Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987)

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Movie Info

Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll features a concert organized to celebrate the 60th birthday of Chuck Berry. The show was filmed in Berry's hometown of St. Louis, MO, in 1987. Highly respected by fellow musicians and music fans alike, many consider Berry to be the father of rock & roll. Fellow musicians paying musical homage to Berry on his birthday include: Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Eric Clapton, Linda Ronstadt, Keith Richards, and Bruce Springsteen.

Cast

Critic Reviews for Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (8)

Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll is as long and unwieldy as its title, but it's probably the most revealing look we'll ever get of its subject, and the most loving evocation of his music.

September 10, 2014 | Full Review…
Washington Post
Top Critic

This portrait of Mr. Berry is downbeat, and in some ways incomplete; it's very different from what might have been expected. But in its own way, Mr. Hackford's film is revealing.

September 10, 2014 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

What one misses most of all are some glimpses of the earlier Chuck Berry, when the intensity of his music and his jackrabbit moves had more satanic majesty; too much of this film shows him at half-throttle.

September 10, 2014 | Full Review…
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It's a great concert, but it's also a fascinating character study.

September 10, 2014 | Full Review…
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The film works on two levels: as a portrait of a private, bitter and streetwise man, and as a major musical talent performing with obvious delight.

September 10, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll is a joyous docu that effortlessly weaves luminary rock interviews with performance footage mostly shot at Berry's 60th birthday bash concert at the Fox Theatre St Louis.

September 10, 2014 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll

½

Great true-to-life documentary about Chuck Berry's concert life and his 60th birthday St Louis celebration. I'm slightly annoyed by his unpolished guitar talents but his songs have withstood the test of time - a mark of influential songwriting. Clapton, Richards, Lennon and the other celebrity interviews are funny - the performing guests even tease 60-year-old Chuck and his half-assed attitude. In the film, Berry plays terribly over dozens of tracks while his celebrity-studded backup band carries him through. I admire his songwriting skills, but I'd rather listen through the performances with Berry's guitar backline muted.

Kevin M
Kevin M

Super Reviewer

The highlights are definitely the concert scenes; guest spots from Keith Richards, Julian Lennon and Clapton make for a surreal but fun show. Everything else is interesting and shot well but Chuck doesn't seem to want anyone to get past the surface.

Nate Harris
Nate Harris

Super Reviewer

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