JAILHOUSE ROCK – behind the scenes of Elvis Presley’s third movie (Part 8)

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– Behind the Scenes of Elvis Presley’s Third Movie –
(Part 8)

By Marius Ogieglo
Elvis Presley Jailhouse Rock

But it wasn’t just Presley who created a memorable performance in “Jailhouse Rock.” Apart from himself, the cast of the film also included several popular actors and actresses at that time.

Undoubtedly, one of the best – apart from the title – creation was created by the then thirty-seven-year-old Mickey Shaughnessy (actually Joseph C. Shaughnessy, in the photo on the left). Born in August 1920 in New York, an actor and comedian who portrayed Hunk Houghton on screen.

Before appearing in “Jailhouse Rock“, Shaughnessy had already appeared in nine films (four of which were made in 1957). He made his big screen debut in 1944 as a man delivering beer to a table in David Butler’s comedy, “The Princess And The Pirate.” At that time, however, his name was not even mentioned in the credits.

This situation changed only eight years later, in 1952, when Shaughnessy landed the role of Pat Bundy in the comedy-drama “The Marrying Kind.”

After this performance, the actor was employed in two, three and even, as in 1957, six films a year. In 1953 alone, Shaughnessy appeared in such blockbuster productions as “Last Of The Comanches” and “From Here To Eternity“, for which Frank Sinatra won an Oscar (Best Supporting Role).

And although most of them were supporting roles, due to his appearance – six feet tall and almost ninety-six kilograms in weight – Shaughnessy mainly played ” expressive and original characters “.

Unlike Shaughnessy, Dean Jones, whose name also appeared in the credits of Presley’s new film, could not boast of such a rich film achievement. In fact, the role of radio DJ Teddy Talbot (the one who aired “Treat Me Nice“) was only his third. Previously, the actor played only small episodes in the drama “Somebody Up There Likes Me” alongside Paul Newman and in the melodrama “Tea And Sympathy“. “ It has been a great honor to work with some of the most talented people on the planet ,” Jones told Christianity Today in 2009.

Dean Jones gained real popularity and sympathy from viewers only with his performances on Broadway (“Under The Yum Yum Tree”) and in numerous productions of Walt Disney (including “The Horse In The Gray Flannel Suit” in which he was invited by Walt himself Disney, “That Darn Cat!“, “The Love Bug” and “Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo“). “When you think of Disney, you think of Dean Jones ,” former Walt Disney Pictures president David Vogel once said.

Several other doyens of American cinema also appeared on the set of the new MGM production. They included Vaughn Everett Taylor (the film Mr. Shores), who gained fame thanks to his appearances in such television series as “Kraft Television Theater” and “Robert Montgomery Presents“, Saul John Launer (in “Jailhouse Rock” he played a judge who sentenced Elvis to prison) and Percy Alfred Helton, considered “the most recognizable face and voice of Hollywood in the 1950s” (he played Sam Brewster in Presley’s film), who first appeared on the big screen in 1915, in the silent drama “The Fairy And The Waif.”

Elvis Presley Jailhouse Rock
“Jailhouse Rock”

In most of the music scenes, viewers could see both members of Presley’s first band, i.e. Scotty Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana, as well as the authors of most of the songs from the soundtrack, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. ” After one of the sessions, I think it was the sessions for ‘Jailhouse Rock,’ one of the technicians, performers or co-producers of the film came up to me and said, ‘Jerry, we’d like you to show up tomorrow at seven in the morning and play the pianist in our film’ , recalled Jerry Leiber in one of his interviews. ” ‘But I’m not a pianist,’ I replied. ‘Mike is a pianist.’ ‘It does not matter. You look like a pianist,’ I heard in response .

  • Photo above: Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mgm/Kobal/Shutterstock (5884691r) Mickey Shaughnessy, Elvis Presley Jailhouse Rock – 1957 Director: Richard Thorpe MGM USA Scene Still Musical Le Rock du bagne

Information provided by Marius Ogieglo of EP Promised Land (Poland) http://www.elvispromisedland.pl/

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