Rock and Roll: The First 25 Years

by joe_538 | created - 11 May 2013 | updated - 27 Mar 2014 | Public

Movies about and featuring rock and roll music 1955 - 1980. The early days, Elvis, the British invasion, the beach scene, Pop rock, and concert films.

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1. Blackboard Jungle (1955)

Approved | 101 min | Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

A new English teacher at a violent, unruly inner-city school is determined to do his job, despite resistance from both students and faculty.

Director: Richard Brooks | Stars: Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Louis Calhern, Margaret Hayes

Votes: 7,618

The first time an R&R song was heard in a mainstream movie.

2. Rock 'n' Roll Revue (1955)

38 min | Short, Comedy, Music

Packed with music by the greats of the time.

Director: Joseph Kohn | Stars: Cholly Atkins, Louie Bellson, Delta Rhythm Boys, Ruth Brown

Votes: 47

3. Rock Around the Clock (1956)

Not Rated | 77 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

Orchestra manager Steve Hollis realizes that big-band music is dead. People want something new, but what? On their way to New York, Steve and his companion Corny, stop at a motel in a small... See full summary »

Director: Fred F. Sears | Stars: Bill Haley and the Comets, The Platters, Ernie Freeman Combo, Tony Martinez and His Band

Votes: 954 | Gross: $4.00M

Bill Haley & The Comets, The Platters, Freddie Bell & The Bellboys.

4. Rock Rock Rock! (1956)

Approved | 85 min | Drama, Music

A young teenage girl (Tuesday Weld) desperately tries to earn enough money to buy a dress for a school rock and roll dance. This early rock and roll feature, the 3rd in a series of 5 ... See full summary »

Director: Will Price | Stars: Alan Freed and his Rock 'n Roll Band, Fran Manfred, Tuesday Weld, Connie Francis

Votes: 466

Chuck Berry, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, Johnny Burnette, The Moonglows, The Flamingos, Jimmy Cavello and the House Rockers

5. Don't Knock the Rock (1956)

Approved | 84 min | Music

A disc jockey tries to prove to teenagers' parents that rock 'n' roll is harmless and won't turn their kids into juvenile delinquents.

Director: Fred F. Sears | Stars: Bill Haley and the Comets, Alan Dale, Alan Freed, The Treniers

Votes: 294

Bill Haley & The Comets, The Treniers, Little Richard, Dave Apell & The Applejacks

6. The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Music

A gangster hires a down-and-out press agent to make his airheaded girlfriend a singing star.

Director: Frank Tashlin | Stars: Tom Ewell, Jayne Mansfield, Edmond O'Brien, Julie London

Votes: 2,838

Fats Domino, The Platters, Little Richard, Gene Vincent, The Treniers, Eddie Fontaine, Eddie Cochran

7. Shake, Rattle & Rock! (1956)

72 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

A group of concerned adults try to ban rock and roll music in their town because they think that the music promotes juvenile delinquency. It's now up to a disc jockey and a hipster to ... See full summary »

Director: Edward L. Cahn | Stars: Mike Connors, Lisa Gaye, Sterling Holloway, Fats Domino

Votes: 123

Fats Domino, Joe Turner, Choker Campbell & His Band

8. Rock, Pretty Baby! (1956)

Approved | 89 min | Comedy, Music

Jimmy Daley and Angelo Barrato are teenage members of a band who learn of a contest that they believe will bring them fame. Jimmy must fight the opposition of his father and his feelings for the lovely Joan.

Director: Richard Bartlett | Stars: Sal Mineo, John Saxon, Luana Patten, Edward Platt

Votes: 83

9. Bop Girl Goes Calypso (1957)

Approved | 80 min | Musical

To prove his theory that rock and roll is on its way out, a sociologist tries to convince a "bop" singer to switch to calypso, much to the ire of her Hollywood nightclub manager.

Director: Howard W. Koch | Stars: Judy Tyler, Bobby Troup, Margo Woode, Mary Kaye

Votes: 94

10. Carnival Rock (1957)

Approved | 75 min | Drama, Romance

Christy runs a rock and roll nightclub on a carnival pier with his righ-hand-man Benny. Christy has a crush on the club's star, Natalie Cook, but she has eyes for Stanley, a local business ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Susan Cabot, Brian G. Hutton, David J. Stewart, Dick Miller

Votes: 125

The Platters, Bob Luman and his Shadows, David Houston, The Blockbusters.

