Rock and roll music has been a driving force in our society for decades. It has inspired people to embrace their individuality, fight against social norms, and express themselves through music. But rock and roll isn’t just limited to music; it has also found a home on the big screen. So, if you’re looking for some rock and roll movie recommendations, we’ve got you covered! Here are the top 15 rock and roll movies to watch for your next weekend movie marathon.
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
The film features unforgettable scenes such as the infamous “this one goes to eleven” line, and it pokes fun at the rock and roll industry with its portrayal of the band’s comically inept manager and various mishaps on tour. The actors, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer, improvised much of their dialogue, adding to the film’s natural and spontaneous feel. This Is Spinal Tap is a must-watch for any music lover, and it has influenced countless other mockumentary films and TV shows in the decades since its release.
The Commitments (1991)
Based on the novel by Roddy Doyle, “The Commitments” is a musical comedy-drama directed by Alan Parker. The film tells the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, played by Robert Arkins, who assembles a group of working-class youths with musical talent to form a soul band in Dublin. Jimmy becomes their manager, and the group, known as “The Commitments,” begins performing at local pubs and clubs.
The Girl Can’t Help It (1956)
The Girl Can’t Help It is an iconic film that played a significant role in the history of rock and roll. Not only was it one of the first films to feature rock and roll music, but it also helped popularize the genre among mainstream audiences. The film stars Jayne Mansfield as Jerri Jordan, a beautiful blonde who is being groomed for stardom by a talent agent named Tom Miller, played by Tom Ewell.
Jailhouse Rock (1957)
Jailhouse Rock (1957) is one of the most iconic rock and roll films of all time. Starring Elvis Presley in his early career, the film tells the story of Vince Everett, a young man who is sent to prison for manslaughter. While behind bars, he meets a former country singer who teaches him how to play the guitar and perform. Upon his release, Vince becomes a rising star in the music industry, but success comes at a cost as he deals with fame, fortune, and the consequences of his actions.
Rock Star (2001)
However, his new-found fame comes with its own set of challenges, and he must navigate the ups and downs of the music industry while staying true to himself. The film features some great rock music and a standout performance from Wahlberg. It’s a must-watch for fans of 80s rock.
“Privilege” is a 1967 British film directed by Peter Watkins. The film is a satirical take on the music industry and celebrity culture, set in a dystopian future where the government controls all aspects of society, including popular music. The film follows Steven Shorter, a famous rock star who is controlled by the government and used as a tool to manipulate the masses. As he becomes increasingly disillusioned with his role, he begins to rebel against the government and the system that created him.
Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (1970)
Directed by Russ Meyer and co-written by film critic Roger Ebert, “Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls” is known for its outrageous and over-the-top characters, costumes, and dialogue. The film satirizes the music industry and the Hollywood lifestyle, with a focus on sex, drugs, and rock and roll. The story follows an all-female rock band called The Carrie Nations, as they move from a small town to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams of fame and fortune. The band members quickly find themselves caught up in a world of debauchery, with plenty of partying and drug use.
Phantom Of The Paradise (1974)
Directed by Brian De Palma, Phantom of the Paradise is a horror rock musical released in 1974. The film is a modern retelling of the classic Phantom of the Opera story, set in the world of rock and roll. The film stars William Finley as Winslow Leach, a young composer who is betrayed by a music mogul named Swan (played by Paul Williams). Leach is left disfigured and seeks revenge on Swan, who has stolen his music for his new venue called “The Paradise.”
Directed by Michael Apted, Stardust is a classic rock and roll film that follows the life of a fictional rock star named Stardust, played by David Essex. The film takes viewers on a journey from the singer’s humble beginnings as a small-town boy to his meteoric rise to fame, followed by a tragic downfall due to his wild behavior and drug addiction.
“Flame” is a 1975 film that has been overshadowed by other rock and roll movies but is still a hidden gem worth watching. The movie centers around a struggling rock band that lands a gig to perform at a motorcycle rally. Along the way, the band members navigate the ups and downs of their personal relationships and musical careers.
The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash (1978)
“The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash” is a mockumentary film that parodies The Beatles, documenting the rise of the fictional band The Rutles. The film was directed by Gary Weis and Eric Idle, who also starred as the narrator and a member of the band, respectively. The movie takes a satirical look at the music industry and The Beatles, with The Rutles resembling The Beatles in appearance and music style.
Directed by Michael Lehmann, “Airheads” is a 1994 comedy film that showcases Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, and Adam Sandler as members of a rock band called “The Lone Rangers”. The band is struggling to make it big in the music industry but is always overshadowed by the big names in the industry. Frustrated with their lack of success, the band decides to take matters into their own hands and hold a radio station hostage in an attempt to get their music played on the airwaves.
That Thing You Do! (1996)
“That Thing You Do!” is a feel-good movie that perfectly captures the excitement and energy of rock and roll. Directed by Tom Hanks, the film is set in the early 1960s and follows a small-town band, The Wonders, on their journey to fame. The movie has an all-star cast, including Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler, and Steve Zahn, who bring the characters to life with their performances.
Almost Famous (2000)
This coming-of-age film follows a young journalist who goes on tour with a fictional rock band in the 1970s. It’s a heartfelt and nostalgic film that’s a must-watch for any music fan. The film is loosely based on the experiences of writer and director Cameron Crowe, who himself was a teenage rock journalist in the 1970s. The film features an all-star cast, including Kate Hudson, Patrick Fugit, and Frances McDormand, and won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Hedwig And The Angry Inch (2001)
This film follows the story of a genderqueer rock musician named Hedwig and her band, The Angry Inch. The film is a musical comedy-drama that explores themes of identity, love, and the search for acceptance. The music is a combination of glam rock and punk, with powerful and catchy songs that will have you dancing and singing along.