Shout (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

Shout (1991)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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John Travolta stars as a hip music teacher in this old-fashioned pseudo-musical set in 1955, the dawn of the rock n' roll era. Travolta is Jack Cabe, a musician on the run in Texas for murdering a man during a recording session. Attempting to elude the law, Jack takes refuge at the Benedict School for Boys, where he is hired as a music instructor by school director Eugene Benedict (Richard Jordan). At the school, he sets teen rebel Jesse Tucker (James Walters) straight by introducing him to the new music called rock n' roll. But Jack doesn't just stop there, and soon all the youngsters are snapping their fingers to the devil's music instead of keeping time to John Philip Sousa. This steers Jack on a collision course with Eugene, who doesn't appreciate the rhythm and the blues of rock n' roll. As if that weren't enough, Jesse has taken it into his head to seduce Sara (Heather Graham), Eugene's beautiful daughter. Meanwhile, Jack has problems of his own. With the law closing in on him, he is ready to take it on the lam to another state. But the big school concert is coming up and he doesn't want to let his students down. Should he stay to play the gig and risk arrest, or elude the law and take off down the road to freedom?

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John Travolta
as Jack Cabe
Scott Coffey
as Bradley
Sam Hennings
as Travis Parker
Jerry Tullos
as Bandstand MC
Julie Ariola
as Girl's Home Director
Patrik Baldauff
as Mr. Hawkins
Renee Tenison
as Girl in Bar
Cecil D. Womack
as Piano Player
Jeremy Kent Jackson
as Young Bell Ringer
James Avery
as Midnight Rider
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Critic Reviews for Shout

All Critics (4)

Moves to a boppy beat...Travolta's in good form

March 11, 2005

Audience Reviews for Shout


Wake up! A group of boardinghouse boys see little future or direction in their future in their military like atmosphere. The children just have no feelings of hope; until one day, a man walks into the school and convinces the militant boardinghouse father figure to let him teach the boys music. The man changes the boy's lives forever; and when their teacher gets in trouble, they do their best to inspire him like he inspired them. "Do you ever let other people touch it?" "You mean my guitar?" "What else would I be talking about?" Jeffrey Hornaday, director of Teen Beach Movie, Geek Charming and the upcoming Teen Beach Movie 2, delivers Shout. The storyline for this is just an average coming of age movie and love story. The plot is really just okay and not overly compelling. The cast does deliver entertaining performances and includes John Travolta, Heather Graham, Michael Bacall, Gwenyth Paltrow, Sam Hennings, and Richard Jordan. "Pork chops for dinner!" I came across this movie on HBOGO and had never heard of it so I decided to give it a shot. This wasn't bad but it wasn't as good as similar movies in this genre like Sandlot, Goonies, and Stand by Me. This is worth a viewing and fairly good, but is far from elite or worth adding to your DVD collection. "A strong hand is what they need. Discipline." Grade: C

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

Shout (Jeffrey Hornaday, 1991) It should say something about my reaction to this film that what I find most amusing about it is that a guy named Hornaday directed a movie about a music teacher and his charges. And that is the best thing about this otherwise generic, Lifetime Original Movie-bait inspirational romance claptrap, one of the movies John Travolta made during the long lull in his career between Blow Out and Pulp Fiction, presumably because he needed the money. It could have, should have, been Travolta's return to the musical-comedy roots that had made him a household name almost fifteen years previously, except, well, pity about the script. The only reason this movie is still remembered, and still available, is that it was the film debut of a young actress by the name of Gwyneth Paltrow. The film, set in Texas in 1955, concerns the youths who inhabit a boys' home, technically an orphanage but run more like a reform school, with the sadistic Eugene Benedict (Logan's Run's Richard Jordan) at its head. The boys' home has a new charge, a dissolute rabble-rouser named Jesse Tucker (The Heights' Jamie Walters; he may be best-remembered as the lead vocalist on the show's theme song, "How Do You Talk to an Angel?", a top 40 hit in 1992) who seems destined for life in prison. Adding to the chaos are two events that happen simultaneously-Benedict's daughter Sara (From Hell's Heather Graham) comes home from college for summer break, and Benedict hires a new music teacher, Jack Cabe (Travolta), to whip the school band into shape for their annual performance at the town's Fourth of July shindig. The two kids, obviously, take a shine to one another immediately, though in true genre-romance-novel form, there must be many mishaps on the road to jumping between the sheets, while Cabe finds himself attracted to the sexy sister (The Last Seduction's Linda Fiorentino) of one of the local redneck constabulary. Which is doubly troubling, because Cabe is a fan of that new-fangled bop stuff that really doesn't play well in racist Texas-unless, it seems, you are an inmate in a boys' home, because once the kids hear it playing from his room at night, they beg him to drop Benedict's curriculum and teach them that stuff. Ah, the inspiration, it bleeds. In hindsight, there are some really interesting choices here. Linda Fiorentino, especially, before getting typecast in her post-Last Seduction hard-bitch roles, is a breath of fresh air. (Paltrow, by the way, has a minor role as a girls'-school love interest for one of the other boys' home inmates.) Unfortunately, the principals are all phoning it in, especially Walters; he's trying to do his best James Dean, and here, at least, he's too young to realize that "often imitated, never duplicated" isn't a crock. There are certainly flashes of Grease-era Travolta, especially in one early scene when he breaks into an improvised song while good-naturedly taunting Jesse, who's working off punishment for one of his many infractions by digging a ditch. That scene, that single scene, gave me some hope that this movie might decide to drop the predictability, the inspirational nonsense, blah blah blah, and turn this into a good old musical fantasy romp Xanadu style. Hopes that, unfortunately, were dashed with every minute of film that unspooled after that. **

Robert Beveridge
Robert Beveridge

Footloose, drained of everything that made it enjoyable except some of the music. I stopped caring by about the 15 minute mark.

Wes Lawson
Wes Lawson

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