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Elvis Presley played in over 30 movies and most of them were honestly pretty much crap. It's a bloody shame because everyone can see from miles away that he was definitely a believable and gifted actor too. The films he did were just terrible waste of his time and talents. Of course any fan will appreciate Presley's performances but it would have been nice to see Elvis becoming the new James Dean. With films like these it's no surprise it never happened and we all remember him best from his career as a singer and the king of rock n' roll. "Jailhouse rock" is one of his better movies. I have to admit that although I'm not a fan I enjoy watching these flicks. Elvis Presley's movies are cute and harmless entertainment. Corny of course but that's the fun of it. The sequence with the title song is so important part of the rock music history that it alone makes "Jailhouse rock" worth watching. But still I can only wonder what the guy might have been in right films.
Wow..did you see the review of this film by "chowderhead"? Well, "chowderhead" is appropriately named and definitely needs some help. Sure, reviews if any kind are always merely one guy's opinion, but some people really go off the deep end. I believe this is one of Elvis' BEST films. How can you say it's the worst? Have you seen "Paradise Hawaiian Style" of "Harum Scarum" lately? This was the brief period in Elvis' career when he was taken somewhat seriously by his directors and fellow cast members. Elvis really tried too; before giving up and giving in to the Colonel and a parade of bad scripts and horrible soundtracks. The late Judy Tyler is great in this movie and the songs are pure early Elvis; good old Rock and Roll! A favorite is "(You're so Square) Baby I don't care". Check out the dance sequence for the song "Jailhouse Rock". It's Elvis at his swivel hipped best. Chowderhead, you must be a huge Pat Boone fan and although he is still a wonderful talent, I wouldn't say he is a hundred times better than Elvis! Debby Boone'e "You Light Up MY Life" is HIP? Get real! And Little Richard has no talent? Stay off the caffiene and chill out. You'll feel better. By the way, Pat Boone NEVER recorded "Hound Dog", so how could his "version" outsell Elvis"? Get your facts straight. Better yet, rent a video or DVD of Jailhouse Rock and this time, watch it with your eyes open.
I saw this film when it came out. I was a sophomore in high school, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I just saw it again on TCM, and guess what? I still enjoy it! This is by no means a work of art; it's plain old fashioned entertainment. Some of the actors in the supporting parts are stilted, and Elvis himself will never be confused with Brando or Dean. But Elvis was a singer, to this day the greatest in rock and roll history, and the musical numbers are first rate. Mickey Shaughnessy, who I can't recall seeing anywhere else, is perfect for the part of Elvis's hillbilly cell mate, and the tragic Judy Tyler shines as the leading lady. (For trivia buffs, she was Princess Summerfallwinterspring on the Howdy Doody Show.) And for those too young to remember the 50s, which probably includes the majority of this website's users, this will provide a good sample of popular entertainment in that era. 7/10
I heard a young woman who hadn't seen "Jailhouse Rock" before leaving the Parkway Theater here in Oakland say "I didn't expect it to be so sad." And yes, it's a pretty dark version of Elvis' own early life. To add to the dark shadow over this film, Elvis' lovely and tolented young co-star, Judy Tyler, died before this film was released (I believe it was a car accident, but I could be wrong). Elvis was pretty broke up about it, and so am I. Well, enough said, it's got the classic "Jailhouse Rock" number (often excerpted and included in TV retrospectives on Elvis), with some pretty smooth dance moves revealed by the often immobile Elvis. E really shines in this one; one of his best films.
Vince (Elvis Presley) is a backwoods boy with a HUGE temper problem.
One day he beats a guy to death in a fight and is sent to prison. While
there he's cell mates with Hunk (Mickey Shaughnessy) who gets him
interested in playing the guitar and singing. When released Vince makes
it big with the help of Peggy (Judy Taylor)...but becomes an obnoxious
jerk. He treats Hunk and Peggy like dirt. Will he come around and treat
them better? What do you think?
I tuned into this just to watch the "Jailhouse Rock" number. I'm not a fan of Presley but I heard this was good. I was surprised at how much I liked it. All the songs are good and the "Jailhouse Rock" number is just stunning--easily one of the best choreographed musical numbers ever caught on screen. Taylor is pretty and just charming in her role (sadly she died right after completing this) and Shaughnessy offers strong support. Also it's well-directed in Cinemascope.
The only debits are the overly familiar story and Presley's acting. He was a great singer but no actor--sometimes it was almost embarrassing to watch how badly he played scenes. But it's still worth watching for the songs and the other performances. I give this a 7.
"It ain't tactics, honey. It's just the beast in me." Elvis is smoldering in this classic flick, and he delivers a great performance as Vince Everett; a youngster who is thrown in jail on the charges of manslaughter, and then becomes a rock star when released. Judy Tyler is wonderful, and it's a shame we lost her at such a young age. Mickey Shaughnessy gives a solid performance as Hunk Houghton, the jealous former cell mate and business partner. The soundtrack is amazing, featuring songs as Jailhouse Rock, Young And Beautiful, One More Day, Don't Leave Me Now, and my favorite, I Want To Be Free. You can't help but wonder how many other great movies like this Elvis could've made if his manager Col. Tom Parker didn't screw things up for him. Ah well, see this great movie and enjoy, because it's a one of a kind.
Great songs, a fine leading actor and actress (Elvis, not the world's
greatest actor but doing his Method bit here; and the ill-fated Judy
Tyler), and an engrossing story make 'Jailhouse Rock' a great rock 'n'
roll musical, and by far one of the best movies made by The King at the
peak of his powers.
Yes, there are some cringeworthy bits ('it's only the beast in me'), but in the main this is a rags to riches tale which showcases some raw Presley performances, especially the title track and the quieter 'Young and Beautiful' alongside a contemporary tale of fights, attitude, and the county jail.
The great surprise is that this film still looks and feels fresh after more than fifty years. The pity is that Elvis would only have a handful of decent performances before the rot set in with 'Kissin Cousins', 'Tickle Me', and the like.
"Jailhouse rock" belongs to the handful of Elvis flicks which are
watchable ,nay even entertaining:there is also "love me tender" "King
Creole" and the best of them "flaming star".
There's a real director here (Richard Thorpe) who is not a drudge like Norman Taurog.The songs (the title track and "treat me nice" ) are very exciting and kept to the minimum.There are several interesting scenes ,notably the one when Elvis visits his (female) manager's folks and is confronted to a bunch of snobs :Elvis in his rebel's part indeed. On the other hand ,the scenes in the jailhouse -except for the whipping- may seem tame by today's standards.
Perhaps Presley's best movie. It casts him as a young hothead serving a jail sentence for manslaughter.Released from jail he makes it big in the music-business.The sudden success goes to his head and alienates his best friends. Elvis delivers a very magnetic performance with the aid of director Thorpe's skilled handling.Judy Tyler's performance is also very good.The movie's sour tone makes it stand out in comparison with the later Presley vehicles.The famous production number of the title tune is a smash. Rating: ***1/2 of *****
I'll be fair, I'm a huge fan of Elvis' music. But I have been very
harsh on his movies. I've watched "Stay Away Joe" and "Paradise,
Hawaiin Style" and hated them both. This movie is miles better then
both of those, and is neither silly nor trite.
What it is is a compelling story with developed characters, a plausible storyline, and the right kind of pace.
The musical numbers are all top notch, of course, but the real luster of this gem is in Elvis' acting performance. Elvis was clearly having a good time playing a rebel, and he fit the part perfectly. This movie is much more then just a vehicle to get Elvis' music on screen.
As many others have said, its a shame that Elvis did not get a chance to pursue more roles of this kind.
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