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American Hot Wax (1978)

This is the story loosely based on Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed, who introduced rock'n'roll to teenage American radio audiences in the 1950's. Freed was a source of great controversy: ... See full summary »

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim McIntire ...
...
...
...
Carl Weaver ...
Member of The Chesterfields (as Carl Earl Weaver)
...
Member of The Chesterfields
Sam Harkness ...
Member of The Chesterfields
Arnold McCuller ...
Member of The Chesterfields
...
Moosie Drier ...
John Lehne ...
...
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 1950's. 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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 March 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Hot Wax - kuumaa vahaa  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was not as successful at the box-office as the similarly titled American Graffiti (1973) had been a few years earlier. The movie's producer Art Linson discusses the film's production and box-office failure in his book, "What Just Happened? Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line". See more »

Goofs

About 7 minutes into the movie when La Bamba is playing, the kid's parents watching TV in the living room, you can see the studio lighting fixtures overhead. 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: City Limits (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Lonely Teardrops
Written by Berry Gordy and Tyran Carlo
Performed by Jackie Wilson
Courtesy of Brunswick Record Corporation
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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.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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