Rock Around the Clock
It may not be the last word in rock'n'roll movies, but it was the first, and from the moment of its release, it was clear the kids of America were going to be teaching the adults a new way of telling time. Roll over Bing Crosby.
Notwithstanding teenagers “rioting,” civic protestors protesting, and exhibitors fearing total destruction of their theaters from both sides, the film grossed a quick four million. The stage had been set the year before by Rebel Without A Cause, which took the youth rebellion away from some distant alley and deposited it in the living room of the white middle class; and by The Blackboard Jungle, which linked rock'n'roll to the rebellion at the roots (“Rock Around the Clock” blared under the credits). But not until a man named “Jungle” Sam Katzman braved the wrath of white parents and other proponents of the status quo and Frank Sinatra, was there a film designed exclusively to exploit rock. And the rock was gold.
Rock Around The Clock stars Bill Haley and the Comets, as themselves. (J.B.)