John Murray Anderson

King of Jazz

King of Jazz

Made during the early years of the movie musical, this exuberant revue was one of the most extravagant, eclectic, and technically ambitious Hollywood productions of its day. Starring the bandleader Paul Whiteman, then widely celebrated as the King of Jazz, the film drew from Broadway variety shows to present a spectacular array of sketches, performances by such acts as the Rhythm Boys (featuring a young Bing Crosby), and orchestral numbers—all lavishly staged by veteran theater director John Murray Anderson. Presented here in the most complete form possible and restored to its original early-Technicolor glory, King of Jazz offers a fascinating snapshot of the way mainstream American popular culture viewed itself at the dawn of the 1930s.

Film Info

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration by Universal Pictures, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring jazz and film critic Gary Giddins, music and cultural critic Gene Seymour, and musician and bandleader Vince Giordano
  • New introduction to the film by Giddins
  • New interview with musician and pianist Michael Feinstein
  • Four new video essays by authors and archivists James Layton and David Pierce on the development and making of King of Jazz
  • Deleted scenes and alternate opening title sequence
  • All Americans, a 1929 short film featuring a version of the “Melting Pot” number that was restaged for King of Jazz
  • I Know Everybody and Everybody’s Racket, a 1933 short film featuring Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra
  • Two Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons from 1930, featuring music and animation from King of Jazz
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

Original poster. Designer unknown.

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration by Universal Pictures, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring jazz and film critic Gary Giddins, music and cultural critic Gene Seymour, and musician and bandleader Vince Giordano
  • New introduction to the film by Giddins
  • New interview with musician and pianist Michael Feinstein
  • Four new video essays by authors and archivists James Layton and David Pierce on the development and making of King of Jazz
  • Deleted scenes and alternate opening title sequence
  • All Americans, a 1929 short film featuring a version of the “Melting Pot” number that was restaged for King of Jazz
  • I Know Everybody and Everybody’s Racket, a 1933 short film featuring Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra
  • Two Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons from 1930, featuring music and animation from King of Jazz
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

Original poster. Designer unknown.

King of Jazz
Cast
Paul Whiteman
John Boles
Laura La Plante
Jeanette Loff
Glenn Tryon
Wiliam Kent
Slim Summerville
The Rhythm Boys
Kathryn Crawford
Beth Laemmle
Stanley Smith
Charles Irwin
George Chiles
Jack White
Frank Leslie
Walter Brennan
Churchill Ross
Johnson Arledge
Al Norman
Jacques Cartier
Paul Howard
Nell O’Day
The Tommy Atkins Sextette
Marion Stadler
Don Rose
The Russell Markert Girls
Credits
Director
John Murray Anderson
Produced by
Carl Laemmle Jr.
Cinematographers
Hal Mohr
Cinematographers
Jerry Ash
Cinematographers
Ray Rennahan
Supervising film editor
Maurice Pivar
Film editor
Robert Carlisle
Recording supervision
C. Roy Hunter
Settings and costumes
Herman Rosse
Dance director
Russell Markert
Assistant art director
Thomas F. O’Neill
Animated cartoons
Walter Lantz
Animated cartoons
Bill Nolan
Assistant director
Robert Ross
Comedy sketches
Harry Ruskin
Lyrics
Jack Yellen
Music
Milton Ager
Additional musical numbers
George Gershwin
Additional musical numbers
Mabel Wayne
Additional musical numbers
Billy Rose
Additional musical numbers
James Dietrich
Orchestrations
Ferde Grofé

From The Current

Discovering the Jazzy Sounds of Paul Whiteman
Discovering the Jazzy Sounds of Paul Whiteman

Musician Michael Feinstein talks about discovering Paul Whiteman, the wildly popular bandleader who stars in the early-Technicolor musical King of Jazz.

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Now You Has King of Jazz
Now You Has King of Jazz

This spectacular and technically ambitious Hollywood musical is a priceless window onto American pop culture’s view of itself in the 1930s.

By Farran Smith Nehme

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