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The Jazz Singer (1927)
Popular history traces the Sound era to the moment in this Al Jolson musical when the star introduces a musical number with the appropriately meta statement, ”You ain’t heard nothin’ yet.” But there had been experiments with sound film for decades, and a couple features with synchronized music and sound effects. Jazz Singer is more notable for using the Vitaphone sound-on-disc system for the first-ever synchronized dialogue scenes in a feature film. In that sense, the real key scene is the little piano number between Jolson’s character and his mother. (Bizarrely, for such a landmark moment, most of that dialogue was probably improvised.)
Image Credit: Everett Collection
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