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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Jailhouse Rock (1957)

My youngest son is taking a very interesting course on gender and film with the theme being rock and roll.  I usually try to watch all the films that he watches but I have been hampered by several things this semester, one being that he is taking two film classes and therefore has two films to watch every week (who could keep up with that pace), another that I have seen a number of the films for this class already, and finally that I have been both sick and tired more times than I care to admit, and so watching movies has been less of a pastime than usual for me (I have been more interested in BBC crime dramas, which I am less inclined to write about).  However, since he is writing a paper on this movie, so on our recent vacation we watched it with him and I also read him several academic papers on the subject.
All that being said, this is not a very good movie.  It does have a couple of good performances by Elvis as a musician (although I am pretty sure you could watch them on YouTube without having to sit through the rest) but Elvis as an actor leaves a lot to be desired.  Funnily, one of the movie reviews in the newspaper at the time noted how much he had improved as an actor and offered the opinion that he would get even better (which to my knowledge never happened).  He plays an exceedingly unlikable character whose only redeeming characteristic is that he treats his female business partner no worse, and in some ways with more respect, than he treats everyone else.  The alarming thing is that this is thought to be one of the best Elvis movies, so my recommendation would be to watch the best (which is King Creole) and if you like that, then this might be right up your alley.

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