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Jailhouse Rock
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Reviews & Ratings for
Jailhouse Rock More at IMDbPro »

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33 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Corny yet enjoyable

Author: Mika Pykäläaho (bygis80@hotmail.com) from Järvenpää, Finland
24 June 2003

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.

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29 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

some reviewers need anger management help!

Author: unclerussie from Orlando, Florida
20 March 2003

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.

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20 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Elvis's best film

7/10
Author: William J. Fickling (wfickling@sc.rr.com) from Columbia, South Carolina, USA
8 January 2005

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

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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Reactions to one of Elvis' best flicks

7/10
Author: funkyfry from Oakland CA
15 October 2002

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.

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Not bad

7/10
Author: Wayne Malin (wwaayynnee51@hotmail.com) from United States
7 May 2005

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.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

One of Elvis' greatest: 8/10

8/10
Author: Aida Nejad from Gothenburg, Sweden
7 March 2009

"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.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

quite possibly Presley's best film

8/10
Author: didi-5 from United Kingdom
15 January 2009

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.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Good songs and there's a screenplay.

Author: dbdumonteil
16 July 2004

"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.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"That ain't tactics honey, it's just the beast in me."

8/10
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom
7 February 2010

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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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Presley's best movie

7/10
Author: Neil Christiansen (nach31@yahoo.com)
17 November 1999

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 *****

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