Mister Rock and Roll (1957)

Mister Rock and Roll (1957)

“How do you account for it — this terrific success?”

A young musical sensation (Teddy Randazzo) falls for a journalist (Lois Oโ€™Brien) covering a story on rock ‘n roll, with neither knowing that O’Brien’s manager (Jay Barney) intends to spin her reporting into a report about the negative impact of rock music on juveniles. Meanwhile, Randazzo’s manager (Alan Freed) tells the tale of how he helped spread rock ‘n roll across the country, and attempts to convince the public that rock-loving teens are good and decent at heart.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Morality Police
  • Rock ‘n Roll

After appearing as himself in Rock Around the Clock (1956), Rock Rock Rock! (1956), and Don’t Knock the Rock (1956), Alan Freed was given the title role in this film which was ostensibly about his historic role in bringing rock music to teenagers through radio:

… but was really just one more excuse for a variety of then-popular stars to perform. It’s listed as a Camp Classic in the back of Peary’s book — likely no longer true, but this designation makes sense given how trite and stilted the dialogue and storyline are: boy (Randazzo) meets girl (O’Brien), they have a misunderstanding, boy croons a couple of songs, and the couple reunites by the end.

We’re treated to perhaps the worst ever attempt by a singer (Randazzo) to pretend he’s playing the piano:

… and numerous painful (unsuccessful) attempts at injecting humor:

Meanwhile, one can’t help wondering, what in the heck is that photo of a handsome young guy doing in the top right corner of Randazzo’s dressing room mirror?

Thankfully, the film culminates in a suitably raucous, socks-knocking dance sequence:

… and check out the Black female saxophonist! Could she have been a member of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm?

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • A few enjoyable musical acts

Must See?
No; you can skip this one.


2 thoughts on “Mister Rock and Roll (1957)

  1. [PASS]

    … Sigh. From the assessment given, it almost seems safe to conclude that this is yet another example of where Peary takes an entire genre (in this case, the plethora of films covering the ’50s rock’n’roll craze) and, instead of selecting a couple of representative titles, he wrings the genre dry.

    Based on the review – and from what I’ve experienced re: Peary’s thoughts on ‘camp’ – I can’t see this film harboring much along camp lines. The many films in this genre are generally (and not surprisingly) quite difficult to find and (unless Mamie Van Doren is involved) they hardly seem worth the hunt. (I’ve already suffered through several of them.)

    True, I haven’t seen this particular film so I can’t judge it. Nevertheless, I think I’ve sufficiently covered the territory. (I don’t personally have much interest in ’50s r’n’r.)

    Side Note:
    In the first photo provided… the woman on the right: is that Lily Tomlin (or a relative)? ๐Ÿ˜‰ …Re: the 4th capture: the guy in the photo may be Tab Hunter. Yes, that does open up at least one question. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Your “Pass” is on the money here. Peary lists ALL of the 5 films Freed participated in between 1956 and 1959, and that’s just too many.

    Speaking of Freed, it was sad reading that he died at the age of 43 from alcoholism.

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