Jailhouse Rock (film)

1957 film by Richard Thorpe

Jailhouse Rock is a 1957 film about a young man sentenced to prison for manslaughter who is mentored in music by his prison cellmate who realizes his musical abilities. After his release from jail, while looking for a job as a club singer, the young man meets a musical promoter who helps him launch his career.

Directed by Richard Thorpe. Written by Guy Trosper, based on a story by Nedrick Young.
Elvis in Action as Never Before!  taglines

Vince Everett

Elvis Presley as Vince Everett
Elvis Presley and Judy Tyler.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, a little while back, I had a kind of a vacation with a bunch of men in a big place way out yonder. And while I was there, well, these uh, these men, kind of guests, you might say, uh, we'd get together and horse around a little bit and sing and - 'cause we were havin' such a good time. And uh, we always had a lot of fun with this one: 'The Jailhouse Rock'.


Hunk: You will never make a guitar player. You got no rhythm in your bones!
Vince: Well, I never heard of anybody payin' money to hear a guitar player.
Hunk: Well, don't pay any attention to me. I was only in the business for 10 years. That's all.

Hunk: You know, I got a spot for you in the show. I'll teach you a new tune.
Vince: I don't know. What's the percentage in singin' for a bunch of cons?
Hunk: Experience, you lunkhead! That's the percentage.

Hunk: We'd be a natural together, both ex-cons. The publicity would be sensational. Look, you get out in six months. I follow you 12 months later. Whaddya say, boy?
Vince: You mean we sing together?
Hunk: Together or alone, it makes no difference. We hire a couple of other acts - we got our own show. We play the circuit and we roll.
Vince: I don't know anything about how to get any bookings.
Hunk: Let me worry about the business end. Here - I made a contract for us. We split everything right down the middle.
Vince: Hey. How come you're willin' to give me 50% of your earnings? I mean, uh, like you said, you're the one who's got the experience and the name.
Hunk: One simple reason: I got faith in your possibilities. Sure, you're never gonna command the dough I can. But, with training, you'll do all right. Besides, I need a young man to appeal to the kids. I'm levelin' with ya, boy. Alone, son, you'd be like a lamb in a pack of wolves. Go ahead.
[Vince signs]

Hunk: It's a lesson to remember. Without money, you might as well be dead.
Vince: Yeah.
Hunk: That's all the sympathy you'll get from me. Pity's a commodity. In here, you buy it and sell it just like anything else.
Vince: Hey, what are you, man? Some kind of an animal?
Hunk: That's right, buddy. I'm an animal in a jungle, and I got a motto: 'Do unto others as they would do unto you, only do it first'.
Vince: Yeah. That's right. Do it first.
Hunk: And it's just as bad on the outside. Worse. Remember that.
Vince: I don't aim to forget it.

Vince: Where's the nearest pawnshop?
Cleaning Woman: Oh, down the street to the right, a couple of blocks. What you gonna do? Buy yourself a diamond ring?
Vince: No. I'm gonna buy a guitar and sing love songs to you.

Peggy: Tell me what you see?
Vince: About five-four, weigh 115, pretty well stacked.
Peggy: Well, I'm glad you find me pleasing.
Vince: I don't find you nothin'. I'm a singer.
Peggy: Well, I'm afraid I misunderstood. If you buy me a fresh drink, I'll tell you about the figures.
Vince: Buy your own drink.

Peggy: [about his singing] I didn't think you were very good, Vince.
Vince: I'm no worse than a lot of 'em.
Peggy: And no better.
Vince: OK, you're used to the top talent. What are you wasting your time working me over for?
Peggy: I like the way you swing a guitar.
[They both laugh]
Vince: Well, I guess I did get a lot of wrist action into it, didn't I? Well, that's all she wrote. My musical career started and ended with one song.
Peggy: I don't know why. Not until you've given yourself every chance.
Vince: But if they won't listen to me, I can't hold a gun on 'em.
Peggy: Did you ever listen to yourself?
Vince: How can I listen to myself when I'm singing?
Peggy: Make a tape recording. Maybe when you hear yourself, you can discover what's wrong.

Peggy: Well, you finally got your sensation. I hope you're satisfied.
Vince: Get off my back, kid. I ain't in the mood.
Peggy: You insulted my father, my mother and me and that's just unforgivable!
Vince: Well, what do you expect? I come out, have a little beer, the first thing you know some old broad's pushin' me in the corner with some stupid question.
Peggy: They were just trying to bring you into the conversation.
Vince: They can shelve their conversation. I'm not even sure they were talkin' English.
Peggy: I think I'm gonna just hate you.
Vince: Uh-uh, You ain't gonna hate me. I ain't gonna let you hate me.
[he impulsively grabs her and kisses her]
Peggy: How dare you think such cheap tactics would work with me!
[he aggressively kisses her again]
Vince: That ain't tactics, honey. It's just the beast in me.

Jack Lease: Listen, Sonny. You don't own that song. It's a published tune. Anyone can record it.
Vince: You turned it down. You said you didn't like it.
Jack Lease: We simply didn't want to record it with an unknown.
Vince: What about my arrangement?
Jack Lease: So see your lawyer. You can't copyright an arrangement.
Vince: You're a thievin' rat! [goes after him]
Jack Lease: Now you listen to me, sonny.
Vince: [grabs him] Don't "sonny" me, you louse! [slaps him a couple times and throws him back in his chair] Crawl back under your rock, you snake!

