The first talking movies were produced in France before 1900 by Leon Caumont. They were short films, starring great performers such as Sarah Berhard, in which the movie pictures were synchronized with a gramophone record. By 1912 Eugene Lauste had discovered the basic method for recording sound on film, while Thomas Edison produced several one-reel talking pictures in the United States. An American, Lee de Forest, improved the system.
In all this the public showed little interest until the presentation on October 6, 1927, of The Jazz Singer. This was a silent picture, starring Al Jolson, with four talking and singing interludes. Jolson’s electric personality and the very much-improved sound began a movie revolution. Within the year every important picture was being produced as a “talkie”. By 1930 silent films a thing of the past, and many film stars found themselves has-beens because their voice recorded badly.