled, maybe.
After all, it's time. He's no boy anymore.
- Dinner is ready, Mrs. Jolson.
- Good, I'll break this up.
All right, that's all, boys.
Join the party. Dinner's served.
That's that. Washes everything up.
From here in, Mama, we belong to you.
I'm hungry. Let's go.
My dear Cantor, if you'll give your arm
to the bride and lead the way.
The Cantor and Mrs. Yoelson
are the youngest couple I've ever known.
It doesn't matter how many years
they've been married.
All that counts is the spirit.
And I wish them
100 more young years of happiness.
- Thank you.
- Speech, Cantor.
Yeah, speech, come on.
- No...
- Come on, Papa.
Thank you, Mr. Martin.
That was very beautiful.
In fact...
That wine was very good, Mama.
I mean, what you said before
about the spirit, Mr. Martin.
By a strange coincidence...
we actually said something just like that...
the night of our wedding,
while Mama and I were dancing.
I said, "Let's always dance."
And how we danced that wedding night.
Asa, you should have seen us.
I remember, you couldn't be there.
Anyhow, I thank you all.
That was very good, Papa.
Remember that, Asa?
I've heard you sing it
a thousand times, Papa.
That was the waltz at our wedding.
Come on, Asa, sing with me.
No, you go ahead, Papa.
Listen to this.
As a little boy, he used to sing
with me at the synagogue.
What's the matter? Too big a man now?
Mama, tell the truth.
Who was always a better singer, me or Asa?
You, of course, Papa.
Do you hear that? Come on.
How we danced
on the night we were wed
We vowed our true love
though a word wasn't said
The world was in bloom
there were stars in the skies
Except for the few
that were there in your eyes
Dear, as I held you close in my arms
Angels were singing a hymn to your charms
Two hearts gently beating, murmuring low
"Darling, I love you so!"
The night seemed to fade
into blossoming dawn
The sun shone anew
but the dance lingered on
Could we but recall
that sweet moment sublime
We'd find that our love
is unaltered
by time
- That's that.
- Thank you, Asa. That was very nice.
Cantor, you two
have a fine dancing act there.
Do you think we could pick up a little time?
I can book you solid for the season.
It was a beautiful party, Julie.
I'd like to take over from here on.
Suppose we drive into town
and you all be my guests at a nightclub.
- What do you say?
- Nightclub now?
Yes. We could see an early floor show,
and I can catch my plane.
- No, let's not.
- Why?
Well, I haven't been
in one of those spots in years.
We're just country folks, Tom.
We don't go for that fast life.
Anyway, Mama and Papa
wouldn't be interested in a nightclub.
Yes, we would.
There you are.
And it's not your anniversary, son,
it's theirs. Come on, let's go.
In all your years in show business, Papa,
you didn't see anything like this yet.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm interrupting
the show to make an announcement.
We have a celebrity with us...
a man you've enjoyed and admired
for many years.
He's been away for a long time,
and we've missed him a lot.
But he still is the greatest entertainer
of them all.
Wonder who he means?
It's an honor to introduce...
That's right, it's Mammy
and the man who made it famous...
the one and only Al Jolson!
The idiot.
There's a slight chance,
if we ask him hard enough...
just for old times' sake,
Mr. Jolson might give us a song.
- This guy's crazy.
- Come on, Al!
Sorry, no.
They're not going to stop.
Better do it and get it over with.
Baby, it looks like
I'm not going to get out of this. I'm sorry.
Thanks, Eddie. Thank you, boys.
That was a big introduction.
Just talk into this?
Thank you, folks.
It's nice to be remembered.
I can't tell you how nice.
But about singing for you,
you see, I'm a little rusty...
but you asked for it,
so we'll just make it a quick one.
- What do the boys handle that I can sing?
- Anything.
Robert E. Lee.
I don't think I'll need this.
Watch them shuffling along
See them shuffling along
Go take your best gal, your real pal
Go down to the levee, I said the levee
join that shuffling throng
Hear that music and song!
It's simply great, mate, waiting on the levee
Waiting for the Robert E. Lee
Watch them shuffling along
See them shuffling along
Go take your best gal, your real pal
Go down to the levee, I said the levee
Join that shuffling throng
Hear that music and song
It's simply great, mate, waiting on the levee
Waiting for the Robert E. Lee
They'll mob him.
All right.
Come on out, gang. Everybody.
Everybody in the show,
come out and sit down.
You work hard every night
and must be tired of doing this show.
Just sit down,
and I'll take over for you tonight.
Haven't worked in a long time.
Gather around,
make yourselves comfortable.
You ain't heard nothing yet.
You pick it, Professor. What'll it be?
Yes, sir. I think I remember that one.
Rock-a-bye your baby
with a Dixie melody
When you croon, croon a tune
from the heart of Dixie
Hang that cradle, Mammy mine
Right on that Mason-Dixon line
And swing it from Virginia
To Tennessee with all the soul that's in you
Weep No More, My Lady
You see, what he didn't have at home,
Mama, was an audience.
Live faces. Isn't that it, Steve?
And Old Black Joe, just as though
you had me on your knee
A million baby kisses I'll deliver
if you will only sing The Swanee River
Rock-a-bye your rock-a-bye baby
with a Dixie melody
Rock-a-bye hush-a-bye
to a Dixie melody
When you croon, croon a tune
from the heart of
You see, Papa,
Al was sure he didn't want to sing anymore.
He wanted to be with me.
- I think I let him make the wrong decision.
- I don't get this, Julie.
I think Papa does.
To Tennessee with all the soul
that's in you, Mammy!
Mammy, listen what they're playing
They're playing Weep No More, My Lady
Sing it for me and Old Black Joe
just as though you had me on your knee!
A million baby kisses I'll deliver
if you will only sing The Swanee River
Rock-a-bye your rock-a-bye baby
with a Dixie melody
April Showers!
You heard them, Professor.
Though April showers may come your way
Though April showers may come your way
They bring the flowers
that bloom in May
So if it's raining
have no regrets
because it isn't raining rain, you know
it's raining violets
And where you see clouds
Excuse me.
You soon will see crowds
of daffodils
So keep on looking for a bluebird
- Where do you think you're going?
- Home.
Throw some things in the car.
- I'll be gone by the time he gets back.
- Don't do that, Julie.
He tried awfully hard, Steve...
- but you and I know he's got to do that.
- Now, wait...
See that he's on that plane
with Tom tonight. They'll do a great show.
- This is going to kill him, Julie.
- It isn't going to be so good for me, either.
But, look, when did you last see him
as happy as that?
Have no regrets
Because it isn't raining rain
you know, it's raining violets
Steve, when he gets home nights
after the show...
don't let him sing too long.
You soon will see crowds
of daffodils
So keep on looking for a bluebird
And listening for its song
Whenever April showers
come along