11. Jailhouse Rock (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Music, Musical

After serving time for manslaughter, young Vince Everett becomes a teenage rock star.

Director: Richard Thorpe | Stars: Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler, Mickey Shaughnessy, Vaughn Taylor

Votes: 7,248 | Gross: $4.00M

12. Jamboree! (1957)

Not Rated | 86 min | Musical

Pete Porter and Honey Wynn become overnight sensations as a romantic singing duo. But what will become of their budding love affair when their feuding, back-stabbing managers persuade them ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Lockwood | Stars: Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Bowen, Buddy Knox

Votes: 158

Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Knox, Jimmy Bowen, Carl Perkins, The Four Coins, Lewis Lymon & The Teenchords, Frankie Avalon.

13. Loving You (1957)

Approved | 101 min | Drama, Musical

A musician and a publicist help a delivery man achieve stardom.

Director: Hal Kanter | Stars: Elvis Presley, Lizabeth Scott, Wendell Corey, James Gleason

Votes: 1,754

14. Mister Rock and Roll (1957)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Musical

The saga of how Alan Freed discovered rock and roll. The new musical sounds are traced back to their roots in jazz, blues and gospel. Appearances by Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Clyde McPhatter, Frankie Lymon, Lionel Hampton.

Director: Charles S. Dubin | Stars: Alan Freed, Teddy Randazzo, Lois O'Brien, Rocky Graziano

Votes: 71

Chuck Berry, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, Clyde McPhatter, Teddy Randazzo, Little Richard, Brook Benton, The Moonglows.

15. Rock All Night (1957)

62 min | Crime, Drama, Music

Cloud Nine, the local teen hangout, has been taken over by a pair of escaped killers, who hold the local teens hostage. The bartender realizes it's up to him to save the kids.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Dick Miller, Russell Johnson, Abby Dalton, Jeanne Cooper

Votes: 223

The Platters, The Blockbusters

16. Rock Around the World (1957)

70 min | Biography, Drama, Music

This is the story of the early life and rise to fame of Tommy Steele. His manager wanted him to be a tough rock'n'roller and so challenge Elvis Presley but Tommy is too nice. He becomes ... See full summary »

Director: Gerard Bryant | Stars: Tommy Steele, Humphrey Lyttelton, Chas McDevitt, Nancy Whiskey

Votes: 64

17. Rock Baby - Rock It (1957)

84 min | Crime, Musical

Local Dallas teenagers resist attempts by shady underworld types to take over their beloved rock 'n' roll club. This rock 'n' roll-themed movie features top-notch rockabilly performances by... See full summary »

Director: Murray Douglas Sporup | Stars: Johnny Carroll, Don Coats, Preacher Smith, Rosco Gordon

Votes: 72

18. Rockabilly Baby (1957)

Approved | 81 min | Music, Romance

The mysterious Mrs. Eleanor Carter moves to Springfield with her two teen-age children Jimmy and Cathy. Eleanor makes friends with the town's social leader, Mrs. Wellington, who supports ... See full summary »

Director: William F. Claxton | Stars: Virginia Field, Douglas Kennedy, Les Brown, Judy Busch

Votes: 24

19. Untamed Youth (1957)

80 min | Drama

Sisters Jane and Penny are arrested for hitchhiking on their way to Los Angeles when they stop for a quick skinny-dip in a rural town. Local agricultural magnate Tropp is a sponsor for a ... See full summary »

Director: Howard W. Koch | Stars: Mamie Van Doren, Lori Nelson, John Russell, Don Burnett

Votes: 844

Eddie Cochran, Mamie Van Doren

20. The Big Beat (1958)

Approved | 81 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

Young man just out of college tries to persuade his father, who owns a record company, to start signing up rock 'n' roll acts.

