Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Talking Pictures Before The Jazz Singer

The Jazz Singer (1927) was the first talkie? Well, actually, no- not exactly. We've been lied to- or fed a slimmed down version of the truth. The Jazz Singer was Hollywood's first full-length talkie- and the landmark production that convinced the industry that sound was the future- but that's all. People had been trying to marry up sound and vision ever since the movies began- and by the beginning of the 1920s the problem had been cracked. Dr Lee DeForest patented his Phonofilm system in 1919- and premiered a set of 18 one reel talkies in 1923. All of DeForrest's movies were shorts.  Here's a surviving example from 1923-24: A Few Moments With Eddie Cantor.

Never mind Eddie's misogyny, just feel the history....

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