9 user 3 critic

Don't Knock the Rock (1956)

Approved | | Music | 14 December 1956 (USA)
A disc jockey tries to prove to teenagers' parents that rock 'n' roll is harmless and won't turn their kids into juvenile delinquents.


Fred F. Sears


Robert E. Kent (screenplay), Robert E. Kent (story) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Haley and the Comets ... Bill Haley's Comets (as Bill Haley and His Comets)
Alan Dale Alan Dale ... Arnie Haines
Alan Freed Alan Freed ... Alan Freed
The Treniers The Treniers ... The Trenirs
Little Richard ... Little Richard
Dave Appell Dave Appell ... Dave Appell
Applejacks Applejacks ... The Applejacks
Patricia Hardy Patricia Hardy ... Francine MacLaine
Fay Baker ... Arlene MacLaine
Jana Lund ... Sunny Everett
Gail Ganley Gail Ganley ... Molly Haines, Sister
Pierre Watkin ... Mayor George Bagley
George Cisar ... Influential Citizen Tom Everett
Dick Elliott ... Sheriff at End
Jovada Ballard Jovada Ballard ... Jovada Ballard - Jitterbug Contest Winner


Arnie Haines is one of the stars of the new musical genre called rock 'n' roll. He is tired of touring, so he and his band decide to take a vacation in their hometown Mellondale. When they arrive, they are welcomed with great enthusiasm by the local youth. Mayor Bagley interferes and forbids them to play in the town, because he doesn't want them to demoralize the youth. The much-feared columnist Arlene MacLaine is brought to Mellondale by her daughter Francine, who is trying to cajole her mother to appreciate rock 'n' roll. But in Arlene's next column in nationwide media, she denounces Arnie Haines and rock 'n' roll. Francine contacts Arnie. On a visit to the beach they not only make up plans on how to change her mother's opinion, but also fall in love. Their plan is to organize a big rock 'n' roll show in the small town Friesville, and bring her mother there. The local mayor Tom Everett agrees to let them hire Friesville Palladium. His daughter Sunny is immediately infatuated by ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The kings of rock are rollin' back to the screen... in their biggest! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 December 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hi Fi See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


As with Rock Around the Clock (1956), all songs are performed lip-synched to previously released records. It's worth noting, however, that Bill Haley and the Comets' instrumental "Goofin' Around" seen performed here is a different take than the version the band released on record. See more »


The dialog indicates that Arnie Haines' home town is somewhere in New England when he discusses going home for vacation, but the train that he gets off has the logo of the Sunset Limited on three cars. The Sunset Limited was a luxury train of the Southern Pacific Railroad that ran along the California Coast. See more »


[after spilling liqour all over a dance]
Dancer: What are you doin' bringin' liqour in here?
Dancer: I didn't...
Dancer: I oughta slug you...
[he lifts up his fist; the other dancer pulls it down]
Dancer: You and what blee club?
Dancer: Really, the soprano's enough
[punches the other dancer; fight begins]
See more »


Calling All Comets
Written by Bill Haley, Rudy Pompilli and Milton Gabler
Performed by Bill Haley and the Comets
See more »

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User Reviews

A few knocks for this film
7 May 2007 | by digitalcoolSee all my reviews

This is yet another of a group of early R&R films with the same moral...."Parents, don't judge the music of your kids harshly...after all, you were a bunch of flappers back in your day, screaming '23 Skiddoo' while jitterbugging like crazy..." This film would have been better, MUCH better, if they actually had a Rock N Roll guy as the lead. But they had a Bing Crosby type, moaning out some pretty awful tunes. I'm sure there were some very restless teenagers in the theater when this film was released. They probably couldn't wait 'till the REAL rockers came on screen. Once that happened, the film came into it's own. As has been pointed out in earlier posts, these performances are the centerpiece of the film.

In addition to the musical numbers by Haley & the Comets, the Treniers and Little Richard, the dancing was pretty amazing in this movie. Young people of the past could really move, unlike today (also check out YouTube clips of Ronnie Spector dancing at the Pepppermint Lounge during The Beatles '64 tour; clips from the early 70's Soul Train line; and clips from the 80's film "Breakin'" to see what young folks could do during the past decades).

Another bright spot was the performance of Jana Lund as the bratty, teenage nymphet. She did an amazingly sultry dance when first spotted, and you just knew this kitten would be trouble. On top of that, Ms. Lund was wearing the most blatant example of a 50's "Balistic Missle Bra" since Janet Leigh in "Jet Pilot".

All in all, not a bad film, but not as good or as much fun as "Rock Around The Clock".

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