Director: Will Cowan | Stars: William Reynolds, Andra Martin, Gogi Grant, Jeffrey Stone

Votes: 42

Fats Domino, The Dell Vikings, The Diamonds

21. Daddy-O (1958)

Approved | 74 min | Crime, Music, Mystery

Phil, a part-time truck driver and singer who wears his pants far too high, meets a feisty platinum blonde who challenges him to a drag race through Griffith Park. When he is caught and ... See full summary »

Director: Lou Place | Stars: Dick Contino, Sandra Giles, Bruno VeSota, Gloria Victor

Votes: 778

22. King Creole (1958)

PG | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

A rebellious young man takes a job as a nightclub singer to make ends meet, attracting the attention of a local crime boss.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones, Walter Matthau, Dolores Hart

Votes: 4,098

23. Let's Rock (1958)

79 min | Music

Singer's girlfriend helps him adjust to the new rock'n'roll music.

Director: Harry Foster | Stars: Julius LaRosa, Phyllis Newman, Conrad Janis, Joy Harmon

Votes: 131

Paul Anka, Danny & The Juniors, The Royal Teens, The Tyrones.

24. Sing Boy Sing (1958)

90 min | Drama, Musical

Manager Joseph Sharkey discovers a naive Virgil Walker who has an incredible vocal talent. Sharkey takes Virgil away from his humble beginnings, changes his appearance and turns him into a nationwide singing sensation.

Director: Henry Ephron | Stars: Tommy Sands, Lili Gentle, Edmond O'Brien, Nick Adams

Votes: 79

Tommy Sands

25. Summer Love (1957)

Approved | 85 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A neighborhood rock band gets a job playing at a summer camp.

Director: Charles F. Haas | Stars: John Saxon, Molly Bee, Rod McKuen, Judi Meredith

Votes: 45

26. Go, Johnny, Go! (1959)

G | 75 min | Musical

Rock-n-roll promoter Alan Freed holds a talent search to develop a new rock star, then must find the elusive, mystery contestant (Jimmy Clanton) who doesn't know he has won.

Director: Paul Landres | Stars: Alan Freed, Jimmy Clanton, Sandy Stewart, Chuck Berry

Votes: 313

Chuck Berry, Jimmy Clanton, Ritchie Valens, The Flamingos, Eddie Cochran, Jackie Wilson, Sandy Stewart, The Cadillacs, JoAnn Campbell

27. Hound-Dog Man (1959)

Unrated | 87 min | Comedy, Drama

A farm boy and his dog go hunting with his teenage brother (Fabian) and an older friend (Stuart Whitman) in 1912.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Fabian, Stuart Whitman, Carol Lynley, Arthur O'Connell

Votes: 91

28. Idol on Parade (1959)

88 min | Comedy

A rock'n'roll idol is drafted into the wrong regiment.

Director: John Gilling | Stars: William Bendix, Anthony Newley, Anne Aubrey, Lionel Jeffries

Votes: 130

29. Juke Box Rhythm (1959)

81 min | Musical

While in New York to select her coronation wardrobe, Princess Ann is photographed dancing with Riff Manton, son of impoverished producer George Manton. A dress designer, Balenko, gives Riff... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Dreifuss | Stars: Jo Morrow, Jack Jones, Brian Donlevy, Hans Conried

Votes: 57

Johnny Otis, The Treniers, The Nitwits, The Earl Grant Trio.

30. Because They're Young (1960)

102 min | Drama

A new high school teacher tries to help troubled students and falls in love with the principal's secretary.

Director: Paul Wendkos | Stars: Dick Clark, Victoria Shaw, Michael Callan, Tuesday Weld

Votes: 276

Duane Eddy and the Rebels, James Darren.

31. G.I. Blues (1960)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Musical

Tulsa, a soldier with dreams of running his own nightclub, places a bet with his friend Dynamite that he can win the heart of an untouchable dancer...but when Dynamite is transferred, Tulsa must replace him in the bet.

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Elvis Presley, Juliet Prowse, Robert Ivers, James Douglas

Votes: 3,013 | Gross: $4.30M

32. Juke Box Racket (1960)

61 min | Crime, Drama, Music

Mario ('Peter Clune'), a gangster, takes the fifth amendment when being questioned by the Senate Sub Committee on his connection with racketeering within the juke box industry. While in a ... See full summary »

Directors: George Barris, Jim Geallis | Stars: Steve Karmen, Arlene Corwin, Lou Anne Lee, Beverly Nazarow

Votes: 6

33. Where the Boys Are (1960)

Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Four very different college girls drive to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for spring break and seek out various adventures and romance for themselves.

