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A majority of motion pictures during the Roaring Twenties contained a musical soundtrack but no spoken dialogue. These movies are historically known as silent films. Intertitles, or printed, filmed text, was edited into the silent films to convey both character dialogue and descriptive or narrative material for the audience.

In October of 1927, Warner Brothers forever changed movie history. “The Jazz Singer,” starring Al Jolson, became the very first motion picture to contain spoken dialogue. Movies that followed this new technology of incoporating spoken dialogue were now referred to as “talkies,” or talking films.

Here is a video slideshow of popular actors and actresses of film, radio, theatre and vaudeville from the Roaring Twenties.

“The Entertainer” written by Scott Joplin
Performed by the Henry Mancini Orchestra