Jolson Sings Again (1949): Oscar Nominated Sequel to 1946 Smash Hit, also Starring Larry Parks

This Technicolor sequel to Columbia’s 1946 smash hit “The Jolson Story” again stars Larry Parks as legendary entertainer Al Jolson, and Jolson himself, as Parks’ singing voice.

The movie was a quickie to cash in on the public interest and huge success of the first biopic, which is better on many levels.

The story centers on Jolson’s activities entertaining the troops during WW II. After VJ day, Jolson finds that his services are no longer required, but he stages a comeback, based on the release of “The Jolson Story”!

Quite bizarrely, Larry Parks as Jolson meets Larry Parks as Larry Parks.

Also returning from “Jolson Story” are William Demarest as the title character’s manager Steve Martin, Bill Goodwyn as Broadway-producer Tom Baron, and Ludwig Donath and Tamara Shayne as Jolson’s parents.

Barbara Hale appears as Jolson’s third wife, renamed Ellen Clark, while Myron McCormick plays a composite character based on several Hollywood execs (including Columbia honcho Harry Cohn).

Song highlights include “After You’ve Gone”, “You Made Me Love You”, “Let Me Sing and I’m Happy”, “Sonny Boy”, “About a Quarter to Nine”, “April Showers”, “Back in Your Own Backyard”, and the staple song, “Mammy”.

Oscar Nominations: 3

Story and Screenplay (Sidney Buchman)

Cinematography (Color): William Snyder

Scoring of a Musical: Morris Stoloff and George Duning

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The Story and Screenplay Oscar went to Robert Pirosh for the war picture “Battleground.”

Winton Hoch won the Color Cinematography Oscar for the Hogn Ford-John Wayne Oscar, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.”

The winners of the Scoring Oscar were Roger Edens and Lennie Hayton for “On the Town.”

Credits

Running time: 96 Minutes.

Directed by Henry Levin.

Screenplay by Sidney Buchman.

Released on August 17, 1949.

DVD: October 21, 2003.

Cast:

Larry Parks as Al Jolson

Barbara Hale as Ellen Clark

William Demarest as Steve Martin

Ludwig Donath as Cantor Yoelson

Bill Goodwin as Tom Baron

Myron McCormick as Ralph Bryant

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