TCM rocks with July series of music movies
If rock 'n' roll will never die, neither will movies that have rock music as their basis.
Many pictures of that ilk -- including some very well-known ones -- are gathered in a "History of Rock of Film" that Turner Classic Movies will run Monday nights and early Tuesday mornings throughout July. The Dave Karger-hosted festival devotes each week to attractions from one decade, though it also departs from that if a film from later years is about the decade showcased on the given evening.
Here's a look at some of the films encompassed by the TCM event.
"Jailhouse Rock" (1957; July 4): Though it wasn't his first movie, the true potential of the screen excitement Elvis Presley could generate was shown by this drama, particularly in the well-known sequence that sees him perform the title song.
"The Buddy Holly Story" (1978; July 4): Gary Busey has played his share of villains and characters with sketchy ethics, but early rock star Holly is a signature role for him. He earned an Oscar nomination, and the adapted score picked up an Academy Award.
"A Hard Day's Night" (1964; July 11): While The Beatles were revolutionizing the music world, they did the same for movies (guided by director Richard Lester) with this loosely structured, hugely engaging "diary" of how they prepared for a British television appearance.
"Alice's Restaurant" (1969; July 11): Arlo Guthrie became a movie star, at least temporarily, in this expansion (directed by Bonnie and Clyde's Arthur Penn) of his song about his need to deal with garbage ... literally.
"Tommy" (1975, July 18): The Who's rock opera became a singular cinematic experience under director Ken Russell, with such superstars as Elton John, Tina Turner, Ann-Margret and Jack Nicholson supporting Roger Daltrey as the youth with amazing proficiency at playing pinball.
"Sid and Nancy" (1986; July 18): In a true story, also referenced by the streaming series "Pistol," Sex Pistols bass player Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) and Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb) engage in a tumultuous and ultimately tragic relationship.
"The Harder They Come" (1972; July 19): The influence of reggae-music star Jimmy Cliff expanded substantially through his performance in this drama about a Jamaican man's turbulent journey through life.
"Pink Floyd -- The Wall" (1982; July 26): Live action and animation combine to give this Alan Parker-directed adaptation of Pink Floyd's album "The Wall" (with a screenplay by band member Roger Waters) a feel unlike that of virtually any other film.
"Fame" (1980; July 26): New York's High School of the Performing Arts gives director Alan Parker's drama -- which inspired a TV series with some of the same cast members -- an energetic buoyancy. The title song and overall score earned Oscars.