Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Blind Boys of Alabama Shop now Fitbit
Customer Review

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, critical look at 50 years of rock films that matter, 16 Mar. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Popcorn: Fifty Years of Rock 'n' Roll Movies (Hardcover)
Last October I was trawling Amazon for a comprehensive book on rock 'n' roll films when I came across brief details of this one that was due for publication in March 2010. Sadly for me, this is not it - at least, not what I was looking for. There have been dozens if not hundreds of films, mostly duds, admittedly, featuring rock 'n' roll music to some extent or other, but there still doesn't seem to be a half-decent book that has attempted to include them all.

Don't get me wrong. Garry Mulholland's new book is very good for what it is, an attempt to write about what he considers are the 100 most important rock movies (not just rock 'n' roll movies, therefore) of the past 50 years still in existence (that is, available in the UK on DVD, or at least VHS); some classics, some turkeys, and some forgotten. These range from 1956's The Girl Can't Help It to 2009's Telstar: The Joe Meek Story. He refers to them as 'the most important', rather than 'the greatest' because in his view there aren't 100 great rock movies (though he does list his own 20 'Best Ever Made'). Furthermore, Garry concedes that at least half those chosen 'are either mediocre or enjoyably trashy - or just plain awful' (and who would disagree!). Not surprisingly, therefore, very few rock films are part of the movie pantheon.

He does mention and explain why a few otherwise notable films are missing from the book, in particular Rock Around The Clock, which is not available in the UK in any format. Neither is Blackboard Jungle included (though it is mentioned in the Amazon synopsis of the book), nor that glorious dud, Alan Freed's Rock, Rock, Rock.

The films are presented and reviewed chronologically, through the decades, and include:

The Fifties:The Girl Can't Help It, King Creole and Expresso Bongo;
The Sixties: Beat Girl, A Hard Day's Night and Easy Rider;
The Seventies: Performance, American Graffiti, The Last Waltz and Quadrophenia;
The Eighties: Babylon, The Blues Brothers and This Is Spinal Tap;
The Nineties: The Doors, The Commitments and Backbeat;
The Twenty-First Century: The Filth And The Fury, Walk The Line and Telstar.

In determining what merited inclusion, Garry maintains that all the films in his selection fall into seven basic categories: the pop star vehicle; the pop star biopic; 'digging the scene'; the rock musical; 'about the Biz'; the rockumentary; and the rock comedy. Of course, some films have more than one of these elements.

I haven't studied all the reviews, and indeed some of the films included are of no interest to me, frankly, but I found Garry's opinions on several films are similar to my own (not that it should matter). For example, I too have strong reservations about the entertaining but badly flawed Buddy Holly Story, and who could disagree about the overrated (but I love it) The Girl Can't Help It, which like many r 'n' r films is redeemed only by its cameos by the day's music icons? Then there's Telstar, well worth seeing for its portrayal of that deranged, oddball sound genius Joe Meek. This could only have been made over here. Like any real critic, Garry can be enlightening, annoying, forthright and strongly opinionated, surely what it's all about, even if you do see things differently.

For interest, there are two sets of eight glossy pages of colour and b/w stills and posters from the featured films.

The stated aim of this book is to get to the essence of the film and why it matters - or perhaps doesn't. Does Garry Mulholland succeed in this? Well, largely he does for me, but perhaps you should get hold of a copy and decide for yourself. I suppose I bought this book thinking it would serve a rather different purpose, but it has turned out to be a very welcome addition to my, er, library. One I will keep going back to.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Jun 2010, 12:28:32 BST
M. Mitchell says:
Having looked at this book, I certainly would not buy it. I read the "review" of "Girl Can't Help It" and it seemed as if it was a dissertation by a 14year old in a media studies class.
Oh, and I have a DVD of "Rock Around The Clock" purchased in the UK from a reputable dealer.

Posted on 1 Jul 2010, 22:18:49 BST
Dave says:
Does it have a review of Paul McCartney's 'Give My Regards to Broad Street'?
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details



Location: England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 154,325