IMDb > Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987)
Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll
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Release Date:
9 October 1987 (USA) See more »
The Whole World Knows the Music. Nobody Knows the Man.
This documentary covers the concert at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri, to celebrate Chuck Berry's sixtieth birthday, and also discusses his life and career. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Bonus Features See more (24 total) »


  (in credits order)

Chuck Berry ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ingrid Berry ... Herself

Eric Clapton ... Himself
Robert Cray ... Himself
Bo Diddley ... Himself

Ahmet Ertegun ... Himself - DVD only

Don Everly ... Himself

Phil Everly ... Himself

Etta James ... Herself
Johnnie Johnson ... Himself

Steve Jordan ... Himself
Bobby Keys ... Himself
Chuck Leavell ... Himself

John Lennon ... Himself (archive footage)

Julian Lennon ... Himself

Jerry Lee Lewis ... Himself - DVD only

Little Richard ... Himself

Roy Orbison ... Himself - DVD only

Keith Richards ... Himself

Robbie Robertson ... Himself - DVD only
Linda Ronstadt ... Herself
Joey Spampinato ... Himself - Bass Player (Bass Player)

Bruce Springsteen ... Himself
Mark Hale ... Dancer (uncredited)
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Directed by
Taylor Hackford 
Produced by
Stephanie Bennett .... producer
Chuck Berry .... producer
George T. Nierenberg .... associate producer: second unit
Jane Rose .... associate producer
Albert Spevak .... associate producer
Cinematography by
Oliver Stapleton 
Film Editing by
Lisa Day 
Set Decoration by
Rosemary Brandenburg 
Makeup Department
Thelma Smith .... makeup artist
Lucy Williamson .... makeup artist
Production Management
Thomas D. Adelman .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
K.C. Colwell .... second assistant director
Beau Marks .... first assistant director
Art Department
Kim Colefax .... concert production designer
Tom Randol .... assistant to production designer
Cricket Vandover .... props assistant (as Dana Vandover)
Todd E. Weisman .... leadman
Sound Department
Ronald G. Cogswell .... documentary sound mixer
Ronald G. Cogswell .... sound mixer
Ronald G. Cogswell .... sound: documentary
Doreen A. Dixon .... adr editor
Michael Frondelli .... concert recordist
Phil Gitomer .... remote sound
David W. Gray .... dolby sound consultant
William Hooper .... sound editor: dialogue
John Keating .... sound transfer
Mike Kelley .... mixer
Rick Kline .... sound re-recording mixer
Fritz Lang .... remote sound
Larry Mann .... supervising sound effects editor
J.B. Matteotti .... remote sound
Michael Mekjian .... boom operator (as Michael Mexjian)
Karen Minahan .... sound effects editor
Donald O. Mitchell .... sound re-recording mixer
Kevin O'Connell .... sound re-recording mixer
Roger Phenix .... sound mixer: second unit
Dave Reynolds .... house sound (as Dave 'Snake' Reynolds)
Robert Schaper .... mixing engineer
Bill Winn .... mixing engineer
David Hewitt .... audio truck engineer (uncredited)
Jack Keller .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Victor Abbene .... louma grip
Audie Aragon .... best boy grip
Jerry Chan .... camera supervisor
Sam Cherrof .... video assistant
Joan Churchill .... camera operator: concert
Steve Cogswell .... video assistant
Stephen C. Confer .... camera operator: concert
Alicia Craft .... second assistant camera
Paul Ferrara .... key grip
Eric Fletcher .... assistant camera
Duncan Forbes .... first assistant camera
Dana Gonzales .... assistant camera
Bryan Greenberg .... camera operator: concert sequence
Bryan Greenberg .... camera operator: concert
Philip Holahan .... camera operator: concert
David Hulsey .... electrician
Bill Klages .... lighting designer: concert lighting
Edward Lachman .... camera operator: documentary (as Ed Lachman)
Edward Lachman .... director of photography: concert footage
Larry McConkey .... steadicam
David Michels .... louma grip
Chris Moseley .... second assistant camera
Christine Porter .... gaffer
Christopher Porter .... gaffer
Bradford Ralston .... video assistant
Rick Robertson .... camera operator: concert
Frank Ruttencutter .... camera operator: concert
Gary Stark .... second grip
Gary H. Swink .... best boy
Jeffery J. Tufano .... assistant camera
Philip Alan Waters .... additional camera operator
Philip Alan Waters .... camera operator: concert
Lou Weinert .... camera loader
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Dewey Perrigo .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Raúl Dávalos .... assistant editor
Jessica Gallavan .... assistant editor
Jill Goularte .... apprentice editor
Paul Justman .... additional editing
Fred Peterson .... assistant editor (as Frederick Peterson)
H. Lee Peterson .... assistant editor
David Pultz .... color timer
Ralph O. Sepulveda Jr. .... first assistant editor
Karen I. Stern .... first assistant editor
Joe Faissal .... colorist (special edition) (uncredited)
Music Department
Carlton Kaller .... music editor
Keith Richards .... music producer
Curt Sobel .... supervising music editor
Transportation Department
Jeffrey Spica .... production driver
Other crew
Mike Kelley .... stage manager
Jerri Lauridsen .... production coordinator
Sandy McLeod .... script supervisor
Scott Richardson .... creative consultant
Robbie Robertson .... creative consultant
Ronnie Smith .... operational support
Daniel Wheatcroft .... studio executive
Bill Winn .... engineer
William Youdelman .... coordinator

