Jailhouse Rock

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Jailhouse Rock Movie Poster Image
'50s Elvis film still charms; some mild violence, smoking.
  • NR
  • 1957
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Friendship, love, and loyalty are more important than money. Don't be afraid to love someone. Implies that some people deserve to get beaten up, along the lines of teaching someone a lesson.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Vince starts out as a negative role model of a smart-aleck with a violent temper who's only interested in money. But he eventually learns that friendship and love are what really matters. Peggy's a good model for an independent woman who doesn't throw herself at Vince or allow him to walk all over her. Hunk is a negative role model, hardened and ruthless while in prison, but he eventually learns from his mistakes too.

Violence

Main story about serving time in prison for manslaughter. Several fights with punching. One shows a small amount of blood on the mouth of a man who's knocked unconscious and later dies. One is a prison riot and guards are shown wielding heavy canes. A whipping as punishment in prison doesn't show anything graphic, but the pain and suffering are briefly shown. A couple of slaps on the face. Vince smashes a guitar on a table. A woman is pushed and knocked off her chair, a man grabs her roughly, and someone refers to "woman-beaters." An unwanted kiss.

Sex

A few kisses, one is unwanted but it's excused as just part of "the beast" in Vince. A man says a woman looks sexy. A woman asks about her outfit, which shows her bare midriff.

Language

"Hell" once. Some verbal hostility, including threats of violence.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Several scenes in bars. Adult characters frequently drink, but no drunken behavior or consequences are shown. Lots of background smoking. Cigarettes are used as currency for favors, bribes, etc. in prison.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jailhouse Rock is the iconic Elvis Presley movie from 1957 that introduced Hollywood to rock-and-roll musicals. The story's about a man sent to prison for manslaughter, and there are several fight scenes that show punching. One shows a small amount of blood on the mouth. There are a few kisses. "Hell" is used once. Adults frequently drink at parties and in bars, and there's lots of background smoking.

User Reviews

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Kid, 11 years old June 20, 2018

great movie

Great movie family friendly some smoking and drinking. There is some cheesy violence and kissing. I would let a 6 year old watch it they just would not be ver... Continue reading

What's the story?

In JAILHOUSE ROCK, Vince Everett (Elvis Presley) is sent to prison for manslaughter. His cell mate Hunk inspires Vince to learn the guitar. Harsh conditions in prison make Vince ambitious for money and fame, and once he's released from prison, he immediately sets out to get as much of both as he can. After a record company steals Vince's song, he and his new-found friend Peggy decide to start their own record company. As Vince's fame and riches climb, so do Vince's ego and his shabby treatment of his only real friends. Vince's singing career is jeopardized after he gets punched in the throat. Is that what it takes for him to learn what's really important in life?

Is it any good?

This classic Elvis Presley film is sure to delight fans, and maybe even create new ones, with Elvis's signature style, charm, and charisma on full display. The iconic Jailhouse Rock musical number is an infectious bit of fun. It's a great way for families to introduce their kids to the phenomenon that was Elvis. Use some of the times when the plot slows down to investigate the historical context of the movie, like imagining a time when people had never seen anyone on TV or in movies gyrate like Elvis did, or the ways some events parallel Elvis's real life, too.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether Jailhouse Rock glamorizes drinking. Have attitudes about drinking changed much since 1957?

  • Have you seen any other of Elvis Presley's movies? How much of his music have you heard? Which do you like best, and why?

  • Why do you think Elvis Presley was so popular? Can you see his appeal? How does he compare to popular actors and singers of today?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love musicals

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