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History of Rock & Roll Movies & TV

The History of Rock and Roll (1995)

Yes, five DVDs and ten full hours of musical performances, interviews with artists, historical footage, and "Behind-the-Music"-style stories about the many stages of development in rock and roll. Go get some popcorn, and a lot of it! (This film is not rated.)

Jailhouse Rock (1957)

Elvis Presley stars as Vince Everett, a prison inmate serving a sentence for manslaughter. Young Everett's cellmate, a country singer, inspires him to pursue a career in music once released from prison. He finds, however, that the music business is full of low-down dirty rotten folks anxious to exploit him to make a buck. (Sound familiar? If you're a fan of hip-hop, you've heard this tale a thousand times.) See Presley in one of his most famous Hollywood roles—as a young rebel! (This film is not rated.)

A Hard Day's Night (1964)

The Beatles play themselves in this semi-fictional, "mock"-umentary-style film about a band experiencing their first moments of extreme fame. When the mop-top quartet runs into mobs of screaming fans, hilariousness ensues! (This film is rated "G.")

Berkeley in the Sixties (1990)

Ever wonder what the phrase "The Sixties" really means? This documentary offers a vivid explanation, and all told through original film footage, photographs, and the words of those who lived it, many as teens and young adults in high school and college during the Free Speech Movement, the Anti-War Movement, the rise of Black Power, and the Summer of Love. (This film is not rated.)

The Complete Monterey Pop Festival (1967)

This documentary features incredible footage of both performers and audiences at this pre-Woodstock music event, which launched the careers of artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Don't miss the powerful set delivered by Otis Redding—but try to ignore the blinding stage lights! (This film is not rated.)

Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music (1970)

The director's cut version of this documentary features nearly four hours of footage from the three-day Woodstock music festival, including performances by The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix. Watch for Hendrix's wickedly mesmerizing rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." (Nudity, profanity, and drug use make this an "R"-rated film.)

Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

Following the release of their 1979 album, The Wall, Pink Floyd hired director Alan Parker to create a film version of the record. Using just the songs from the album to narrate the storyline, Parker delivers what feels, at times, like a freakishly animated nightmare with allusions to fascism, flesh-eating monsters, and... wait for it... talking buttocks! (Violence, gore, and talking buttocks make this an "R"-rated film.)

This is Spinal Tap (1984)

This is a classic—and hilarious!—"mock"-umentary about the imaginary British heavy metal group Spinal Tap, the world's loudest band. It pokes fun at the heavy metal rock scene and all its excesses—the elaborate stage shows, the hair, the groupies, and the arrogance. Rob Reiner directs actors Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, and himself in one of the silliest films of the '80s, and maybe ever. (Profanity and sexual references make this an "R"-rated flick.)

Purple Rain (1984)

Not the best romantic film ever made, but a classic from the '80s featuring a young Prince as "The Kid" a reclusive musician struggling to save a turbulent romance, keep his band together, confront his abusive father, and make it big in the music industry. Quite a to-do list! The film's soundtrack is phenomenal, and probably the main reason you should see the movie. (Some nudity and profanity make this an "R"-rated flick.)

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