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Jailhouse Rock

Jailhouse Rock(1957)

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The film's opening credits read: "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents, An Avon Production, Starring Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock." Throughout the film Vaughn Taylor, as the lawyer "Mr. Shores" provides voice-over narration about the financial success of "Vincent Everett's" business. As noted in the October 16, 1957 Variety review, the film was producer Pandro S. Berman's first as an independent producer. His company, which went on to produce a number of films, was called Avon Productions, Inc. A biography about Presley attributes the film's initial idea to Berman's wife, the film's associate producer, Kathryn Hereford. The biography also credits the dance direction for the "Jailhouse Rock" stage sequence to Alex Romero and lists the following persons as the backup band during the first recording session scene in the film: Scotty Moore, Bill Blade, D. J. Fontana and composer Mike Stoller. Soon after completing work on Jailhouse Rock, Judy Tyler died in a car accident on July 3, 1957. The actress had only recently made her film debut in Bop Girl Goes Calypso, which was released in July 1957. Jennifer Holden also made her film debut in the film.
       Although 1950s legendary popular music entertainer Presley appeared in two film musicals previous to Jailhouse Rock, the film marked a departure in characterization for the star. Presley, as Vincent Everret, was a cunning entrepreneur whose success causes his own moral demise. According to a biography of the star, Presley disliked the film. A March 4, 1960 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that M-G-M reissued Jailhouse Rock that year to capture the wave of publicity following Presley's return from military service. The song "Jailhouse Rock" became one of the biggest hits of Presley's career. A March 23, 2001 Daily Variety article stated that screenwriters Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais were writing a stage musical adaptation of Jailhouse Rock. Producer Rene Sheridan had acquired the rights to the picture, but as of June 2005, the stage musical had not been produced. For more information about Presley please see the entry below for the 1956 film Love Me Tender.