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



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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.
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Universal Pictures


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

All Critics (13) | 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.

Full Review… | September 10, 2014
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.

Full Review… | September 10, 2014
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.

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

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

Full Review… | September 10, 2014
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.

Full Review… | September 10, 2014
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.

Full Review… | September 10, 2014
Top Critic

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

Excellent documentary about Chuck Berry's life. I liked how he explained the story about all his hits and it showed him practicing with Keith Richards. Didn't like hearing John Lennon's son singing Johnny Be Good.

Bruno Lot
Bruno Lot

a little too self-congratulating in the 'documentary' scenes, which are almost shot more like scenes out of a regular narrative film (Hackford usually doesn't make docs anyway), but it does grab a good feel for the period that it comes from in the 1950's. And of course the music is all made of win.

Jack Gattanella
Jack Gattanella

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

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