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American Hot Wax (1978)

The story of Alan Freed, the pioneering disc jockey who was instrumental in introducing and popularizing rock 'n' roll in the 1950s.

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Carl Weaver ...
Member of The Chesterfields (as Carl Earl Weaver)
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Sam Harkness ...
Arnold McCuller ...
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Moosie Drier ...
John Lehne ...
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Jack Edward Ellis ...
Richard Forbes ...
Stephen Pearlman ...
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Storyline

This is the story loosely based on Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed, who introduced rock 'n' roll to teenage American radio audiences in the 1950s. Freed was a source of great controversy: criticized by conservatives for corrupting youth with the "devil's music"; hated by racists for promoting African American music for white consumption; persecuted by law enforcement officials and finally brought down by the "payola" scandals. Written by Martin Lewison <lewison+@pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

1959. New York City. The battleground was Rock and Roll. It was the beginning of an era. You shoulda been there.

Genres:

Drama | History | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

17 March 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Hot Wax - kuumaa vahaa  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chuck Berry: As himself. See more »

Goofs

Artie is seen with copies of the albums "The Chirping Crickets" and "Buddy Holly and the Crickets", the latter being a re-issue of the former, and not released until 1962. See more »

Quotes

Chuck Berry: You know, rock and roll has been pretty good to me. I think I'll dedicate this one to it.
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Connections

Featured in Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Whispering Bells
Written by Fred Lowery and Clarence Quick
Performed by The Del Vikings
Courtesy of ABC Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
You can't stop rock 'n' roll.
9 September 2000 | by (Muskogee OK) – See all my reviews

This movie is based very loosely on the career of Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed and his contribution to the development of rock 'n' roll. I thought the acting was way over the top. I do appreciate Tim McIntire's portrayal of Freed. He put the point across that Freed lived and breathed rock 'n' roll and introduced a score of hit makers to the world. But remember he was also trying his best to better his own career.

My favorite part of the movie is the finale where wild man Jerry Lee Lewis stands singing on top of a piano in the middle of a riot. Chuck Berry helped make the move legit. And Screamin' Jay Hawkins brought the house down.

I hate to say that I thought the whole movie was pretty much self serving, but very fun to watch. If you were a teen or near teen as I was when the real thing was happening, you will certainly start having flashbacks.

Also in the cast are a very young Jay Leno and Fran Drescher. There is also Laraine Newman and Melanie Chartoff way before they made careers in comedy. You also might notice Hamilton Camp, Moosie Drier and Brenda Russell.

Watch this again and don't be afraid to let the good times roll.


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