American Hot Wax (1978)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

American Hot Wax Photos

Movie Info

This lively musical comedy pays tribute to the birth of rock & roll in the late 1950s and the instrumental role played by disc jockey Alan Freed who helped bring the new sound into vogue. Much of the story centers on the daring deejay's attempts to put on the very first live rock & roll stage show at the Paramount Theatre in Brooklyn. To do this he must overcome the protests of concerned and angry parents, conservatives, and local police. Several performers of the era appear in the film including Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Comedy , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
Paramount Pictures


Cameron Crowe
as Delivery Boy
Tim McIntire
as Alan Freed
Fran Drescher
as Sheryl
Howard Storm
as Billy Russo
Arnold Johnson
as Arnold (Musician in Bar)
Tom Baker
as Vinnie (Promo Man)
Laraine Newman
as Teenage Louise
Larry Hankin
as Diamond's Manger
Jay Leno
as Mookie
Hamilton Camp
as Louie Morgan
Garry Goodrow
as Louise's Dad
Chuck Berry
as Himself
Joe Esposito
as Pianotone
John Lehne
as District Attorney
Al Chalk
as The Chesterfield
Jo Ann Harris
as Timmy and the Tangerine
John Hawker
as Janitor
Matthew Tobin
as Artie's Dad
Stephen Pearlman
as Peter Overmyer
Pat McNamara
as Gordie
Jeff Altman
as Lennie Richfield
Johnny Haymer
as Song Plugger
Keene Curtis
as Mr. Leonard
Elmer Valentine
as Union Man
Moosie Drier
as Artie Moress
Richard Roat
as Newscaster #1
Arnold McCuller
as The Chesterfield
Charles Irwin
as Timmy and the Tangerine
Nora Denney
as Louise's Mom
Michael Heit
as Mr. Morris (Manager)
Richard Perry
as George (Record Producer)
Dina Ousley
as Stage Manger's Date
Bobby Johnson
as Tap Dancer
Fil Formicola
as Man Singing in the Hallway
Mary Peters
as "Big Red"
Heather Lowe
as Harriet (D.A.'s Secretary)
Kenny Vance
as Prof. La Piano
George Poulos
as D.J. #1
Lonna Montrose
as Girl at Bar
Carl Earl Weaver
as Member of The Chesterfields
Sam Harkness
as The Chesterfield
Kenny Vane
as Prof. La Plano
George Poulos
as D.J. #1
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Critic Reviews for American Hot Wax

All Critics (1)

... a solid stellar performance by Tim McIntire, and if he doesn't manage to save the film, he gives it a much-needed center of gravity.

Full Review… | September 18, 2010
Parallax View

Audience Reviews for American Hot Wax

A man who coined the words Rock n Roll died penniless. Watch the greatest guy that every lived in music history here. Any lover of rock n roll history will LOVE this! Truely a great bio-drama, this is one film that any lover of rock n roll history should see and therefore adore. Wait for the last third of the show..PLEASE. HIGHLY recommended by me, thank God allows it to be shown as it is not for sale on the open market. A tremendous film that should not be missed by ANY early rock fan. [img][/img] Alan Freed is often credited with coining the term "Rock 'n' Roll." The film starred Tim McIntire as Freed, as well as Fran Drescher, Laraine Newman, Melanie Chartoff, and Jay Leno in supporting roles. [img][/img] You MUST wait for the show to begin here at this point.... great stuff, really ! American Hot Wax is a 1978 biopic film directed by Floyd Mutrux and written by John Kaye telling the story of Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed, who was instrumental in introducing and popularizing rock 'n' roll in the 1950s. Be sure to wait for the last half of the film when the stage show begins. It's incredible, its dynamite! A clip from the last half of the film: This film, by Paramount Pictures no less, has been unreleased for purchase for years! No way could you see it. Till now.... See this film now and know the real story behind the early days of Rock n Roll. SEE the entire film here: [img][/img] Chuck Berry heads an all star cast at the show 80% This excellent, well acted nostalgic look at the birth of rock 'n' roll is driven more by its amazing soundtrack and less by plot. [img][/img]

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

I saw this back in the day and there's really not much plot, but man oh man -what a lineup of who's who at the live concert at the end. WOW!

David Bell
David Bell

AHHHHHHHHHH!!!! This is without a doubt the best movie I have seen in years...and I just watched it for the first time last night before going to bed at 2am. It is a little piece of movie heaven that make syou wish you were the 50's during the birth of Rock-n-Roll. I can't believe I had never seen this before. It feels like a film that should be a mainstream cult hit! But it's not. AND THAT MAKES IT EVEN COOLER! Tim McIntire is great as Alan Freed and the rest of the cast, especially The Cadillacs and the kid that plays Artie are fabulous. This could be one of the most perfect films least in its genre. The period and look and feel were captured perfectly. I honestly don't think anyone could make a movie like this today. It wouldn't hit the marks that this one did. It would have way too much glass to it and have to hit certain plot points and character shortcomings to have an effect on a modern day audience. When it comes down to it, it would be too formulaic with too much "hit-you-over-the-head drama". And of course, the music was just amazing! Some of the best scenes were when all these different groups wanted to sing for Freed because they weren't known yet. When the groups start singing, you recognize these songs as really big hits and you feel special like you were able to witness the creation of this historic songs and groups. There are some historical blips in the story, but it really doesn't matter. American Hot Wax is by far one of the most entertaining films I have ever seen and should not be missed.

Mike Nelson
Mike Nelson

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