Vince: On the inside, they're Cub Scouts compared to Jack Lease. If you make something, they might steal it from ya. But they'd be too honorable to go around sayin' they made it themselves. So, if they steal from ya, there's only one thing to do. Start your own record company...Certainly, what's the mystery? We can find out the details from a lawyer, or something, and, well, you don't have to own a factory. I found that out. You contract for the pressings.
Peggy: But, you just don't go out and start your own record company just like that!
Vince: Well, why not? It's done every day. We're just as smart as those other birds. Look, I make the decisions now. I can't louse things up any worse than you did!

Vince: I want to introduce you to a new member of the troupe....Laury's a real cool little singer. I'm takin' her to New York with me.
Peggy: Oh! In that case, I don't think I'll go.
Vince: Oh! Were you planning to go? What for?
Peggy: No reason I can think of now.
Vince: Got nothin' to do with the record business.
Peggy: Of course not.
Vince: It's just like you said that night in Joplin - 'You and me, it's strictly business.'
Peggy: Let's keep it that way. Let me know when you want to cut another record, Pard.

Vince: Hey, how'd you know about the record company?
Hunk: Oh, I got to keep up with the activities of a partner.
Peggy: You've got more partners than a square dance.
Hunk: Yeah, I taught the boy plenty.
Peggy: You'll find out just how well you taught him. Good night.
Hunk: [as Peggy left] That's a pretty little thing.

Hunk: Well, you made it, huh boy? I've been readin' about it and I feel proud of ya.
Vince: Yeah, I've been lucky so far.
Hunk: Lucky? Talent. I knowed you had it the minute you opened up your mouth. Now you're goin' on the TV.
Vince: You know everythng, don't ya?
Hunk: I feel good. What's your plans for me, boy?
Vince: Well, I ain't exactly got any, Hunk.
Hunk: You got no plans for Hunk, your old partner?
Vince: Well, what do ya want to do?
Hunk: I want a spot on that TV show.
Vince: Times have changed. Styles have changed. You might fall flat on your face, boy.
Hunk: I might get lucky like you, too.
Vince: I tried your style, just like you taught me. Boy, I laid a bomb.
Hunk: But you ain't me.
Vince: Well, I guess I owe you that much, but I don't know how it's gonna work out, Hunk.

Hunk: Don't worry about me, sonny. I'll get along...One flop ain't a man's whole life. How'd you expect me to follow that three ring circus you put on?
Vince: Ah, you couldn't have followed a juggler.
Hunk: Naturally, I haven't got your talent.
Vince: That's right. You haven't. So what are you gonna do?
Hunk: I don't see where that's any of your business.
Vince: Now look, Hunk. I'm gonna be honest with ya. I'm not gonna put the breaks on my career now. I don't want you as part of my troupe. You're not good enough. It's been a long time, Hunk. Music changes every six months. You gotta change with it.
Hunk: I was in show business when you were runnin' around in wet pants and I'll be in it when they can't even remember your name.
Vince: Fine, but not with me.

Vince: [long kiss] How's your headache?
Sherry: I'm coming all unglued.
[they continue to kiss]

Peggy: He has adapted very quickly.
Hunk: Well, there's not much oxygen up there where he is, and a man gets light-headed.
Peggy: Most actors when they become stars go through a brief period of being modest.
Hunk: Not our boy. He became a heel overnight. What are you doing here today, Peg?
Peggy: I guess I like punishment.

Vince: We got an offer for the label, Peg. It's just too good to turn down.
Peggy: An offer? What kind of an offer?
Vince: To sell out to Geneva Records. [raises his hand] Wait a minute. Wait'll you hear the deal. Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, a capital gain. That's 225,000 in cold cash for you, after taxes.
Peggy: But, Vince, I don't wanna sell out.
Vince: I'm afraid you got not choice, kid. I own...
Peggy: I know. Sixty percent.
Vince: That's the way the mop flops. You'd think I was tryin' to rob you. After all, you're getting practically a quarter of a million dollars.
Peggy: Dollars? Dollars? Is that the beginning and the end of the world for you? Is there no emotion left in you but the lust for money?
Vince: Emotion? What emotion? It's strictly business between you and me. You said that.
Peggy: I don't care what I said. We started this thing together. We nursed it and brought it up, you and I. It may just be a ledger page to you and Mr. Shores... but to me it's part of my life! Oh, go ahead and sell it! I don't care what you do! [goes away crying]
Vince: [shrugging] Nothin' but a record company.
Hunk: It's not just the record company that's botherin' her.

Hunk: Trampin' on me is one thing, sonny. [takes off his jacket] Hurtin' a little girl like Peggy is another.
Vince: Now just don't you get no ideas, Hunk.
Hunk: There comes a time when you gotta take a hand in things, and that time is now.
Vince: Don't push me, Hunk.
Hunk: [rolls up his sleeves] I'm gonna beat the hell outta you.
Vince: Don't try it. You're talkin' crazy, man.
Hunk: You know you got it comin', son.
Vince: I said don't try...
[Hunk hits him]


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