Friday, May 23, 2008

An Instant Classic.....A look at Jailhouse Rock(part2)

I am finally back to finish my thoughts on Jailhouse Rock. This movie seems to have been perfect for Elvis. It came about at just the right time. It served notice this guy could cut it in Hollywood. First lets start with the story. The script is pretty good. No it is not the best one he was a part of in my opinion. Though overall I thought it fit. I would have had to wonder, how many times can we see this story about the young guy discovering his musical talent and making it big? Well three times in a row in the 50's and it paid off. The reason it did was because of the great music and the fact Elvis was actually becoming a good actor. The character is really nothing like the 22 year old boy who was playing him. Vince Everette was a tough guy who had a soft side, but really wanted to put out that vibe that he was not to be messed with. It is one of Elvis' coolest characters. Elvis has a pretty good cast to work with as well. I don't think it was as solid as the cast in King Creole, but it was still solid. I love Judy Tyler in the role of Peggy Van Alden. She and Elvis worked well together. She was a very pretty lady and seemed very talented. It is such a tragedy the way her life ended. The music was very good in the movie. Jailhouse Rock was an instant classic and defines the Rock and Roll side of Elvis to many people. It is one of the songs a lot of the general public thinks of when they thinks of Elvis. My personal favorite from the movie is (You're So Square)Baby I Don't Care. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote some great music for the film.The wardrobe it also far out. I love Elvis' style from the 50's and it is reflected in this movie. I don't know if Elvis ever looked cooler then in the scene by the pool.
We all know the story about Elvis swallowing a tooth cap during production of the movie. He was rushed the hospital. It was a pretty serious deal, though Elvis made it through it alright. The most interesting part of the film to me is the Jailhouse Rock production number. It is without a doubt Elvis' best number on film, and was said to be his favorite. I believe it is the best production number from any movie ever, period. Alex Romero was the choreographer for the movie. Most people think Elvis came up with the dance, but this is false. Romero came up with something in the style of Fred Astaire. Elvis was not feeling it, and frankly couldn't have made it work. Romero asked Elvis to perform some of his songs and move like he did on stage, He left that night with some ideas, and had a new number by the next morning. Elvis still did not have an easy time with it. There is a great story about Elvis working on it and finally getting it. I should put it in here, but I am not. I might save that for another day. Romero and Presley sure came up with something special. Interestingly enough they would work together one more time years later. That would be in the 1967 movie, Clambake. That is one of the more odd things ever to me. Are two movies more on the opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to Elvis? Clambake is a personal favorite of mine, but the none of the musical numbers are really that great to most people. Even though Hey Hey Hey is pretty key. Sorry, I have got off on a Clambake ramble now. Easy thing for me to do.
Jailhouse Rock is a classic, which ranks as some of Elvis' best work. I personally think it is one of his best movies along with King Creole and Wild In The Country. It is also on of my favorite movies. It does not top It Happened At The Worlds Fair, but it is probably a close second. I will discuss the music of this movie in the near future. I am going to finish this off with a clip from the movie. This is my favorite movie. The songs is cool. Elvis looks far out in his duds, and the whole vibe just rocks. This inspired me to go out and by a damn sweater just like his!

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