Film / American Musical / Drama / Romance
Director: Richard Thorpe
Cast: Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler, Mickey Shaughnessy, Vaughn Taylor, Jennifer Holden, Dean Jones and Glenn Strange
In his third film debut, Presley stars as 'Vince Everett', an ex-convict working in the music industry, and a character analogous to Presley's then public image. After going to jail for a bar fight he did not start, Everett meets Hunk Houghton in prison, and the two men form a unique bond. Houghton, a washed-up country singer, teaches Everett to play guitar, and how to sing a few songs.
Upon his release from jail, Everett lands some work at night clubs, but not singing, where he meets Peggy Van Alden, a record company talent scout, who allows Everett to record a song. Together, they present his demo to an executive at a small record label, who then records the exact arrangement with one of his established stars. Everett and Van Alden decide to start their own label bringing Everett's records to the public, of course followed by fame, riches, and a film career.
For its time, Jailhouse Rock was considered somewhat scandalous. Not only the idea of a convict being a hero, but also the use of the word hell to swear, topped off with scene of Presley lying in bed with co-star Judy Tyler were all considered to be quite risque. Tragically, Jailhouse Rock became the last of only two films Judy Tyler ever made. She was killed in an automobile accident with her husband just two weeks after filming was completed. It is said that Presley was so upset that he could never bring himself to watch the completed version of the film.