Tag Archives: 1957

Jailhouse Rock

Jailhouse Rock is an American motion picture directed by Richard Trofee, released by MGM on October 30, 1957. The film stars Elvis Presley (his third ever film role), Judy Tyler, and Mickey Shaughnessy. Co-star Tyler was killed in an automobile accident a few weeks after the film was completed, and like Loving You before it, Presley was so upset that he refused to ever watch the completed film. In 2004, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Presley plays “Vince Everett,” an ex-convict working in the music industry, and a character analogous to Presley’s then public image. After going to jail for a bar fight he did not start, Everett meets Hunk Houghton in prison, and the two men form a bond. Houghton, a washed-up country singer, teaches Everett to play an old guitar, and to sing a few songs.

Upon his release, Everett lands work at night clubs, but not singing. He meets Peggy Van Alden, a record company talent scout, who allows Everett to record a song. They bring his go to an executive at a small record label, who then records the exact arrangement with one of his established stars. Everett and Van Alden then start their own label to bring Everett’s records to the public, and fame, riches, and a film career ensue.

Everett’s prison buddy Houghton shows up, and instead of getting in on the action as anticipated, has to settle for being Everett’s gofer. Throughout the film, Everett is the epitome of the spoiled star, surly, uncommunicative, bellicose, and treating all around him with either cruelty or diffidence, especially Van Alden and Houghton. A final fight at the end of the movie with Houghton, meant to give Everett his comeuppance, damages his vocal cords, bringing into question his ability to ever sing again. He learns his lesson in humility, and expresses his true feelings for Van Alden and Houghton.

Elvis Presley’s co-star Judy Tyler was killed in a car wreck on July 4, 1957, three days after filming of Jailhouse Rock ended. Presley refused to watch the movie because of this. Composer Mike Stoller appears in the movie as the band pianist.

Loving You

Loving You is an American motion picture directed by Hal Kanter, released by Paramount Pictures on July 9, 1957. The film stars Elvis Presley, Lizabeth Scott (in her final major film role) and Wendell Corey. It is Presley’s second movie, his first in Technicolor and the first with Elvis as the primary focus. The story mirrors that of his own rise to fame, and Presley’s mother and father appear as extras in the audience during the final song, “Got A Lot Of Livin’ To Do.” After his mother’s death, Presley refused to ever watch the film again.

In Presley’s first picture, Love Me Tender, he acted in a supporting role as part of a larger story for the first and last time in his film career. His second film, Loving You, sets the precedent for the remaining two films he would make before going into the army, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole, that of a rising young singing star, and of the effects that fame has on him and the people around him.

Loving You was the first Elvis Presley film in color. Presley’s parents were cast as audience members. After his mother’s death in 1958, Elvis never watched this movie again. Comedian Jay Leno said that he decided to become an entertainer after seeing this movie.