This film is framed by 2 shows by popular rock'n'roll discjockey Alan
Freed in which he presents popular acts of the day (see credits above),
some long forgotten, some well-known, some black, some white. The first
show is his own television show, in which Tommy Rogers (Teddy Randazzo), a
local boy, wins a talent contest, the second is at Tommy's school's prom,
where Freed has agreed to help out with the entertainment.
these two shows, there is a little bit of a story, too: Tommy's girlfriend
Dori (Tuesday Weld, singing voice: Connie Francis) needs a new dress for
her prom, especially since Gloria (Jacqueline Kerr), the new girl in
school, is going to be wearing one, and she tries to take over Tommy from
Dori. Thing is, Dori can't afford a new dress, she has no savings
whatsoever and her dad (Jack Collins) has cancelled her charge account at
the dress store. But dad promises if Dori is going to work, he will double
every Dollar she's making ... only working wasn't very high on Dori's
agenda - so she goes into banking, having nothing more than a crude idea
about it of course, but nevertheless she soon makes her best friend
Arabella (Fran Manfred) her sole depositor, and loans the money to Gloria
- on an interest rate of 100%, with the dress Gloria is going to be buying
for the money serving as collateral. The whole thing blows of course when
Arabella wants her money back that Dori no longer has of course, and when
she goes to the dress shop to collect the collateral, the shopowner
(Eleanor Swayne) instead calls her father, Gloria and Gloria's father
(Bert Conway) - and in the discussion that ensues, Dori comes up with such
wild and illogical explanations she leaves everyone puzzled - but she
makes her father pay for her dress and somehow get the 15 Dollars she owes
to Arabella as well in the process.
Problem is now that Tommy suddenly
announces he goes to the prom with Gloria - mainly because she threatened
to spread mean rumours about Dori otherwise - and after that Dori doesn't
want to speak to him anymore - until he sings her a lovesong at the prom.
Rock, Rock is of course anything but a great film, it's actually Alan
Freed's show interrupted by a story with a plot so thin it wouldn't
suffice for a half-hour sitcom - or maybe it's a comedy constantly
interrupted by musical performances, depending on your point of view.
However, Tuesday Weld as air-headed teenager is able enough to carry the
comedy aspects of the film (even if her singing voice is not her own), and
the finale at the dress store is actually quite funny, and the
performances, of legendary artists and long forgotten acts alike, are
great documents of a bygone era. So if you are at all into the 1950's
music and lifestyle, you might want to watch this, but only if you manage
to not take this film too seriously.