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Mister Rock and Roll (1957).

January 12, 2010

The Scoop:
Plot? Who needs plot?

This celebrity vehicle for pioneering rock ‘n’ roll deejay Alan Freed keeps only the barest essentials of a plot in what is essentially a film version of his radio show. Freed, playing himself, announces each song, then the performers lip sync their way through their numbers. And what a lineup it is – Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, LaVern Baker, Shaye Cogan and, for some reason, Lionel Hampton.

There are also a couple of inconsequential scenes of a magazine writer who gets herself involved with a clean cut rock singer, but you can safely skip those. It’s all about the music.

Freed seriously tones down the raucousness of early rock music, but the film does get points for showcasing both black and white acts, a rarity in the old days. “Mister Rock and Roll” isn’t the best of the early rock movies, but there are some essential performances.

Best Line:
“If I’m guilty of anything, I’m guilty of being present at the birth of rock ‘n’ roll!”

Side Note:
Directed by Charles S. Dubin, best known for his long career in telvision, having directed episodes of “Murder, She Wrote,” “Matlock” and “The Father Dowling Mysteries.”

Companion Viewing:
“Go, Johnny, Go!” (1958).

An introduction to Alan Freed on RareSoul.

Take a Look:
The trailer:

The whole film (part 1):

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