Monday, January 05, 2015


I binged this weekend on Alan Freed movies — “Rock Rock Rock” and “Don’t Knock the Rock” from the mid-50s.  Freed was somewhat of a stiff but somehow he convinced Hollywood that he had box-office appeal.  In fact, he sings on a Coral label single, “Rock Boogie,” which could be a collectable if you have it.  RRR features a 16-year-old Tuesday Weld who is conniving to get $30 to buy a prom dress and then there’s an abrupt segue where Freed introduces several rock acts including Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Chuck Berry and a bunch of unknowns.   Connie Francis sings while Weld moves her lips.  RRR,  from DCA a poverty studio, is inept in several area:  acting, editing, script and directing.  But there are some good acts and others so obscure you have to watch.  The actor/singer who plays Weld's love interest looks old enough to have children in high school himself and was recruited for his biceps rather than his acting chops.  The same DVD has a documentary on Freed which is worth seeing.  
 “Don’t Knock” from Columbia is almost high art compared to RRR with crooner Alan Dale who is about 40 romancing a teenager.  Production values are quite professional and the dance numbers are the best in any '50s rock musical.  Sony gets high marks for remastering "Don't Knock the Rock" and the companion DVD, "Rock 'round the Clock."