Bookrelease: Film, Popcorn & Rock And Roll 1955-1965
Author: Henri Smeets, ISBN:

Henri Smeets

Hi there, all you greasers, 'chicks' and movie nerds,

After months of precisely work alle puzzle pieces have been glued together to become a true artwork with the title: Film, Popcorn & Rock And Roll 1955-1965.

The very first book at all that lists all rock & roll-songs per film and, even though the focus is on songs, additionally shows commented snapshots from the movies plus film posters! Of course everything is in black & white and color! In three languages: English, Dutch and German (comments: in English only).

Most films don't show songs in the opening credits and even don't state artists or bands! However the author figured it out for you with a lot of research! The information in this book is mainly taken directly from the movies and complemented with a lot of interesting facts, from which the author can draw on with his rock & roll-experience of over 32 years.
That makes it a valuable addition to the internet that (literally) is filled with mistakes and imperfections (you almost get the idea one does it on purpose or they even don't own the films). Now all rock & roll movies are put together in one book. Moreover, and that's really unique, apart from the tremendous amount of rock & roll films (much more than you might think of) the author also included lotsa regular films, in which rock & roll is shown and/or can be heard.

The snapshots (directly taken from the movies) transcend the common presentation of bands and artists and show the typical teenager attributes and teenage whereabouts of the time as well: Mopeds, suitcase recordplayers, arcades, bars, motorcycles, hot rods, youth clubs, records shops etc. etc. In short, those scenes form the movies one normally doesn't pay any attention to. With this the author intends to show the 50s and 60s from the perspective of the teenagers of the time.

Gaze at artists, you don't expect it from, who were rocking till the party was getting hot. Or even movies you don't expect to include rock & roll!

Get an impression of how they sang and danced (to) rock & roll in the movies, not just in USA and UK, but in Germany (including Austria and GDR), Italy, France and The Netherlands as well.

With these 'dry' figures down here, this book truly can be treated as a standardwork for rock & roll films. Some: 65000 words, 675 pages, 2050 songs, 350 films, 380 filmposters, 780 snapshots and 260 true rock & roll-artists/bands. One can search on artist/band and film.

Watch and read (to restrict myself to less obvious matters):

  • the bold (erotic) side of the rock & roll-dance shown frankly,
  • the German version of Blackboard Jungle,
  • Johnny Carroll & His Hot Rocks and The Johnny Burnette Trio playing rockabilly,
  • American master of comedy Jerry Lewis as a rocker,
  • international filmstar Romy Schneider dancing rock & roll with another int. filmstar Horst Buchholz,
  • how the sons of comedians of the silent film Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd are rocking (the other star of the time, Buster Keaton, even plays a role in a surf-film),
  • how teenagers in Russia listened to rock & roll via bone records (X-ray plates) (......just broaden your rock & roll-horizon),
  • German int. filmstar Elke Sommer in Italian rock & roll-films,
  • British Billy Fury rocking like Elvis (he gets very close),
  • how France let French Elvis Johnny Hallyday play in an Elvis-movie clone,
  • Gene Vincent in several British movies,
  • the pioneers of rock & roll: The Treniers,
  • the dream of most men Jayne Mansfield in some films (in which she even sings some rock & roll),
  • British rocker Billy Sanders fantastically rocking in the vein of Dutch indorock showbands in a German Tyrolean-styled film,
  • British Laurie 'He's Got The Whole World In His Hand' London doin' an uptemo rocker in an Austrian movie with people dancing rock & roll in the street,
  • Dick Dale in some surf movies,
  • Johny Ashley with Eddie Cochran's band The Hollywood Swingers,
  • Bill Haley in a German movie,
  • int. singing star Caterina Valente imitating Elvis,
  • Conway Twitty rocking at the only rock & roll-film at the time with bold nude scenes,
  • Italian Elvis Adriano Celentano rocking in the famous film classic La Dolce Vita,
  • the youngest rocker ever in a movie Ivy Schulman (USA),
  • several horror- and science fiction-films including rock & roll,
  • of course the many juvenile delinquency films and hot rod movies,
  • and the list goes on.

Hot rod fans are well catered (even in color!) and if you're into motorcycles, motorscooters or mopeds, then you'll also enjoy the book.
In short, something for everyone, who like to (re)live the time of the greasers and 'chicks'.

From completely unknown films up to the classics like Rock Around The Clock, The Girl Can't Help It, The Wild One, The Hot Rod Gang and Rebel Without A Cause. Everything neatly laid down in this very thick book, that Santa Claus should not forget in his bag full of rock & roll-treats.
Treat yourself or someone else to something good!

More information and even a preview animation, in which you can see how the book really looks like and in which you can browse through the book back and forth!

Press Release by Henri Smeets
Used with permission, 2013