Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Don't Knock the Rock / Rock Around the Clock|
Actors: Bill Haley, Rudy Pompilli, Al Rex, Franny Beecher, Johnny Grande
Director: Fred F. Sears
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Musicals & Performing Arts
Don?t Knock The Rock spotlights rock music in its infancy and features some of the genre?s true originals. DJ Freed is credited with inventing the term, "rock n? roll," and Haley was a durable star for over a decade, sell... more »
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4 stars for "Clock," 2 stars for "Knock." Some excellent mus
Scott MacGillivray | Massachusetts, USA | 01/30/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This double-feature DVD showcases the first rock-'n' roll musical, "Rock Around the Clock," and its sequel, "Don't Knock the Rock."
"Rock Around the Clock" (1956) can be enjoyed again and again as a lightweight B-musical. It features faithful depictions of hit records (in fact, they ARE the hit records, persuasively lip-synched by the performers), and the small-town-band-hits-the-big-time plotline is pleasantly familiar. Bill Haley and His Comets are not called upon to act (Haley has only a few lines of dialogue), but they run through many of their hits: "Rock Around the Clock," "See You Later, Alligator," "R-O-C-K," "Rock A-Beatin' Boogie," and more. (Haley's irrepressible sidemen Rudy Pompilli and Al Rex do some playful shtick during the "Rudy's Rock" production number.) The Platters deliver two of their greats, "Only You" and "The Great Pretender." Freddie Bell and the Bell Boys offer spirited high-school-band arrangements, featuring vocals by the enthusiastic Ernie Maresca, and Tony Martinez's cha-cha band adds some Latin rhythms. Pioneer rock deejay Alan Freed appears as himself, and Johnny Johnston, Henry Slate, Alix Talton, Lisa Gaye, and John Archer acquit themselves nicely in the story sections. This vehicle is so sturdy that the producer remade it almost scene for scene as "Twist Around the Clock" -- no contest, the original is far superior. Great fun, especially if you like the original records.
"Don't Knock the Rock" (1957) is another B-movie quickie, but this time a heavy-handed plot threatens to overwhelm the music. The stuffy town fathers crusade against the scourge of rock-'n'-roll, leaving Alan Dale (miscast as the romantic lead) and Alan Freed to champion the cause and prove the elders wrong. Ignore the plot and listen to the music. Haley's band is actually overshadowed this time, by Little Richard and especially by The Treniers (the energetic "Rocking on Sunday Night" is probably the best number in the show).
Between these two features you have an excellent sampling of mid-1950s rock, as demonstrated by its originators. Highly recommended for B-musical and vintage-rock fans.
The living end(or was it just the beginning)
Kevin ONeill | Central Coast NSW Australia | 02/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A big'thank you' to whoever is responsible for giving us collectors(& the whole universe)what we've been waiting for(for what seems like an eternity). My poor ol' VHS copies have just about worn through to the other side. I cannot write a bad word about either 'Rock around the clock' & 'Don't knock the rock'. They are 2 great examples of what was(or about to) happen in 1956. Neither were made to rival 'Gone with the wind'(or any other classic). This is 1956(and the way it was), with the cars, the girls & of course the music. The Comets were then(& just recently) the greatest bunch of musicians to play this genre(certainly there are indivual exceptions). The 2 discs are worth their weight in gold just to see Rudy Pompilli('Rudys' Rock') & Fran Beecher('Goofin' Around') demonstarting their craft. The world first saw Little Richard via 'Don't knock the Rock'. Then there are the Platters, the Treniers, the exciting Freddie(i can't believe he never had a hit)Bell & the Bellboys & let's not forget Alan Freed. Without Mister Rock n Roll, there might not have been any Rock n Roll.
Excellent packaging & presentation. Pristine black & white photography(i still can't stop feeling sorry for the that poor girl who somebody forgot to catch) & stunning sound.
For collectors, 50's music fans & anyone who has just a passing interest in the greatest decade of the last century, buy this DVD. A small price to pay for some great entertainment.
Finally, a plea to whoever the powers may be at making these things happen ... a really nice double would be 'American Hot Wax' AND 'Mister Rock n Roll' ... better together!!!!!! Now wouldn't that just be 'the living end'!!!!!"
Two Bill Haley movies
D. Gregoire | Texas | 02/10/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This really is a must have package if you want to see the earliest Rock and Roll cinema. Columbia/Sony personnel did a great job restoring the films to DVD. The music cannot be beat. It would have been nice if they had included some extras on the DVD like film trailers. During the filming of both movies, some of the biggest names in Hollywood at the time were visiting the studio to see what rock and roll was all about.
However, the cover looks like it was designed by an alien who cut Bill Haley's head off his body and put it on an unknown individual in dire need of a tailor for his pants (because that's exactly what they did on the cover). Even though plot wise neither movie was an Oscar contender, "Rock Around The Clock" should have been the A movie. Little Richard fans be cautioned he is in "Don't Knock the Rock" for about two minutes, he was not the featured star, Bill Haley was, and he's not even on the cover of the disc. Overall rating: FILMS are B+, cover is D- (well, at least they got Bill Haley's head right).
Terrible artwork and packaging ,Great music
Roy Clarke | hemel hempstead, herts. United Kingdom | 02/19/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Whoever designed the cover artwork for this set must have not liked the look of Bill Haley.First ,as someone else has commented ,for the cover of "Rock around the clock" they have removed Bills head from his own body and put it on the body of a slim guitarist ,at worst its insulting to the memory of Bill and at best laughable.When it comes to "Dont knock the rock" they have gone the whole hog and completely removed any trace of Bill by putting a picture of Little Richard on the cover with a unknown sax player!There is not one photo of Bill Haley on the slip sleeve for this disc! These films starred Bill Haley! This set crys out for a sympathetic retro set of artwork,it makes one wonder if Bill is considered not marketable any more.
The films thereselves are thankfully great! The transfers are pretty good with sharp picture quality and sharp sound.Bill and the comets play some of there greatest stuff here and with other great bands like The Treniers ,Little Richard and The Platters with the incredibly beautiful voice of Tony Williams you get a nice cross mixture of the top bands of the time.
Its great to have these films on disc at last but for me the release is let down by the poor packaging ."