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But the question of who popularized Rock & Roll is a bit more conclusive. And much like the audience watching the film, the teenagers in the film seem to be unaware of Rock & Roll. Blackboard Jungle (1955) As famous for its rocking theme song as for its gritty portrait of 1950s juvenile delinquency, Blackboard Jungle is one of those films, like Easy Rider (1969) in the next decade, that has come to define its era, at least as seen through the eyes of Hollywood. ( Log Out /  Blackboard Jungle, American social-commentary film, released in 1955, that highlighted violence in urban schools and also helped spark the rock-and-roll revolution by featuring the hit song “ Rock Around the Clock” (1954) by Bill Haley and His Comets. Written by James E. Myers (uncredited) and Max Freedman (uncredited) Played by Bill Haley and the Comets (as Bill Haley and His Comets) Produced by Milton Gabler Courtesy of Decca Records, Inc. 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Like its predecessors in the genre, the film features all manner of rebellious teens but Blackboard Jungle sets itself apart by addressing the racial injustice of the time. Producers loved the song and placed it on the opening and closing credits while basing the opening moments of the trailer around it. Vancouver DJ Red Robinson explained the fervent response to the film at the time of its release: There must have been plenty of adults who enjoyed Blackboard Jungle, or at the very least recognized that it wasn’t the end of society as we know it. Bosley Crowther of the New York Times wrote, “It gives a blood-curdling, nightmarish picture on monstrous disorder in a public school. The film is not Rebel Without a Cause, which opened the same year. In fact Sidney Poitier, one of the classroom leaders, harmonizes the spiritual “Go Down, Moses” with his vocal quartet mid-way through the film. Despite the fact that “Rock Around the Clock” is the basis of the sound of Blackboard Jungle it wasn’t written for the film the way you might assume. In 1954 Bill Haley and the Comets recorded “Rock Around the Clock” and released it as the B-side to a single. “Rock Around the Clock” is the only Rock song used in Blackboard Jungle. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Peter Ford, son and biographer of Glenn Ford explained the film’s reach to the Calgary Herald: Before production got under way for the film, MGM was at least partially aware of the turmoil that the film would create. Groovy Photos Sure To Knock Your Socks Off, Rare Photos For The Pop Culture Buff In Your Life. Delinquency and violence in schools was a central theme of 'Blackboard Jungle'. It was not until 1955, when "Rock Around the Clock" was used under the opening credits of the film Blackboard Jungle, that the song truly took off. 12 Songs. Ambassador to Italy, Clare Boothe Luce, was reportedly so upset by the picture that she didn’t want it shown outside the country because of the way that the American school system was portrayed. Try it free. More importantly, it was the film “that not only introduced rock to mainstream America but forever cemented its image as a fashionably dangerous youth music that followed its own rules.”. MGM didn’t just want to use the controversy surrounding the book to bring in viewers, they wanted to tap into the sounds that teenagers were bopping to on the weekends and blasting from their car radios - rock and roll. As enticing a that title sounds, it didn’t exactly set the airwaves on fire for Bill Haley and the Comets. Ford plays Mr. Dadier (naturally nicknamed Daddio by the kids), a WWII-vet who is looking to settle down with his pregnant wife. The single was a modest success, rising to number 23 on the pop charts but quickly petered out. 122, Rosen, Steven R “Jim Dawson: Rock Around the Clock – The Record that Started the Rock Revolution” Denver Post June 2005. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Blackboard Jungle - Blackboard Jungle on AllMusic The Imitation Game Part 2: the truth about Turing and the Bletchley 'Bombe'. While the song did make the American Cashbox music charts (contrary to popular opinion that it was a flop), it was considered a commercial disappointment. With the release of Blackboard Jungle in 1955, the sound became codified and teenagers recognized that a new sound was pounding through their speakers. There were reports of riots at screenings. And much like the audience watching the film, the teenagers in the film seem to be unaware of Rock & Roll. Note Sidney Poitier, centre rear,and Vince Morrow, first right. But it did catch the ear of Richard Brooks, a young writer/director working at MGM. After serving with the marines in the war, Brooks wrote some novels and co-wrote the movies. This led him to Evan Hunter’s novel, Blackboard Jungle, about a schoolteacher trying to bring order to an inner-city school. By combining a controversial story with music that parents couldn’t stand MGM had a massive hit on its hands before the film even premiered, but they didn’t realize how culturally important this film would be. The question of who invented Rock & Roll will probably never be answered. Today I want share with you my favorite service to send anonymous emails with attachments, Test it for free from here : anonymous email Change ), The Official Blog of Musc108: The History of Rock and Roll, “Oh Daddio!” How Blackboard Jungle Changed Rock & Roll, http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/Music/07/07/haley.rock, Jarvon Carson on Why He Should Really Just Go By “Ludicrous”, John Mayer Is “Still Unsteady” On Continuum, SIPPIN’: A Collection of Brief Stores About Sizzurp, The Mathematicians: Or How I Learned how to Stop Worrying and Love Algebra Again, The Miserable Fridays: A Lesson in Dieting, Why Christmas Music is Better Than You Think. And things only go downhill from there, climaxing in a dramatic knife fight. When he’s not writing about culture, pop or otherwise, he’s adding to his found photograph collection and eavesdropping on strangers in public. It is based on the novel of the same name by Evan Hunter. And it leaves one wondering wildly whether such out-of-hand horrors can be.” And the film was a sensation, earning four Oscar nominations, a Congressional inquiry, an “X” rating in the UK and $8 million dollars worldwide by 1957. Blackboard Jungle provides its audience with only a taste, not a starter course in the sound of Rock & Roll. On his first day on the job, he hospitalizes a student trying to molest a fellow teacher. In 1955, Blackboard Jungle put rock 'n roll (of Bill Haley and the Comets) on the screen -- a concept that was revolutionary at the time. Glenn Ford plays a war veteran turned school teacher who has to whip the rowdy students of a New York City high school into shape. Have fun, and give me your feedback ! This led to the first true Rock & Roll film, the aptly-titled Rock Around the Clock a year later. Stories of teens ripping up theater seats and dancing in the aisles to the sounds of Bill Haley and the Comets have been circulating since 1955, but without having been there at the time it’s hard to tell if this is a marketing technique or if it actually happened. When MGM released Blackboard Jungle, reviewers thought it was just another “teenage crimewave” movie, a genre in which tough high school students learned lessons at the hands of their elders, but it was much more important than any b-movie. Now what an audience took from the film was obviously much different. It was the first major film to … Available with an Apple Music subscription. ( Log Out /  Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Blackboard Jungle follows similar threads as other teen focused movies at the time. This stark poster emphasises that this is indeed a 'problem' film. He’s obsessed with the ways in which singular, transgressive acts have shaped the broader strokes of history, and he believes in alternate dimensions, which means that he’s great at a dinner party. Jacob Shelton is a Los Angeles based writer. 60 Photographs With Untold Stories From Hollywood's Pas... Carrie Fisher And The Dirty Name She Used To Describe H... Groovy Colorized Photos That Finally Capture It All. Dadier ends up teaching in the school from hell. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Blackboard Jungle - Blackboard Jungle on AllMusic Only the Good Die Young… 10 Entertainers Lost Way Too S... Vintage Photos That Were Never Edited - Look Closer. The New York Times review of the film said: Regardless of its detractors, Blackboard Jungle continued to find success by mixing rock and roll with amped up teenage hormones. 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