By 1957, Elvis Presley was one of the top pop stars in America and the leading figure of a new sound called rock and roll. He had begun his transition into movie making the previous year with the movie "Love Me Tender" - but it was his film "Jailhouse Rock" that is regarded as his most successful early film.
Presley was a controversial figure at the time in America, where his sexually provocative performances (though tame by modern standards) enraged the conservative establishment. Some detested Presley's character in the movie, who is sent to jail for manslaughter and is mentored by his cell-mate in music. He learns he has musical talent, and upon his release, becomes a star only for the fame to have a negative effect on his relationships.
Jailhouse Rock is notable for the dance sequence to the title song, often regarded as Presley's greatest on-screen moment. The choreography had been inspired by Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, the latter of whom happened to be at the first rehearsal; he thoroughly enjoyed the final product.
Shortly after the film's release Elvis was drafted into the Army and after his exit in 1960 would focus on Hollywood films, many of which were critically panned.
Photographer: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Location taken: USA
Source: Wikimedia Commons
- 1957-09-24 "Jailhouse Rock" single released by Elvis Presley (Billboard Song of the Year 1957)
- 1957-10-17 Jailhouse Rock starring Elvis Presley premieres in Memphis, Tennessee