Jailhouse Rock

Jailhouse Rock

5.0 5
Director: Richard Thorpe

Cast: Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler, Mickey Shaughnessy

     
 

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The treatment of Jailhouse Rock on DVD is a demonstration of how times and sensibilities have changed, in Hollywood and the world. As an Elvis Presley movie, it's been presented on this Warner Home Video DVD in a good letterboxed (2.35-to-1) transfer, as well as a full-screen version (1.33-to-1) that's less impressive in just about every way. But apart from theSee more details below

Overview

The treatment of Jailhouse Rock on DVD is a demonstration of how times and sensibilities have changed, in Hollywood and the world. As an Elvis Presley movie, it's been presented on this Warner Home Video DVD in a good letterboxed (2.35-to-1) transfer, as well as a full-screen version (1.33-to-1) that's less impressive in just about every way. But apart from the original trailer, there are no significant bonus features. English, Spanish, and French soundtracks are here in Dolby Digital Mono, and subtitles are accessible in all three of those languages, and the movie has been given a very generous 28 chapters, covering all of the songs and the plot points. One would just think that more could have been done with what is generally regarded as one of the two or three most enduring -- if not the best -- of Presley's movies. Ironically, in 1957 some of the movie's virtues would have been more obvious -- not only was it an MGM film when that still meant something, but it was shot in black-and-white CinemaScope, not unheard of as a choice by a director and producer, but a deliberately arty, gritty selection of a format and medium; and it was produced by no less a figure than Pando S. Berman, as long a serving and generally highly regarded producer as graced Hollywood from the 1920's thru the 1960's, who pretty much only did quality movies -- but who also did gritty and challenging films, including The Blackboard Jungle, Bhowani Junction, and Tea And Sympathy. One would think that with this kind of pedigree on the cinematic side, plus the Leiber and Stoller songs on the music side, and the importance of the movie in Elvis' output, more would be done with it on DVD, much as was done on The Blackboard Jungle. It's overdue for that kind of treatment.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Amy Robinson
Widely considered the greatest rock musical of all time, Jailhouse Rock combines elements of the classic juvenile-delinquent cautionary tale with a fascinating look at early rock-'n' -roll. Its main draw is the charismatic presence of Elvis Presley, alluringly moody as Vince Everett, a construction worker sent to prison when a bar fight turns fatal. He goes in a decent if hotheaded kid and comes out a hard-as-nails ex-con. Managing to parlay a knack for music into rock stardom, Everett nearly destroys his life with his narcissistic behavior. Of course, all his destructiveness only makes Everett one of the sexiest characters Presley ever played. The film boasts a variety of bluesy Elvis tunes, and Mike Stoller -- who penned many of Presley's best songs along with Jerry Lieber -- appears in a cameo as a piano player. The showstopper, though, is "Jailhouse Rock" itself, as exuberant, gorgeous, and sublimely ridiculous a wide-screen musical sequence as anyone could want.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
If Jailhouse Rock isn't Elvis Presley's best movie, it's close enough to the top of the heap to be essential viewing for anyone interested in The King's legacy, and it's one of his few vehicles which really caught his raw, sexy energy and sneering charisma on film. Playing an ex-con rock & roll singer, Elvis' role isn't much of a stretch here, but it also allows him to let his natural charm shine through, and the film's cynical portrait of the inner working of the music business certainly seems to agree with him. Elvis didn't get many chances to play a character with a dark side or a bad attitude (especially after his hitch in the Army), and Jailhouse Rock finds him reveling in Vince Everett's cocky swagger and seen-it-all cool. Richard Thorpe's direction isn't especially inspired, but he keeps the story moving along well enough, and the production number for the title song is one of the few times Presley's live-wire magnetism made its way through the studio's choreography. Jailhouse Rock plays like a good, tough B-movie with some rockin' musical numbers thrown in, and it certainly serves Elvis and his talent far better than the glossier but empty-headed movies that dominated his post-Army career. Keep your ears peeled for the priceless moment where Elvis shares his opinions on modern jazz!

