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   JAILHOUSE ROCK (1957) 

[Get the Poster]

CAST
Elvis Presley
Judy Tyler
Mickey Shaughnessy
Vaughn Taylor
Jennifer Holden
Dean Jones
Anne Neyland

DIRECTED BY
Richard Thorpe

PURCHASE


DVD



Soundtrack




Time: 96 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Drama/Musical


SYNOPSIS: An ex-con, who learned how to sing in prison, becomes a musical sensation with the help of a pretty record promoter. After being screwed over by the big labels, they start their own and find that business and fame get in the way of their romance.

BOTTOM LINE: This is my first foray into Elvis as an actor and I have to say I was impressed. His good looks, smooth voice, and electric vibe burn up the screen. Playing a man with a quick temper and the need to express it, he channels his sultry charisma and boundless energy into a role that truly suits him. The plot isn't exactly high-brow, but it gets the job done, allowing him to sing within the confines of an actual dramatic piece. His acting may be raw, but his voice could melt butter and I defy anyone, fan or not, to fail to fall under his spell.

While his character is striving to make it both in the music industry and with his business partner, played by the lovely and intelligent Tyler, the film has drive and enthusiasm. When he hits Hollywood it comes screeching to a halt because the main romantic relationship is nowhere to be found. Elvis has great chemistry with Tyler and once she disappears so does the film's charm. Plus, he becomes a self-centered ass, which isn't much fun to watch, though he does do the part justice.

The ending where he gets a whoopin' by his ex-cellmate (Shaughnessy) for treating Tyler so poorly is well-deserved, however, it's mostly a self-serving plot point to get the audience worked up about the final song. His voice was injured in the beating and it's unclear whether he can sing again. Oh, the horror. The suspense was sorely lacking, but the moment is sweetly played. Despite a middling story, this is a perfect star vehicle that gives Elvis the chance to show why he was called the King. Even non-fans will be entertained by this piece, since it's pretty straightfoward for a musical drama.




"That ain't tactics, honey. It's just the beast in me."

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