Jailhouse Rock - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Jailhouse Rock Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 26, 2007
Along with King Creole Elvis' best film, admittingly not a high bar to crest, he is in prime condition and great voice. Very sensual and surrounded by a quality production Elvis turns in a good performance as a surly up and comer. A film with an actual story unlike his later movies like Spinout or Harum Scarum this gives you an idea what kind of actor he might have become if the Colonel had not thrust him into one piece of junk after another. Judy Tyler although her part is limited gives a performs well as a self possessed young woman who helps put Elvis on the road to success, sadly she died in a car wreck before the film's premier.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2010
This is my favourite Elvis movie, the story is cool and more realistic than his other movies. Plus, I love the songs. If you only see one Elvis movie, see this one.
Super Reviewer
January 18, 2010
Fantastic movie musical, even showcasing some great acting talent from The King.
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2007
This movie opens with Elvis beating a man to death with his bare hands...
and then he becomes a pop sensation...
How can you not love it?
Super Reviewer
½ July 20, 2008
Loved the music, was horribly annoyed by the character and the way he seemed to get whatever he wanted despite being a total jerk.
Super Reviewer
August 3, 2007
An unrealistic portrayal of jail life.
Super Reviewer
November 23, 2006
One of the better Elvis movies. If Elvis kills a man with his bare hands you better recognize.
Super Reviewer
½ May 13, 2009
This movie has some great music! However Elvis Presely's chareacter was such an ASS! I mean I wanted to just give him a beat down. He was one cocky son of a bitch. It seemed like everything he wanted he got. The movie starts out with Elvis in a bar. From there he gets into a bar fight,ends up killing the man and is sentenced to 14 months in prison. From the title of the movie I would have thought the whole movie took place in the Jail,but nope. In fact only about the first 25 mins take place in the Jail. The rest of the movie is Elvis trying to get a record deal. So while this movie was entertaining,due mostly to Elvis's great singing ablilties, I dont think its even close to a masterpiece. Lets just say that the characters arent ones that I would want to make friennds with...

Peggy Van Alden: I think I'm going to just hate you!
Vince Everett: No, you ain't gonna hate me. I ain't gonna let you hate me.
Super Reviewer
August 1, 2007
Some witty moments, but overall, doesn't do it for me in the least.
January 1, 2015
Elvis is a natural performer who the viewer will find captivating, but I also found him a bit too cocky in this. The scene with the title song is undoubtedly the best thing about the movie. (First and only viewing - 1/2/2015)
March 16, 2015
Woah, Elvis got real. A much darker origin story for Elvis- that genuinely gets surprisingly dark for a pop music movie- in which a guy who has major anger issues and a huge chip on his shoulder for no explained reason rises to the top and wallows until he gets punched in the neck and reconsiders some of his choices. I wish this went even darker, like maybe throw Robert Mitchum in there or something as the other prisoner, but a pretty solidly enjoyable film either way.
August 17, 2014
Elvis Presley plays a short-term convict who rockets to success after appearing on a nationally-televised prison talent show (Hey, that could possibly be a real thing that actually happens). Of course, there are also the usual plot points about the problems of fame and the pitfalls of romance. Elvis is an awkward actor even in his best moments here, but this is probably the best film he ever appeared in. This is largely because the soundtrack debuted such classic tunes as "Treat Me Nice", "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care", and the immortal title track.
June 2, 2014
Sometimes amusing fare that'll only really be remembered for introducing the song Jailhouse Rock itself.
October 20, 2013
When looking at the greatest performers who ever lived, one who would definitely be near the top of the list is Elvis Presley, the "King of Rock and Roll." While I was born long after his death in 1977, I do strongly believe that Elvis's music is pure gold in the development of rock music. "The King" also succeeded well in the film world, with his most famous film being the one I'm about to review, Jailhouse Rock, named after the awesome song about a "warden who threw a party in the county jail". And while the story is clichéd and sometimes cheesy to experience, Jailhouse Rock is a fun Elvis film, and is an entertaining look at the development of celebrity stardom.

In Jailhouse Rock, Elvis plays Vince Everett, a young, tough, and "dangerous" country boy who ends up in prison after accidentally killing a man in self-defense. In prison, Vince develops a bond with cellmate and former country singer Hunk Houghton (Mickey Shaughnessy), who suggests Vince that he should perform in the prison show. When that goes over well, Vince decides to perform for a living, and after being released from jail sentence, he teams up with music expert and attractive Peggy Van Alden (Judy Tyler) to achieve success in the music industry. After a failed attempt at making a hit, the two decide to form their own record company, and there, Vince goes huge in the market, but his fame cause Vince to go overboard in his wealth and attitude.

