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Rock, Rock, Rock

USA 1956
produced by
Max J. Rosenberg, Milton Subotsky for Vanguard Productions
directed by Will Price
starring Tuesday Weld, Connie Francis (voice), Teddy Randazzo, Jacqueline Kerr, Alan Freed, Fran Manfred, Ivy Schulman, The Moonglows, Chuck Berry, The Flamingos, Jimmy Cavallo and the House Rockers, the Johnny Burnette Trio, La Vern Baker, Cirino and the Bowties, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Jack Collins, Carol Mos, Eleanor Swayne, Lester Mack, Bert Conway, David Winters
story by Phyllis Coe, screenplay by Milton Subotsky

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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This film is framed by 2 shows by popular rock'n'roll discjockey Alan Freed in which he presents popular acts of the day (see credits above), some long forgotten, some well-known, some black, some white. The first show is his own television show, in which Tommy Rogers (Teddy Randazzo), a local boy, wins a talent contest, the second is at Tommy's school's prom, where Freed has agreed to help out with the entertainment.

In between these two shows, there is a little bit of a story, too: Tommy's girlfriend Dori (Tuesday Weld, singing voice: Connie Francis) needs a new dress for her prom, especially since Gloria (Jacqueline Kerr), the new girl in school, is going to be wearing one, and she tries to take over Tommy from Dori. Thing is, Dori can't afford a new dress, she has no savings whatsoever and her dad (Jack Collins) has cancelled her charge account at the dress store. But dad promises if Dori is going to work, he will double every Dollar she's making ... only working wasn't very high on Dori's agenda - so she goes into banking, having nothing more than a crude idea about it of course, but nevertheless she soon makes her best friend Arabella (Fran Manfred) her sole depositor, and loans the money to Gloria - on an interest rate of 100%, with the dress Gloria is going to be buying for the money serving as collateral. The whole thing blows of course when Arabella wants her money back that Dori no longer has of course, and when she goes to the dress shop to collect the collateral, the shopowner (Eleanor Swayne) instead calls her father, Gloria and Gloria's father (Bert Conway) - and in the discussion that ensues, Dori comes up with such wild and illogical explanations she leaves everyone puzzled - but she makes her father pay for her dress and somehow get the 15 Dollars she owes to Arabella as well in the process.

Problem is now that Tommy suddenly announces he goes to the prom with Gloria - mainly because she threatened to spread mean rumours about Dori otherwise - and after that Dori doesn't want to speak to him anymore - until he sings her a lovesong at the prom.

 


Rock, Rock, Rock is of course anything but a great film, it's actually Alan Freed's show interrupted by a story with a plot so thin it wouldn't suffice for a half-hour sitcom - or maybe it's a comedy constantly interrupted by musical performances, depending on your point of view. However, Tuesday Weld as air-headed teenager is able enough to carry the comedy aspects of the film (even if her singing voice is not her own), and the finale at the dress store is actually quite funny, and the performances, of legendary artists and long forgotten acts alike, are great documents of a bygone era. So if you are at all into the 1950's music and lifestyle, you might want to watch this, but only if you manage to not take this film too seriously.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD