Rock Around the Clock (1956)

“It’s rock ‘n roll, and we’re rockin’ tonight!”

Synopsis:
Talent scouts Steve (Johnny Johnston) and Corny (Henry Slate) sign on with small-town band Bill Haley and the Comets, as well as dancing duo siblings Lisa (Lisa Gaye) and Jimmy (Earl Barton) — but big-time music agent Corinne Talbot (Alix Talton) is jealous of Steve’s romantic interest in Lisa, and tries her best to foil the band’s success.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, “rock ‘n roll triumphs” in this otherwise dated, weakly plotted, poorly acted musical about “talent scouts… looking for a new sound that will get the people dancing again”. Best known as the first “rock ‘n roll film”, Rock Around the Clock was — amazingly enough — highly controversial upon its release. Today, it’s primarily enjoyable for music acts by Bill Haley and the Comets, the Platters, and others.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Many fine performances by Bill Haley and the Comets
    Bill Haley and the Comets
  • The Platters crooning “Only You”
    The Platters
  • Gaye and Barton swinging together on the dance floor
    Dancing

Must See?
Yes, simply as part of music (and film) history.

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One Response to “Rock Around the Clock (1956)”

  1. First viewing. A must, mostly as an historical document.

    Ah, out with the old, in with the new! The end of an era – when Big Band went boom and rock ‘n’ roll began to rule!

    But this film contains more, as it includes that seemingly timeless Latin beat – it’s funny when Tony Martinez and his band feel forced to downplay for a ‘square’ crowd. And it’s not just about the songs – there’s some mighty fancy steppin’ afoot by some very talented hoofers. And the story is even a bit fun, esp. with its somewhat twisted booking agent on-board.

    It’s a generally spirited relic, adequately if not memorably acted. At least you don’t have to cringe between musical numbers.

    [Trivia note: The name of one of The Platters was David Lynch. Odd ’cause I was thinking that the director David Lynch could very well be a huge Platters fan.]

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