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A frustrated big-band promoter runs in to rock-and-rollers Bill Haley and the Comets at a small-town dance. He quickly becomes their manager and, with the help of Alan Freed, hopes to bring the new sound to the entire country. But will a conniving booking agent, with a personal ax to grind with the manager, conspire to keep the band from making the big time? Written by
Written by Max Spickol and A. Russell (uncredited)
Performed by Bill Haley and the Comets (as Bill Haley and His Comets) (uncredited)
Recording through the courtesy of Decca Records: Inc. See more »
Though it wasn't the first film to mention "rock and roll," this is known as the "first real rock film" and it's a mixed bag. Basically it's a vehicle for rock and roll pioneer Bill Haley and his band, The Comets. In the very thin story, two square music managers realize that their old type of traditional dance music is dying out in favor of the latest "rock 'n' roll" fad. When they see Haley and the Comets perform their classic "See You Later Alligator" at a small town dance and witness all the kids dancing up a storm, they decide to try and get this group to play full-time and make it big. The film's not very interesting when it veers away from the music, but along the way we get several more Bill Haley songs (the famous title hit itself, plus "Razzle Dazzle," "Rock Rock Rock" and others), and we're also treated to The Bellboys. But the main attraction is easily The Platters, who expertly perform two of their big hits - "Only You" and "The Great Pretender". The latter is so fabulous it sends chills up the spine. **1/2 out of ****
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