7.0/10
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40 user 13 critic

American Hot Wax (1978)

The story of Alan Freed, the pioneering disc jockey who was instrumental in introducing and popularizing rock 'n' roll in the 1950s.

Director:

Floyd Mutrux

Writers:

John Kaye (screenplay), John Kaye (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim McIntire ... Alan Freed
Fran Drescher ... Sheryl
Jay Leno ... Mookie
Laraine Newman ... Teenage Louise
Carl Weaver Carl Weaver ... Member of The Chesterfields (as Carl Earl Weaver)
Al Chalk ... Member of The Chesterfields
Sam Harkness Sam Harkness ... Member of The Chesterfields
Arnold McCuller Arnold McCuller ... Member of The Chesterfields
Jeff Altman ... Lennie Richfield
Moosie Drier Moosie Drier ... Artie Moress
John Lehne John Lehne ... D.A. Coleman
Stewart Steinberg ... Stone
Jack Edward Ellis Jack Edward Ellis ... Phillips
Richard Forbes Richard Forbes ... Donahue
Stephen Pearlman ... Peter Overmyer
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Storyline

This is the story loosely based on Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed, who introduced rock 'n' roll to teenage American radio audiences in the 1950s. Freed was a source of great controversy: criticized by conservatives for corrupting youth with the "devil's music"; hated by racists for promoting African American music for white consumption; persecuted by law enforcement officials and finally brought down by the "payola" scandals. Written by Martin Lewison <lewison+@pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

1959. New York City. The battleground was Rock and Roll. It was the beginning of an era. You shoulda been there.

Genres:

Drama | History | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Hot Wax - kuumaa vahaa See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$7,932,571

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,932,571
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some movie posters for the film featured a preamble that said: "1959. New York City. The battleground was Rock and Roll. It was the beginning of an era. You shoulda been there". See more »

Goofs

Artie Moress is the young president of the Buddy Holly fan club. He supposedly started his Buddy Holly fan club after hearing that Buddy Holly died in a plane a crash. However, the movie depicting the life of Alan Freed, which ends with the infamous Rock n' Roll riot that took place in Boston in 58 Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper didn't die in their plane crash until Feb. 3rd 1959. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Alan Freed: You can stop me, but you're never gonna stop rock and roll!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Grindhouse (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay
(uncredited)
Written by Dave White
Performed by Kenny Vance and The Planotones
See more »

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User Reviews

Unrecognized Rock & Roll Movie Classic
6 October 2000 | by SchlockmeisterSee all my reviews

At the time this movie came out (1978) America was having its 20 year later nostalgia craze for the 1950s and it's music. "Happy Days" and "LaVerne And Shirley" were on TV and songs from the 50s were being remade and heard again. What great timing for this movie! The greatest thing about this movie, of course, are the musical performances. Instead of hiring all soundalikes from central casting, they actually brought back musicians and singers from the 1950s to sing their hits. Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Frankie Ford and others are on hand to show you what made them great. Of course, this was 20 years after Alan Freed's shows played and the performers do look a little worse for the wear, but their music more than makes up for it. Tin McIntire was fantastic as Alan Freed, a young Jay Leno as Mookie was adequate as was an also young Fran Drescher as Sheryl. Laraine Newman shines as a sort of Carole King character, writing songs for others. Why isnt this movie more popular than it is? Maybe because it's not on video? If you see this on TV some night, be sure to watch it and see the magical early days of Rock and Roll.


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