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Rock Around the Clock

Rock Around the Clock(1956)

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As the popularity of big band music wanes, Steve Hollis, a manager for one of the bands, declares the business is dead and decides to drive to New York City with his friend, Corny LaSalle. Along the way, they stop at the small town of Strawberry Springs and are surprised to find the streets bustling with teenagers on their way to a dance. Curious, they follow the teens to a dance hall and witness the crowd rocking to the music of Bill Haley and His Comets. Recognizing the group's potential, Steve is amazed that they are only part-time musicians and work during the week as farmers. When Steve proposes that they turn professional and offers to manage them, Lisa Johns, a dancer with the band, is skeptical of Steve's blandishments. When Lisa demands that the boys receive ninety percent of their booking fees, Steve decides to soften her up through romance. Between kisses, Steve and Lisa strike a bargain and Steve goes to New York to arrange bookings with Corinne Talbot, the owner of the largest talent agency in show business. When Steve begins to extol the virtues of Lisa and the Comets, Corinne, who has romantic designs on Steve, becomes jealous of Lisa. To make a fool of Steve, Corinne books the Comets to perform at the senior prom of an exclusive girls' school in Connecticut. As the Comets begin to play, the staid teachers are scandalized until Lisa takes to the dance floor and brings the teenage prom goers to their feet. Although the Comets are a hit, Corinne launches a campaign to blackball them. Corinne successfully prevents the group from performing until Steve hears a radio broadcast emceed by rock-and-roll disc jockey Alan Freed and remembers that Freed owes him a favor. After Steve convinces Freed to have the Comets perform on his radio show, they become a smash hit and Corinne is besieged by requests to book them. Although Corinne's employee, Mike Dodd, advises her to relent and hire the band, she ignores him. Soon after, Corinne summons Steve to her office and offers him a partnership in exchange for the Comets' contracts. When Steve turns her down, Corinne agrees to a three-year contract instead. Afterward, Corinne meets Lisa for lunch and insists that she sign a clause promising not to marry for the term of her contract. After Lisa agrees, the band embarks upon a tour starting in San Francisco. While the Comets are in California, Steve decides to present a rock-and-roll jamboree televised from Los Angeles and hosted by Freed. When Corinne arrives in Los Angeles for the show, she continues to press Steve to marry her. Steve demurs, however, and after the broadcast, Lisa proudly announces that she and Steve are married. After Connie threatens to sue, Steve explains that they were wed before Lisa signed her contract. Now resigned to losing Steve, Corinne turns her attentions to Mike.