The Quote: “You ain’t heard nothin’ yet.”
Who Said It: Al Jolson in 1927’s The Jazz Singer.
This one short sentence marked the end of one era and the start of another.
The Payoff: The Jazz Singer’s phenomenal success was the death knell for silent films and many of its biggest stars. Some couldn’t learn lines; others were done in by heavy foreign accents (Pola Negri, Emil Jannings) or voices that didn’t jive with their screen personae (Norma Talmadge, John Gilbert). Hugely popular funnymen Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton were unable to blend the highly stylized acting techniques they had developed for silent comedy with the greater realism sound inevitably demanded. By 1929, the American film industry had undergone a wholesale conversion to sound, and the silent stars were supplanted by actors with stage experience.