This exuberant 1978 film about Alan Freed, the Cleveland disc jockey who reputedly invented the term "rock and roll," and his efforts to bring this wild music to the masses both on the air and in a big live show at the Brooklyn Paramount, is a bit short on historical accuracy but has a lot of heart. McIntire plays Freed with spirit, Newman is a Carole King-like teen songwriter, and Jay Leno is terrific as Freed's gopher putting the makes on kewpie cute Fran Drescher. There's lots of 50s and early 60s music on the screen and the soundtrack, of course, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Chuck Berry appear as themselves in the concert sequence. A hint of threat and historical reality comes with the government investigators and authorities who try to shut the show and Freed down, although they're mostly played for laughs here. (The real Freed was discredited in the payola scandals and died broke and unknown in the mid 1960s.) Trivia notes: author of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and future director of "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous" Cameron Crowe does a cameo as a delivery boy; and that black kid banging on garbage cans and singing to himself is Maurice Starr, who would found and manage New Edition and New Kids on the Block.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus