6.9/10
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38 user 11 critic

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.

Director:

Floyd Mutrux

Writers:

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim McIntire ... Alan Freed
Fran Drescher ... Sheryl
Jay Leno ... Mookie
Laraine Newman ... Teenage Louise
Carl Weaver Carl Weaver ... Member of The Chesterfields (as Carl Earl Weaver)
Al Chalk ... Member of The Chesterfields
Sam Harkness Sam Harkness ... Member of The Chesterfields
Arnold McCuller Arnold McCuller ... Member of The Chesterfields
Jeff Altman ... Lennie Richfield
Moosie Drier Moosie Drier ... Artie Moress
John Lehne John Lehne ... D.A. Coleman
Stewart Steinberg ... Stone
Jack Edward Ellis Jack Edward Ellis ... Phillips
Richard Forbes Richard Forbes ... Donahue
Stephen Pearlman ... Peter Overmyer
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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

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Hot Wax - kuumaa vahaa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some movie posters for the film featured a preamble that said: "1959. New York City. The battleground was Rock and Roll. It was the beginning of an era. You shoulda been there". See more »

Goofs

Buddy Holly's birthday (7 September) fell on Labor Day in 1959, so Artie would have had the day off from school anyway. See more »

Quotes

Alan Freed: Hey, look. If they took it all away tomorrow, we'd be even. No we wouldn't. We'd be way ahead.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Come Go With Me
(uncredited)
Written by Clarence E. Quick
Performed by Kenny Vance and The Planotones
See more »

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User Reviews

 
WHY is this not on DVD???!!
30 September 2005 | by pimpcheezeSee all my reviews

Floyd Mutrux is a golden god of American film making. "Hollywood Knights" is the greatest movie ever made, and this (American Hot Wax) may be the second. If "American Graffiti" can make it to DVD, this can.

I would imagine the reason it hasn't yet been released is licensing of all the songs, the reason the Hollywood Knights disc was delayed for so long. Everyone is greedy these days, but isn't a little something better than nothing at all? Let it go, people!

It is a great movie about a great time not only in America, but music. This is the 'big bang' of rock n'roll. Chuck Berry wears the exact same clothes from his very own closet as he did in '56, in this movie. The reason the RnR Hall of Fame is in Cleveland, is because that's where Alan Freed started - and he coined the phrase "rock n'roll".

In this movie, like the aforementioned HK movie, Mutrux's eye for talent brings to the screen for the first time actors/actresses that would become luminaries in the future. Leno, Drescher, who knew?

GET THIS MOVIE TO DVD NOW, thank you. :)


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