7.8/10
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25 user 13 critic

Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987)

This documentary movie covers two concerts at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri, to celebrate Chuck Berry's 60th birthday, and also discusses his life and career.

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ingrid Berry ...
Herself
...
Himself
Robert Cray ...
Himself
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Himself
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Himself - DVD only
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Himself
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Himself
...
Herself
Johnnie Johnson ...
Himself
...
Himself
Bobby Keys ...
Himself
Chuck Leavell ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
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Himself
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Storyline

St. Louis, Missouri. For Chuck Berry's 60th birthday, Keith Richards assembles a pickup band of Robert Cray, Joey Spampinato, Eric Clapton, himself, and longtime pianist Johnnie Johnson. Joined on stage by Etta James, Linda Ronstadt and Julian Lennon, Berry performs his classic rock songs. His abilities as a composer, lyricist, singer, musician and entertainer are on display and, in behind-the-scenes interviews, are discussed by Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers, Bruce Springsteen and others. There's even a rarity for Berry, a rehearsal. Archival footage from the early 1950s and a duet with John Lennon round out this portrait of a master. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Whole World Knows the Music. Nobody Knows the Man.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

9 October 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll  »

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Box Office

Gross:

$719,323 (USA)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce voted to give Chuck Berry a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame a couple of years before this film was made. The star was never dedicated because nobody was willing to step forward to pay for it. In order to help promote the film, Universal Pictures paid for the star and it was dedicated the same week the film was released. See more »

Quotes

Roy Orbison: Well, Chuck Berry is the first singer-songwriter I know of.
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Connections

Featured in Kings of Rock 'n' Roll (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Music, Weird and Egocentric Personality
30 November 2008 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

On October, 18th 1986, on the sixtieth birthday of Chuck Berry, there was a concert at the Fox Theater in his hometown Saint Louis. This documentary highlights some of the best moments of this concert, with footages of Chuck Berry playing his famous songs with a unique band composed by Keith Richards, Johnnie Johnson, Bobby Keys and other great musicians and the participation of Linda Ronstadt, Julian Lennon, Robert Cray, Eric Clapton and Etta James among others famous guests. In this tribute, there are also many interviews and archive footages with Chuck Berry's parents and siblings, and artists like Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bruce Springsteen, Roy Orbinson, Keith Richards, The Everly Brothers, John Lennon, Eric Clapton among others. There are many compliments, praise and recognition of his magnificent work from the interviewees; however there are also many obscure moments that deconstruct the idol. For example, Bruce Springsteen tells about Chuck Berry's concern with money and no rehearsal with the unknown local pick up bands before his gigs without any respect to the audiences and fans. Keith Richards is extremely ambiguous, and tells about the free physical aggression he suffered from Chuck Berry; and playing out of the rehearsed tune. Further, I understood that some of his famous songs actually were composed by Johnnie Johnson, and the keys adapted by Chuck Berry to the guitar. He manipulates many questions, like for example for his wife, and never mentions that he went to jail for tax evasion. Therefore it is a wonderful documentary of Chuck Berry as a player and singer; but regarding his behavior out of stage, I would dare to write that he seems to have at least a weird and egocentric personality. Therefore better off would be watching the concert without the additional footages. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll"


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