Sunday, 30 November 2014

Jailhouse Rock (1957)

Widely regarded as Elvis' best film, Jailhouse Rock, helped cement Elvis' star status. The story follows Vince Everett (Presley) who is sent to jail for man slaughter and upon his release begins a career as a recording artist. Whilst in jail Vince learns how to play the guitar from fellow inmate Hunk (Mickey Shaughnessy). Free from jail Vince becomes a star with the help of Peggy (Judy Tyler), but fame makes him arrogant and causes tensions with those around him.

The film was met with mixed reviews upon its release. Many were startled by the 'Jailhouse Rock' scene, particularly Elvis' dancing which was viewed as 'scandalous', his character also caused controversy because Vince was an anti hero. However despite not being a critical success it was a huge success at the box office. It was the eleventh top grossing film of the year and Elvis was the fourth top money making star.
Tragically two weeks after the film was completed Judy Tyler and her husband were killed in a car accident. Out of respect Elvis did not attend the films premiere. It was Tyler's last film.

The film presented the typical 1950s rebel, angry, confused, full of attitude but with a heart of gold.
This film also became the first to centre on Rock n' Roll. Up until that point rock had been seen as a passing fad, a novelty, but not something likely to last. Elvis forced the wider public to take notice of the new style.  Elvis is at the peek of his career, good-looking and talented he makes the film a memorable one, sure to get you dancing!


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