Actors: Tim McIntire, Laraine Newman, Jay Leno, Fran Drescher, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis
|Review Summary and Plot Commentary about American Hot Wax|
|This exuberant 1978 film about Alan Freed, the Cleveland disc jockey who reputedly invented the term "rock and roll," and his efforts to bring this wild music to the masses both on the air and in a big live show at the Brooklyn Paramount, is a bit short on historical accuracy but has a lot of heart. McIntire plays Freed with spirit, Newman is a Carole King-like teen songwriter, and Jay Leno is terrific as Freed's gopher putting the makes on kewpie cute Fran Drescher. There's lots of 50s and early 60s music on the screen and the soundtrack, of course, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Chuck Berry appear as themselves in the concert sequence. A hint of threat and historical reality comes with the government investigators and authorities who try to shut the show and Freed down, although they're mostly played for laughs here. (The real Freed was discredited in the payola scandals and died broke and unknown in the mid 1960s.) Trivia notes: author of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and future director of "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous" Cameron Crowe does a cameo as a delivery boy; and that black kid banging on garbage cans and singing to himself is Maurice Starr, who would found and manage New Edition and New Kids on the Block.
--David Loftus, Resident Scholar
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|Analysis of American Hot Wax|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Time/era of movie:
- performer or comedian
- (man) fat
Events of movie makes character more...
- White (American)
How sensitive is this character?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor?
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Average intelligence
Secondary Main Character
- (woman) medium/shoulderlgn wavey
- (woman) very skinny
How much in movie?
- White (American)
- an organization
- government investigator
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- (man) average
- New York
Accounts of torture and death?
- no torture/death
Movie makes you feel...
Sex/nudity in movie?
What kind of sex:
- vague references only
- Occasional swearing
If lots of song/dance...
- lot of singing
If soundtrack VERY NOTICEABLE...
- Classic/oldies rock
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).