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
120 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

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 »
Chuck Berry:They say "That's a Chuck Berry song because it's Ba-du-ba-dada
[scat-sings a riff]
Chuck Berry:." Well, the first time I heard in that was in one of Carl Hogan's riffs in Louis Jordan's band. We have T-Bone Walker, I love T-Bone Walker's slurs and his blueses; so put a little Carl Hogan, a little T-Bone Walker and a little Charlie Christian, the guitarist in Tommy Dorsey's band...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Kings of Rock 'n' Roll (2008) (TV)See more »


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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Bonus Features, 20 July 2006
Author: michaelingp from United States

I don't think many people saw Hail Hail Rock and Roll when it came out in 1987. I've always considered it one of the greatest Rock and Roll movies ever made, and actually own it on VHS. Now that it's out on DVD (4 discs!), I'm working through the bonus discs.

Disc 2:

Disc 2 contains a number of rehearsals plus a piece on what a nightmare it was to work with Chuck Berry on this project (which was, after all, to celebrate himself!). In the film, if I remember correctly, Keith Richards says something like, "Man, I've worked with Mick Jagger, but this guy (Chuck) is something else." Now, on this DVD, the producers tell their story, and what a story it is. A lot has been said about the great scene in the movie where Chuck continually criticizes Keith's guitar playing on "Carol", but that is nothing compared to what he put the producers through, between constantly asking for more money, being late or not showing up, plus an incredible experience at one of the prisons where Chuck spent time in his youth. (On the other hand, even in 1987, everyone knew Chuck Berry was a total prima donna, so expecting to get all the filming done in 5 days was a bit of hubris, no?) While this piece is a bit wordy (as many "bonus features" are), it's a great story, and it's too bad there wasn't more film and less shots of people speaking to the camera.

The rehearsals really show the difference between Chuck Berry when he's off stage (picky, self-centered, neurotic) and Chuck when he's performing (a unique entertainer). The rehearsals all take place at Chuck's house, and the main players are Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, and Johnny Johnson. Again, too much "talking heads" between the music, but the point of the rehearsals (we're told, but can also see), is to witness the incredible coming together of the band as they learn to play with each other. That's something you rarely see, particularly with musicians of this caliber, and if you love Chuck Berry music, you'll really love these rehearsals tapes.

On the production side, I thought the sound and camera work was uniformly excellent for the live music parts of the disc.

Disc 3:

Disc 3 contains three bonus features. The one I liked most was titled "Chuckisms" and covers Chuck's language and love of poetry. The best scene is with Chuck reciting a William Wordsworth poem from memory while Robbie Robertson strums his guitar. "Just beautiful," as Chuck says several times in the recitation. You can really hear the origin of Chuck's own lyrics.

The second bonus feature has Bo Diddley, Little Richard and Chuck sitting around a piano discussing the early days of rock and roll. This feature touches (very lightly) on the trials of black performers in the 1950's trying to break into the white-dominated business. However, mostly due to the influence of Little Richard, it never really gets very serious. If you're really interested in this period, I recommend Chuck Berry's autobiography.

The last feature on disc 3 is Robbie Robertson and Chuck sitting around the coffee table talking about Chuck's life as they go through a huge scrapbook. This has some poignant moments, but again, only lightly touches on stuff that Chuck's autobiography covers in great detail. I have to wonder if Robbie Robertson knew much about Chuck Berry before sitting down with him. He asks questions like, "Why did you write about high school?", when everyone knows that Chuck wrote about what his fans were interested in, because Chuck himself was mostly interested in making money.

As a result, I think the Robertson interview gives the wrong impression, of Chuck as a genius inventing a new music form. The truth, if you believe the autobiography, is that Chuck had a genius, but it was for being incredibly sensitive to his audiences. When they applauded, he did more of what caused that, and when they didn't, he didn't do that again. Robertson also mis-reads Chuck (I thought it was pretty funny), when he calls Chuck's second prison term, "running into a brick wall". Chuck says, not at all, that's where he took all those business courses that made him into the businessman he is, and as a result, he's rich when many of his contemporaries are not. Robertson also seems amazed that Chuck never took drugs. Chuck replies that with a list of entertainers (Elvis, Janis, etc.) who are now dead, and he does have a point.

I thought the part about why Chuck's lyrics are so easy to hear missed the truth. The truth was that Chuck listened to music, and realized that the guys (white) who were making the money clipped their words distinctly, so he did too. As a result of that (plus a publicity photo that made him look white), Chuck got booked in venues where he could not play when he showed up. Did he mind? Not if he was paid.

So, in summary, disc 3 is exactly what the director promised. They had a lot of footage that didn't make it into the film, for good reason, so they stuck it in the bonus features. I recommend disc 3 for folks who just can't get enough of Chuck Berry. There is almost no music on this disc, but Chuck comes across very well and the mature "Father of Rock and Roll".

Was the above review useful to you?
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Eric Clapton … uncltravlinmatt
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Chuck's music will never die jdus-1
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