Review of Shake, Rattle & Rock!
Drive-in movies fall into two basic categories - fantasy-horror and social-drama. Shake, Rattle and Rock falls into the latter category, along with the movies about women in jail, teenage gangs and the like. Made in 1956, it is squarely aimed at the Potsie Webers, Richie Cunninghams and Arthur Fonzarellis of the US who wanted an excuse to take their dates to a darkened drive-in lot and molest them without fear of interference.
The apoplectic moral minority rises its self-righteous head in this pro-teenage piece of popcorn fodder. They want to ban rock and roll for promoting juvenile delinquency. (Can`t you hear the Muppets` Sam The Eagle saying that?) On the defence are a TV producer and disc jockey out to convince "the squares" otherwise. That`s the main problem with these pictures - everybody talks so hip, you dig daddyo?
Roped into the defence are Fats Domino, Joe Turner, Choker Campbell and his band, Tommy Charles and Annita Ray in what the poster art proclaims the "rockin`, rollin`, boppingest jam session you`ve ever seen!" I wonder if these hep cats would realise how ridiculous they could possibly appear after the passage of forty-eight looooong years. About half as ridiculous as today`s top acts are going to look in 2052.
Trivia fans may be interested to consider that Sterling Holloway, who plays the Harpo Marx lookalike DJ has gone on to make his mark on history as the voice of Disney`s Winnie The Pooh.
Presented in the original monochrome 4:3, the movie is the usual standard from the Direct Video - Arkoff Film Library collection. The print is slightly dark, suffering from some wear and tear and the passage of time.
The original mono soundtrack is reproduced in plain two-channel DD2.0 Mono, so nothing special there. Songs performed on the soundtrack include "I`m In Love Again", "Ain`t It A Shame", "Feelin` Happy", "Honey Chile" and "Lipstick, Powder and Paint" - some classics of the era.
Same as all the releases in this series - the same 50 minute audio interview with Samuel Z Arkoff, nine trailers for the earlier releases in the series (an not including this movie), and Dutch subtitles.
Fans of fifties music will probably get a buzz from this cinematic curiosity. It`s definitely not a musical, and the story is so emaciated that there`s a genuine risk it might evaporate completely before the end of the movie. It`s cheesy listening for the drive-in movie. Get an old steering wheel, slick your hair with axle grease, get your wife or girlfriend into a bra that`ll put your eyes out and find out what made life tick for teenagers back in the days of Eisenhower and the Bomb.
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