Don't Knock the Rock


1h 20m 1957

Brief Synopsis

A disc jockey fights prejudice against rock 'n' roll and the kids who dance to it.

Photos & Videos

Don't Knock the Rock - Lobby Card

Film Details

Also Known As
Rhythm and Blues
Genre
Musical
Release Date
Jan 1957
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 12 Dec 1956
Production Company
Clover Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

Weary of constant performing and adolescent adulation, rock-and-roll idol Arnie Haines decides to take an extended vacation in his home town of Melondale. After arranging for Bill Haley and His Comets to take over the band's bookings, the band's press agent, Alan Freed, promotes Arnie's visit to Melondale as the triumphant return of a hometown boy. As Arnie is greeted by screaming teenagers, Arlene MacLaine, a columnist critical of rock music, arrives with her teenage daughter Francine to cover the story. Scandalized by the depravity of rock and roll, George Bagley, the mayor of Melondale, threatens to expel Arnie if he dares to perform in town. That night, the local kids gather at Arnie's parents farm to dance. When Francine stops by and offers to help change her mother's mind about the new music, Arnie drives her to the beach and serenades her with a romantic ballad. Afterward, Francine describes rock and roll as a form of teen expression, free from outmoded parental values and urges Arnie to perform in public to demonstrate the music's merits. Mayor Bagley's ban has sparked controversy across the country, and so Arnie asks Tom Everett, the mayor of the neighboring town of Friesville, to allow him to put on a rock-and-roll show. After the mayor gives his consent, Arnie recruits acts from all over the country to appear. Aware that Mayor Bagley will try to prevent the show, Francine and Arnie publicize it only by word of mouth. Francine attends the performance with her skeptical mother, but during intermission, Sunny Everett, Tom's precocious daughter, insists on making out with Arnie. When Arnie spurns her, Sunny speeds off to Melondale to inform Bagley about the forbidden show. Upon returning to Friesville, Sunny pours whiskey all over her clothes and pretends to be drunk. Arlene is about to recant her opinion of rock and roll when Sunny makes a drunken scene on the dance floor and Bagley arrives with the police. The raid provokes a nationwide scandal, and afterward, Arnie tells Francine that Sunny was pretending to be drunk to spite him. Determined to vindicate the reputation of rock and roll, Arnie uses the pageant of art and culture presented by the local youth theater as a forum. In a historical retrospective of dance, the pageant stages the raucous Charleston, the dance favored by the teens' parents. Recognizing her short-sightedness, Arlene rises to defend rock and roll and apologize to Arnie, and the rest of the adults follow suit.

Photo Collections

Don't Knock the Rock - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from Don't Knock the Rock (1957), starring Bill Haley and His Comets. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Film Details

Also Known As
Rhythm and Blues
Genre
Musical
Release Date
Jan 1957
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 12 Dec 1956
Production Company
Clover Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
9 reels

Quotes

How we doin', Dad, the newspaper gal diggin' us?
- Bill Haley
Yeah, real deep. She sounds like she has us plowed way under already.
- Arnie Haines
That's freedom of the press.
- Alan Freed
Yeah, and I always thought that freedom of the press was a tailor who irons your suits for nothing. It shows you.
- Bill Haley
What are you doin' bringin' liqour in here?
- Dancer
I didn't...
- Dancer
I oughta slug you...
- Dancer
You and what blee club?
- Dancer
Really, the soprano's enough
- Dancer
He seems to think that running around in my underwear or getting thrown out of my hotel is news. And does that sound like news to you guys?
- Arnie Haines
If you were Kim Novak, it might.
- Member of Applejacks
Oh, very funny.
- Arnie Hains

Trivia

As with Rock Around the Clock (1956), all songs are performed lip-synched to previously released records. It's worth noting, however, that the Comets instrumental "Goofin' Around" seen performed here is a different take than the version the band released on record.

Notes

The working title of this film was Rhythm and Blues. The film closes with the written phrase "Dig You Later," rather than the traditional "The End." Although Hollywood Reporter news items place The Frantics, dance team Tommy and Mary Silvius, Ralph Sanford, Pam Brady, Melinda Byron, Helen Jay, Jean G. Harvey, Don Marlowe and Jim Patton in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.
       Don't Knock the Rock was the second film vehicle featuring rock and roll stars produced by Sam Katzman and directed by Fred Sears. The film also marked the only screen appearance of Alan Dale, a popular singer among whose hits was "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White." The first major film to feature rock and roll music, Rock Around the Clock (see below), was also written by screenwriters Robert Kent and James Gordon and featured Bill Haley and His Comets and Alan Freed.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1956

Released in United States 1956