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Jailhouse Rock
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Jailhouse Rock

5.0 5
Director: Richard Thorpe, Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler, Mickey Shaughnessy

Cast: Richard Thorpe, Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler, Mickey Shaughnessy


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One of the best of Elvis Presley's pre-Army films, Jailhouse Rock offers us the sensual, "dangerous" Elvis that had won the hearts of the kids and earned the animosity of their elders. Presley plays a young buck who accidentally kills a man while protecting the honor of a woman. Thrown into prison, Elvis strikes up a friendship with visionary fellow-con Mickey


One of the best of Elvis Presley's pre-Army films, Jailhouse Rock offers us the sensual, "dangerous" Elvis that had won the hearts of the kids and earned the animosity of their elders. Presley plays a young buck who accidentally kills a man while protecting the honor of a woman. Thrown into prison, Elvis strikes up a friendship with visionary fellow-con Mickey Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy suggests that Elvis perform in the upcoming prison show. Ol' swivel-hips scores a hit, and decides to stay in showbiz after his release. Together with pretty Judy Tyler (the former Princess Summerfall Winterspring on Howdy Doody, who would die in a horrible traffic accident shortly after completing this film), Elvis sets up his own record company. Alas, success goes to his head, and soon Elvis plans to ditch Tyler in favor of signing with a big-time label. Shaughnessy shows up long enough to punch out Elvis for his disloyalty; as a result, Elvis' vocal chords are damaged and he is unable to sing. Deserted by his flunkeys and hangers-on, Elvis learns the value of friendship and fidelity when Tyler and Shaughnessy stay by his side in his darkest hours. His voice restored, Elvis climbs back up the charts--but this time, he's a much nicer fellow, and a lot more committed to Tyler. Usually the musical numbers in a Presley picture (this one has a doozy, complete with chorus boys dressed as convicts!) are more compelling than the plot. Jailhouse Rock is a perfect balance of song and story from beginning to end; seldom would Elvis be so well showcased in the future.

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!

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Commentary by Steve Pond, Author of Elvis in Hollywood; New Featurette the Scene That Stole Jailhouse Rock; Soundtrack Remastered in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 as Well as Original Mono; Theatrical Trailer.

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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Jailhouse Rock 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of Elvis Presley best movies made. Elvis Presley stars as a truck driver that gets thrown into jail because of manslaughter. His cell mate was once a star. Once freed, he meets Peggy Van Alden (Judy Taylor). She becomes his agent. And he hires a lawyer to be his manger. Once the ex-star is free from jail, trouble brews. I recoomend this film for Elvis Presley fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been studying on Elvis lately because my mom, who died recently, was a big Elvis fan and I wanted to know what it was about Elvis that my mom liked. Well, I read LOTS of good books, and I find Elvis to be a very interesting person. So, I decided to see some of his movies. I wasn't at all sure I would like this movie since I don't particularly like the song Jailhouse Rock. Well, I was wrong, this is one of Elvis' BEST movies. I was more than pleasantly surprised. My daughter and I watched this over and over and never got tired of it. I was a bit put off at Elvis' attitude in the movie, because Elvis was not really like that, but I was glad to see him lose the attitude in the end. In one scene, at Peggy's home, he really looked like James Dean to me. I liked the songs he sang, especially ''Your So Square''. Just really enjoy how Elvis put himself into his songs!! This movie had some good lines, some humor, and of course Elvis is just beautiful to look at! Overall it was just a really good Elvis movie. You'll like it too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is my personal opinion that this movie should have been called ''Young and Beautiful'' rather than ''Jailhouse Rock''. Only a small portion of the picture takes place in the pen, and the Jailhouse Rock number itself appears only once in a TV shooting sequence, whereas ''Young and Beautiful'' is thematic throughout. It is the first song Elvis sings and the last, and much of the instrumental in between. When Vince Everett (Elvis) kills a man while defending a woman, he is sent to jail, where he meets Hunk Houghton, former country star. Under Hunk's hardened influence, Vince turns from an average, nice guy to a cold, sardonic, brooding character whose only interest is to make money. Lots of money. Hunk also teaches him to play the guitar and Vince decides to try making his money through music after he gets out. He meets Peggy van Alden, another singer's ''exploitation man''. She helps Vince make a record. When the record is stolen from them by a double-crossing company, Vince and Peggy start their own record company. Then they start having troubles. Peggy has seen that Vince looks at their relationship as strictly business and a means to one end: money. So she goes out with Teddy Talbot the Record Spinner for a date and in doing so makes Vince mad. He finds another girl and makes Peggy mad as well. Neither of them give in and use the telephone to clear up the problem. Then Vince heads for Hollywood, gets into a movie, and falls in love with his leading lady. He's giving a party for her when Peggy turns up to talk about cutting some new records. Vince realises how much he missed her, but makes her upset again by telling her that he is going to sell out his record company to another for the extremely lucrative benefits that will result. By the end of the movie, however, he realises that Peggy is all that really matters to him after all, and the curtain goes down with him singing ''Young and Beautiful'' to her.