Friday, August 12, 2011

Movie Review: Jailhouse Rock, 1957

I really do believe that there is no better term for Elvis Presley than 'The King'. Not much is left to be said or published on one of our most infamous gone-to-soon legends, but nonetheless I wanted to watch one of his classic and iconic films, as well as commemorate the anniversary of his untimely passing (August 16th). He would be 76 years old if he were alive today (Shhhhh! Don't tell this to all the people that still think he is alive. Just look up "Elvis sightings" on the internet and you will see what I mean).

  • Jailhouse Rock was Elvis's third film and his debut with MGM. It was released on October 17, 1957. 
  • There are several aspects of the film that were deemed risqué for the times. First, Elvis plays an anti-hero who is a "good bad guy". Also there is a scene with co-star Judy Tyler showing them both lying in one bed. Finally the swear word 'hell' is used. 
  • Elvis never saw the completed film. After filming ended Judy Tyler and her husband were killed in an automobile accident in Wyoming, and Elvis could not bear to watch the film in its entirety. 
  • Shortly after filming commenced Elvis inhaled a loose dental cap into his lung. He had surgery and recuperated for a few days before returning to the set. 
  • One of the people that watched Elvis film the musical "Jailhouse Rock" scene was Gene Kelly. 
  • Elvis was very involved in the choreography for the "Jailhouse Rock" scene after the choreographer, Alex Romero, figured out that the moves he had planned on would not work for the number. 
  • Four songs that appear in the film: "Jailhouse Rock", "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care", "I Want to be Free", and "Treat Me Nice" were written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in just five hours after their music publisher locked them in a hotel room so the deadline could be met. 
  • The band that appears in the film is Elvis's original band. 

My thoughts on the film: I really enjoyed it. Although Elvis was obviously never a great acting talent, he is still mesmerizing to watch.  The way he moves is unparalleled, so the singing and dancing scenes are great fun to watch.  Were it not for the fact that this is an Elvis movie, I don't think it would work at all.  He is the movie.  One quote I supremely enjoyed was given by a girl poolside after Elvis sings one of his numbers "When you sing, it's really Gonesville."  Too funny.  I also enjoyed seeing a pair of hound dogs in the film, especially since Elvis's version of "Hound Dog" was a hit the year prior to this film.  Overall a great movie to watch if you are an Elvis fan, and even if you're not, still fun to watch just for the music scenes.
Here is a clip of the infamous jailhouse musical number

No comments:

Post a Comment