Rock, Rock, Rock! (1956)

“Which would you rather be — ignorant or bankrupt?”
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Synopsis:
When Dori (Tuesday Weld) needs money to buy a dress for the prom, she decides to start her own business — but jealous Gloria (Jacqueline Kerr) covets Dori’s boyfriend Tommy (Teddy Randazzo), and does everything she can to sabotage Dori’s efforts.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, director Will Price makes few attempts to integrate the musical acts into the storyline of this “lightweight high-school comedy-rock-n-roll showcase”, starring young Tuesday Weld in her film debut. Weld may be (as Peary notes) “cute as a button”, but her acting is stiff as a board; other lowlights include the musical sequence by “Baby”, and the dismal acting of Jacqueline Kerr as Dori’s nemesis Gloria (according to IMDb, this is the only film to Kerr’s name, and it’s clear why). With that said, this innocuous outing possesses a number of enjoyable (and historically important) songs, which make it worth checking out once — but certainly not must-see viewing.

Redeeming Qualities:

  • Some toe-tapping vintage rock acts
  • Chuck Berry’s solo. What a way to duck walk!
  • Dori’s economic analysis in the dress shop (now that’s creative accounting!)
  • The awesome teen swing dancing at the prom (watch for the girl who literally kicks off her shoes–)

Must See?
No. While it holds some historical significance, this one is ultimately not must-see viewing.

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One Response to “Rock, Rock, Rock! (1956)”

  1. A must – not for its historical significance but because it’s simply hilarious! I’d never seen this and I was in (controlled) hysterics.

    OK, yes, there is something to be said for historical significance when it comes to the likes of Chuck Berry and some of the other performers. (Alan Freed is to be commended for trail-blazing.) But, overall, most of the songs are not that good and many of them are insipidly bad – particularly some of the love songs by white performers; good-frickin’-grief!

    The ‘story’, though, is a gem!: spoiled girl learns the value of a dollar. Well, sort of. The real story involves the ‘she-beast’ that is new-girl-in-town Gloria and how you’d better watch out…the boyfriend she steals could be YOURS! And how is this thwarted? By getting the best dress for the prom, of course! So what, you’ve maxed-out your allowance…again! Where there’s a will… And Weld certainly has the will! (I don’t find Weld that stiff, actually. She’s pretty good when the script – and not Connie Francis’ vocals – is helping her.)

    Who knew a nostalgic walk like this could be so charmingly dim-witted?

    One of the ‘best’ vocals comes near the end: Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers singing the jaw-dropping ‘I’m Not a Juvenile Delinquent’. What’s up with Frankie’s movements, like…I don’t know, ‘The Sound of Music’ meets the funk…?!

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