waking into a dream journal 12.18.07

this morning's urge to ask "who the fuck yelled 'encore!'?"
jolson sings again
director: henry levin // 1949
cinema 4 rating: 5

is this an early example of metafilm? -- basically, we see jolson lingering for the first half of this film in almost self-imposed obscurity, to the point where audiences (for the most part) have forgotten him -- he toils through the war performing to young american troops that no longer recognize his name, and he starts a new marriage that seems likely as doomed as the first, thanks to his depressive state -- where is all this heading? well, it's hollywood, and they love a winner -- since this film comes just three years after the jolson story, which was a monstrous hit, and since that film came just after the war, naturally, we are heading to a huge section of the second film about the making of the first film -- larry parks plays both jolson in the present day and himself playing jolson in the film production -- at first, i just figured they had extra footage from the first movie and decided to break it into two films, until i started watching it and realized that would have been impossible, given that there would have been no point to all of this if
the jolson story had turned out like the buster keaton story -- besides, the makeup job on ludwig donath as cantor yoelson is a dead giveaway from scene one that this was filmed separately -- he actually looks younger than he did in the first film -- barbara hale is in fine form here as the new mrs. jolson, but william demarest, following up his oscar-nominated role, seems fairly wasted and also bored by the proceedings -- alaska gets it in the ass once more as the worst sort of place to begin entertaining the troops -- the only place that gets derided more in this manner is detroit (haven't been there... can't really say) -- that this hooey was nominated for an oscar for story and screenplay gives rise to the notion that there must have been a lot of crap released in 1949 -- still, the music is great, and if my behavior after watching the first film is any indication, i'm going to drive the gang at work crazy with my horrid jolson impersonation -- i can't wait...

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