Having flunked graduation for a second time and needing cash to support his crabby (and thus unemployed) father, Danny Fisher takes a job as a singer in the King Creole nightclub - about ... See full summary »
Tulsa is a specialist in the US Army stationed in Germany. He loves to sing and has dreams to run his own nightclub when he leaves the army....but dreams don't come cheap. Tulsa places a ... See full summary »
Deke Rivers is a delivery man who is discovered by publicist Glenda Markle and country-western musician Tex Warner who want to promote the talented newcomer to fame and fortune, giving him ... See full summary »
Chad Gates has just gotten out of the Army, and is happy to be back in Hawaii with his surf-board, his beach buddies, and his girlfriend. His father wants him to go to work at the Great ... See full summary »
Charlie Rogers is a leather-jacketed biker who's fired from a singing engagement after getting into a fight with a group of college toughs. While riding his cycle to the next gig, an irate ... See full summary »
When he finds out his boss is retiring to Arizona, a sailor has to find a way to buy the Westwind, a boat that he and his father built. He is also caught between two women: insensitive club singer Robin and sweet Laurel.
West Texas in the years after the Civil War is an uneasy meeting ground of two cultures, one white. The other native American. Elvis portrays Pacer Burton. The son of a white rancher (John ... See full summary »
Vince Everett is serving a one-year jail sentence for manslaughter. While in the big house, his cellmate, a former country singer, introduces him to the record business. Everett takes to it so well that he decides to become a singer when he gets out. However, he is quickly disillusioned by the record business. But with the help of a new friend, he decides to form his own label, and soon becomes an overnight sensation. But when he becomes a superstar, will his desire for fame and money cause him to forget the people who got him there? Written by
Originally choreographer Alex Romero created a dance for the song "Jailhouse Rock" that was in a style apropos for a more classically trained dancer than Elvis Presley. When Romero realized that his plans for the number were never going to work, he asked Elvis how would he normally move to the song, leading Elvis to become the uncredited choreographer for what many consider his most famous dance number in all of his movies. See more »
"That ain't tactics honey, it's just the beast in me."
Elvis Presley plays "Vince Everett" who goes to jail after accidentally killing a man in a bar fight. While in the big house he is paired in his cell with Hunk Houghton (Mickey Shaughnessy), an ageing country singer whose best days are behind him. The pair strike up a friendship and Houghton teaches Everett to play the guitar, however, it's apparent that Everett is all about the voice. Reckognising this fact, Houghton is quick to strike up a contract with Everett so that once both are on the outside they can make some money in the music industry. Paroled well early into his stretch, Everett meets Peggy Van Alden (Judy Tyler), a record company talent scout, who eventually gets won around by Everett and they record a song. Although there are initial problems with the industry, the song takes off after the pair set up their own record company. But with fame comes internal conflict and Houghton is now released and wanting to call in on his and Everett's prison contract.
Chances are that if you asked a group of film lovers to name an Elvis Presley motion picture, the majority would say Jailhouse Rock. Now that's not to say that is because it's the best film from The King because that would be King Creole or Flaming Star. Or that it's the most fun film of the 31 pictures he made, because that would be Viva Las Vegas. Its standing probably has more to do with the title song than the actual film itself. Which is actually a shame because although Jailhouse Rock is a weak film in many ways, it's also a film where Preseley got to play a moody, rebel like character. The like of which we would not see again. This was Presley's third feature length film, and the first for MGM. Shot in black & white by Robert J. Bronner, it's directed by Richard Thorpe and penned by Guy Trosper out of a story by Nedrick Young.
The problems exist within the weak plot that has holes the size of Leavenworth Prison. Characters come and go without any purpose or meaning and Thorp uses shortcuts to keep the film's running time as trim as Presley's waist line was here. Yet to me these are forgivable issues as Presley embraces his rebel with a heart and gives it the full tilt lip snarling treatment. His Vince Everett is the guy that girls want to bed (lots of Elvis bare torso here girls) and the guy that guys want to be. And of course there is also a great set of songs and the choreography to lap up at every other turn. Along with the famous and quite brilliant title song we also get "Treat Me Nice," "Baby, I Don't Care," "I Want To Be Free," "Don't Leave Me Now" and the sublimely tender "Young & Beautiful". The latter of which stops this particular viewer in his tracks and instills a warmth that normally only Judy Garland gives me when warbling over the rainbow. Yes I love this film in spite of its obvious failings.
The sad footnote to the film concerns co-star Judy Tyler who along with her then husband, Greg Lafayette, was killed in an automobile accident a couple of weeks after filming had finished. Thus never even getting to see the film released. Elvis was shattered and is said to have never watched the film as it would have been too painful. So as Elvis sings "Young & Beautiful" it becomes, one feels, a fitting tribute to a young actress cut down in her prime. In 2007 a Deluxe edition of the film was released on DVD, remastered in sound and picture, it's a triumphant release that really does the film justice. For now, Elvis, Judy and those wonderful songs, have never looked or sounded so great as they do now. 8/10
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