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/01/2000
UPC:
0012569506121
Original Release:
1957
Rating:
PG
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Letterbox, Full Frame]
Sound:
[monaural]
Time:
1:36:00

Special Features

Interactive menus; Theatrical trailer; Scene access

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Elvis Presley Vince Everett
Judy Tyler Peggy Van Alden
Mickey Shaughnessy Hunk Houghton
Vaughn Taylor Mr. Shores
Jennifer Holden Sherry Wilson
Dean Jones Teddy Talbot
Anne Neyland Laury Jackson
Jordanaires Musician
Mike Stoller Pianist
Hugh Sanders Warden
Grandon Rhodes Prof. August Van Alden
Don Burnett Mickey Alba
George Cisar Jake the Bartender
Glenn Strange Mr. Simpson
John Indrisano Convict
Robert Bice Bardeman, TV Studio Manager
Percy Helton Sam Brewster
Peter Adams Jack Lease
Dan White Paymaster
Robin Raymond Dotty
John Day Ken
S. John Launer Judge
Dick Rich Guard
Elizabeth Slifer Cleaning Woman
Gloria Pall Stripteaser
Fred Coby Bartender
Walter Johnson Shorty
Frank Kreig Drunk
William Tannen Record Distributor
Wilson Wood Record Engineer
Tom McKee TV Director
Donald Kerr Photographer
Carl Milletaire Drummond
Francis de Sales Surgeon
Harry Hines Hotel Clerk
Dorothy Abbott Woman in Restaurant
William Forrest Studio Head
Katherine Warren Mrs. Van Alden

Technical Credits
Richard Thorpe Director
Jeff Alexander Musical Direction/Supervision
Roy C. Bennett Songwriter
Pandro S. Berman Producer
Robert J. Bronner Cinematographer
Randall Duell Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Keogh Gleason Set Decoration/Design
Henry W. Grace Set Decoration/Design
Kathryn Hereford Associate Producer
William Horning Art Director
Jerry Lieber Songwriter
Robert E. Relyea Asst. Director
Alex Romero Choreography
Aaron Schroeder Songwriter
Abner Silver Songwriter
Mike Stroller Songwriter
Sid Tepper Songwriter
Guy Troper Screenwriter
Richard Trosper Screenwriter
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Ben Weisman Songwriter
Ralph Winters Editor
Ned Young Original Story

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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Scene Selections
1. Logos [:17]
2. Main Title [1:09]
3. The Sugar Man [1:09]
4. Trouble in a Dress [:50]
5. The Fight [:52]
6. Sentencing; Hunk [5:32]
7. One More Day [2:46]
8. Young and Beautiful [3:31]
9. I Wanna Be Free [4:00]
10. Food Fight [3:01]
11. Freedom; the Letters [2:55]
12. The Exploitation "Man" [3:57]
13. "Young and Beautiful (reprise)" [3:46]
14. Don't Leave Me Now (Take One) [2:20]
15. Don't Leave Me Now (Take two) [5:14]
16. At Peggy's Parents' [4:12]
17. Vince's Voice Change [6:02]
18. Treat Me Nice [5:13]
19. The Girl's Got Other Plans [5:00]
20. Hunk Returns [3:00]
21. Jailhouse Rock [3:16]
22. One More Day (Reprise) [4:43]
23. Climax Studios [3:16]
24. The Debu-Detente [2:07]
25. Baby, I Don't Care [4:23]
26. The Way the Mop Flops [4:53]
27. Teaching Vince a Lesson [5:08]
28. Young and Beautiful (finale) [3:54]
Side #2
0. Scene Selections
1. Logos [:17]
2. Main Title [1:09]
3. The Sugar Man [1:09]
4. Trouble in a Dress [:50]
5. The Fight [:52]
6. Sentencing; Hunk [5:32]
7. One More Day [2:46]
8. Young and Beautiful [3:31]
9. I Wanna Be Free [4:00]
10. Food Fight [3:01]
11. Freedom; the Letters [2:55]
12. The Exploitation "Man" [3:57]
13. "Young and Beautiful (reprise)" [3:46]
14. Don't Leave Me Now (Take One) [2:20]
15. Don't Leave Me Now (Take two) [5:14]
16. At Peggy's Parents' [4:12]
17. Vince's Voice Change [6:02]
18. Treat Me Nice [5:13]
19. The Girl's Got Other Plans [5:00]
20. Hunk Returns [3:00]
21. Jailhouse Rock [3:16]
22. One More Day (Reprise) [4:43]
23. Climax Studios [3:16]
24. The Debu-Detente [2:07]
25. Baby, I Don't Care [4:23]
26. The Way the Mop Flops [4:53]
27. Teaching Vince a Lesson [5:08]
28. Young and Beautiful (finale) [3:54]

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