Director: Henry Levin | Stars: Dolores Hart, George Hamilton, Yvette Mimieux, Jim Hutton

Votes: 2,204

Connie Francis.

35. Hey, Let's Twist! (1961)

Not Rated | 79 min | Musical

The rise, fall and rise again of the Peppermint Lounge nightclub is chronicled. The sons of the Peppermint Lounge nightclub owner nearly topple the club's initial success by redesigning the place but realize their mistake.

Director: Greg Garrison | Stars: Joey Dee, The Starliters, Jo Ann Campbell, Teddy Randazzo

Votes: 92

Joey Dee & The Starlighters, Jo Ann Campbell, Teddy Randazzo,

Ray Charles, Bobby Vee

37. Teenage Millionaire (1961)

Approved | 84 min | Comedy, Musical

A teenager whose father is a millionaire radio station owner secretly records a song and plays it on one of his father's stations. It becomes a hit. Then he falls in love with a girl who ... See full summary »

Director: Lawrence Doheny | Stars: Jimmy Clanton, Rocky Graziano, Zasu Pitts, Diane Jergens

Votes: 98

Jimmy Clanton, Jackie Wilson, Chubby Checker, Dion, Marv Johnson, Vicki Spencer, Bill Black's Combo

38. Twist Around the Clock (1961)

TV-G | 83 min | Musical

Not only is this written by the same screen writer who wrote the earlier "Rock Around the Clock", it uses the same exact lines.

Director: Oscar Rudolph | Stars: Chubby Checker, Dion DiMucci, Vicki Spencer, The Marcels

Votes: 190

Chubby Checker, Dion, The Marcels, Vicki Spencer

39. Don't Knock the Twist (1962)

Approved | 86 min | Musical

Many twist dancers' meet in preparation for the TV variety show called "The Twist." While the special is still in the production stages, jealousies lead to problems - and a whole lot of dancing.

Director: Oscar Rudolph | Stars: Chubby Checker, Gene Chandler, Vic Dana, Linda Scott

Votes: 228

Chubby Checker, Gene Chandler, Carroll Brothers, Linda Scott, The Dovells, Vic Dana.

40. Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)

PG | 106 min | Comedy, Musical

When he finds out his boss is retiring to Arizona, a sailor has to find a way to buy the Westwind, a boat that he and his father built. He is also caught between two women: insensitive club singer Robin and sweet Laurel.

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Elvis Presley, Stella Stevens, Jeremy Slate, Laurel Goodwin

Votes: 2,501 | Gross: $2.60M

41. Play It Cool (1962)

82 min | Drama, Musical

Stars Billy Fury (Britain's answer to Elvis Presley) and features cameos from some other stars from the sixties, with Bobby Vee, Helen Shapiro and Shane Fenton (better known as Alvin ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Winner | Stars: Billy Fury, Michael Anderson Jr., Dennis Price, Richard Wattis

Votes: 152

Bill Fury, Bobby Vee

42. Ring-A-Ding Rhythm! (1962)

Approved | 78 min | Musical, Comedy

In the new town of Bad Trad, England, a battle is ensuing between the generations regarding the older generation's view of the disruptive nature of what teenagers are listening to, what is ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Lester | Stars: Helen Shapiro, Craig Douglas, John Leyton, The Brook Brothers

Votes: 281

Chubby Checker, Gary U.S. Bonds, Gene Vincent, Brook Brothers, Gene McDaniels, Del Shannon

43. Some People (1962)

93 min | Drama, Musical

The story of three teenaged tearaways Johnnie, Bill and Bert who find themselves at odds with society. Following a brush with the law they have a chance meeting with a local choirmaster who offers them a way of making good.

Director: Clive Donner | Stars: Kenneth More, Ray Brooks, Anneke Wills, David Andrews

Votes: 211

44. Wild Guitar (1962)

Not Rated | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

A young Arch Hall, Jr. is given a shot at the big time by the unscrupulous owner of a small record company played by Arch Hall, Sr. (aka William Watters).

Director: Ray Dennis Steckler | Stars: Arch Hall Jr., Nancy Czar, Arch Hall Sr., Ray Dennis Steckler

Votes: 771