Obviously we know how the story is going to end, cause the film stars the great Elvis Presley, where he becomes a singing sensation and becomes a nicer man. This is a very predictable story, and in a couple of places, becomes very goofy at times, especially in a scene involving Elvis in a "life-threatening" situation with his voice. I didn't feel moved here cause I already knew how it was going to end even without watching it. But why do I still give it a fresh score? Well, it's the personality of the great rock icon that makes Jailhouse Rock an enjoyable film and not a disappointing failure like Kissin' Cousins was.

When watching Jailhouse Rock. I was surprised at the rough side of Elvis in this one. When watching some of his other films, like Kissin' Cousins, Elvis portrayed a nice man who has plenty of charm to impress women and always sung in places of love. Here, Elvis plays a selfish and greedy man who takes advantage of women, is obsessed with money, and only cares about himself. What fascinated me about Elvis's performance is that while he played a rude and selfish celebrity, I was still impressed with Elvis's personality and charisma presented on screen. Also impressive is Judy Tyler's role as the love interest. She may not be the greatest actress in the world, like Ingrid Bergman or Judy Garland, but Tyler managed to act well with Elvis in the cheesy, predictable moments I mentioned earlier. It's sad that she died not too long after production cause I felt she would have had a strong career after this film.

What makes Jailhouse Rock different from other musicals, particularly Elvis films, is that all the songs are performed either on stage or in the studio, kind of similar to the musical numbers in the even more excellent film Yankee Doodle Dandy. It's these songs that makes Jailhouse Rock worth watching, and make Jailhouse Rock the entertaining film it is. Songs include the catchy "Treat Me Nice", the fun "You're So Square", the awesome ballad "Don't Leave Me Now", and of coarse, the excellent title number, "Jailhouse Rock", featuring awesome choreography that Elvis staged himself! It's easily the most fun sequence in the whole movie, and makes the whole film worthwhile, even for non-Elvis fans who can't stand the lip-motions, the hip-shaking, or the vocals.

While the story is very goofy in places and extremely predictable about a man's rise to stardom after serving time in prison, Elvis's surprisingly rough and "dangerous" side performance and the musical numbers makes Jailhouse Rock one of the more entertaining Elvis films out there. If you're wondering why Elvis was the excellent entertainer he was, then Jailhouse Rock is the proof of discovery.
½ March 29, 2013
Honestly, if it was any other actor playing Vince, I would've turned this off. The songs are great, but the movie is just too fast paced. It was definitely entertaining though!
½ January 24, 2013
I am, admittedly, not a huge fan of Elvis. He has just never been my thing, I've always preferred The Beatles and other post-50s rock groups. Even compared to other artists in the 50s, I prefer Chuck Berry to Elvis Presley. So with my lack of enthusiasm for Elvis in mind, I did mostly enjoy watching "Jailhouse Rock". I haven't seen too many Elvis movies really...I sort of saw "Blue Hawaii" and "Viva Las Vegas" when I was much much younger, but I can barely remember them. Here Elvis shows his acting range by playing himself as a rebellious young man who has a terrific lawyer that gets him only 20 months in prison for murder. Once he is out he does his best to rise to fame as a music star. The film's iconic sequence for the title song is pretty much the best part, as it is one of the few Elvis tunes I genuinely like, but the sequence itself is well choreographed. The film is fairly average on the whole, but it is iconic and probably (based purely on what I've heard and barely seen) one of Elvis' best features.
June 12, 2012
Great music and a convincing performance by Elvis almost makes you forget the silly plot and the unrealistic look into prison life. Other than that, the title song is still catchy as ever.

Grade: B
½ August 17, 2011
This is one my favorite Elvis movies. Not only does it have the iconic Jailhouse Rock staging, it also has a story. Elvis plays a jerk and uses everyone around him ini the pursuit of money. He will do anything for money and he does not care who he hurts in order to get it. Oh yeah, and he's a hothead who doesn't run away from a fight. Recipe for disaster and drama. The musical numbers actually break up some of the tension in this one, as opposed to simply showcasing Elvis' singing and dancing abilities, although that's never too hard to watch.
½ January 8, 2011
Elvis plays the role of Vince Everett,who kills a man with his bare hands in a bar fight.Sentenced for manslaughter,Everett pulls hard time,and is befriended by his cellmate who runs the "commerce" in the joint with favors and ciggarettes.A former musician,he lets Vince play his guitar and is impressed with what he hears.After a televised music production broadcast from the prison Everett becomes a hit with fans,but his cellmate talks the warden into hiding his mail and pressures him into signing a bogus contract.
After being paroled Everett sets out to be a performer,and meets a beautiful woman in a bar with record label connections.They head to the studio to cut a record,but the label they try to sell it to steals Vince's song and has another artist perform it.The pair consult a lawyer,form their own label,and cut a new record which is a huge success.A T.V. special follows,and then Everett finds success in Hollywood.
But as Vince becomes more famous,he begins to lose touch and forgets the people who helped him climb to the top.......
The first movie about Rock n Roll and one of the kings finest acting performances,Jailhouse Rock is a great study of the ups and downs of being famous.
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