This long-lost 1930 musical revue from Universal Pictures finds new life thanks to one of the most elaborate restoration projects in film history. King of Jazz has long had a cult following, and the restoration is in part due to that admiration. In fact, it’s safe to say the film is finally getting the rapturous reception denied for more than 80 years. Starring legendary jazz bandleader Paul Whiteman and soon-to-be-superstar Bing Crosby, and pairing innovative production numbers with classic tunes from figures like George Gershwin, King of Jazz is a fascinating Technicolor time capsule from the big-band era.
The lavishly illustrated companion book, “King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman’s Technicolor Review” by James Layton and David Pierce, is on view in the Museum’s Hirsch Library.