King of Jazz: The Criterion Collection (1930)
Tuesday 10th July 2018
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 of the time to present a spectacular array of sketches, performances by such acts as the Rhythm Boys (featuring a young Bing Crosby), and orchestral numbers overseen by Whiteman himself (including a larger-than-life rendition of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue") - all lavishly staged by veteran theatre director John Murray Anderson and beautifully shot in early Technicolor.
Long available only in incomplete form, King of Jazz, released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on 9th July 2018 as part of the The Criterion Collection, appears here newly restored to its original glory, offering a fascinating snapshot of the way mainstream American popular culture viewed itself at the dawn of the 1930s.
- New 4K digital restoration by Universal Pictures, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- New audio commentary featuring jazz and film critic Gary Giddens, music and cultural critic Gene Seymour and musician and bandleader Vince Giordano
- New introduction by Giddens
- 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 the finale of 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
Please note - Disc special features are subject to change, may differ from format to format and/or may differ from region to region.