Jailhouse Rock


Jailhouse Rock

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 15


Audience Score

User Ratings: 10,228
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Movie Info

One of the best of Elvis Presley's pre-Army films, Jailhouse Rock offers us the sensual, "dangerous" Elvis that had won the hearts of the kids and earned the animosity of their elders. Presley plays a young buck who accidentally kills a man while protecting the honor of a woman. Thrown into prison, Elvis strikes up a friendship with visionary fellow-con Mickey Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy suggests that Elvis perform in the upcoming prison show. Ol' swivel-hips scores a hit, and decides to stay in showbiz after his release. Together with pretty Judy Tyler (the former Princess Summerfall Winterspring on Howdy Doody, who would die in a horrible traffic accident shortly after completing this film), Elvis sets up his own record company. Alas, success goes to his head, and soon Elvis plans to ditch Tyler in favor of signing with a big-time label. Shaughnessy shows up long enough to punch out Elvis for his disloyalty; as a result, Elvis' vocal chords are damaged and he is unable to sing. Deserted by his flunkeys and hangers-on, Elvis learns the value of friendship and fidelity when Tyler and Shaughnessy stay by his side in his darkest hours. His voice restored, Elvis climbs back up the charts--but this time, he's a much nicer fellow, and a lot more committed to Tyler. Usually the musical numbers in a Presley picture (this one has a doozy, complete with chorus boys dressed as convicts!) are more compelling than the plot. Jailhouse Rock is a perfect balance of song and story from beginning to end; seldom would Elvis be so well showcased in the future. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Elvis Presley
as Vince Everett
Judy Tyler
as Peggy Van Alden
Mickey Shaughnessy
as Hunk Houghton
Jennifer Holden
as Sherry Wilson
Dean Jones
as Teddy Talbot
Anne Neyland
as Laury Jackson
Vaughan Taylor
as Mr. Shores
Mike Stoller
as Pianist
Grandon Rhodes
as Prof. August Van Alden
Katherine Warren
as Mrs. Van Alden
Don Burnett
as Mickey Alba
George Cisar
as Jake the Bartender
Glenn Strange
as Simpson, Convict
Robert Bice
as Bardeman, TV Studio Manager
Percy Helton
as Sam Brewster
Peter Adams
as Jack Lease
William Forrest
as Studio Head
Dan White
as Paymaster
Dick Rich
as Guard
Elizabeth Slifer
as Cleaning Woman
Gloria Pall
as Stripteaser
Fred Coby
as Bartender
William Tannen
as Record Distributor
Wilson Wood
as Record Engineer
Tom McKee
as TV Director
Donald Kerr
as Photographer
Harry Hines
as Hotel Clerk
Dorothy Abbott
as Woman in Cafe
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Critic Reviews for Jailhouse Rock

All Critics (15) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (3)

  • Jailhouse Rock (1957) is a prison-related, rags-to-riches musical-drama (and biopic parable of a predictable downfall and recovery) from director Richard Thorpe. It was the most influential black-and-white rock musical...

    Sep 29, 2019 | Rating: A+ | Full Review…
  • '50s Elvis film still charms; some mild violence, smoking.

    Feb 21, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Embora Presley fosse um péssimo ator, seu carisma e sua intensidade nos números musicais transformam este em seu melhor filme, já que, além de evitar as fórmulas que viriam a dominar seus longas, ele estabelece uma ótima química com Tyler.

    Jan 20, 2008 | Rating: 4/5
  • Even if the plot is thin, the characterizations are solid, and the music is some of Elvis's best.

    Sep 29, 2007 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…
  • Elvis delivered his definitive screen appearance in this budget-minded black and white production, a dark reflection of the Loving You rise to fame.

    Aug 14, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Just a notch above the average Elvis vehicle (which is not very high), this early b/w effort (Elvis' third feature) suffers from a silly prison yarn but is ultimately saved by the rendition of some good rocking tuners like the title song.

    Aug 13, 2007 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Jailhouse Rock

  • Sep 05, 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.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Jan 18, 2010
    Fantastic movie musical, even showcasing some great acting talent from The King.
    Tim S Super Reviewer
  • 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.
    Kevin L Super Reviewer
  • Jul 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.
    vieras e Super Reviewer

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