Studio Columbia
Running Time 96 minutes
Production October 1948 - April 1949
Release 10th August 1949
Director Henry Levin
Producer Sidney Buchman
Screenplay Sidney Buchman
Conductor Morris Stoloff
Major players

Al Jolson - Larry Parks

Ellen Clark - Barbara Hale

Steve Martin - William Demarest

Tom Baron - Bill Goodwin

Cantor Yoelson - Ludwig Donath

Mama Yoelson - Tamara Shayne

Jolson Songs

Rockabye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody

Is It True What They Say About Dixie ?

For Me and My Gal

Back In Your Own Backyard

I'm Looking Over a Four Leafed Clover

When the Red,Red Robin Comes Bobbin' Along

Give My Regards To Broadway

Chinatown My Chinatown

I'm Just Wild About Harry

Baby Face

After You've Gone

I Only Have Eyes For You

Sonny Boy

Toot Toot Tootsie

Pretty Baby

Carolina In the Morning

Rockabye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody (reprise)

Background

There were rumours about Al moving to MGM as Columbia's rights to his life story were due to run out in 1948 but after the huge success of The Jolson Story (1946) Harry Cohn head of the studio wooed Al with the possibility of playing himself.

 

On 27th September 1948 Al made a screen test miming to his recordings of Is It True What They Say About Dixie?, It All Depends On You, Baby Face and For Me and My Gal. Jolson sadly wasn't as good as Parks at the miming and perhaps realised it wasn't worth risking sinking a ship which was sailing along fine. Parks was to play Jolson again.

 

Barbara Hale was the new Mrs Jolson and at Al's insistence looked much more like Erle than Evelyn Keyes had looked like Ruby. 

 

The big new hit of The Jolson Story (1946) had been the Anniversary Song, for the new film Al sang I Only Have Eyes For You. He was in superb voice. 

Reviews
Mr Jolson's name is up in lights and Broadway is wreathed in smiles. (Thomas Pryor, New York Times)
Verdict

Though not quite up to the first biopic Jolson Sings Again is still a very entertaining film. It is fascinating to watch the making of the first biopic in this one, a film within a film. Remarkably there are a lot of fine songs left over from the first film too, though if I had one criticism is that a few are thrown away a little as background or in brief snatches.

 

I wonder if another version of Jolson's incredible life story will ever be made.