Jailhouse Rock is a 1957 American musical drama film directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler, and Mickey Shaughnessy. Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and dramatized by Guy Trosper from a story written by Nedrick Young, the film is about a young man sentenced to prison for manslaughter who is mentored in music by his prison cellmate who realizes his musical abilities. After his release from jail, while looking for a job as a club singer, the young man meets a musical promoter who helps him launch his career. As he develops his musical abilities and becomes a star, his self-centered personality begins to affect his relationships.
The wife of producer Pandro S. Berman convinced him to create a film with Presley in the role. Berman delegated the casting to Benny Thau, head of the studio and Abraham Lastfogel, the then president of William Morris Agency. Berman hired Richard Thorpe, who was known for shooting productions quickly. The production of Jailhouse Rock began on May 13, 1957, and concluded on June 17 of that year. The dance sequence to the film's title song "Jailhouse Rock" is often cited as "Presley's greatest moment on screen".
Before pre-production began, songwriters Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber were commissioned to integrate the film's soundtrack. In April, Leiber and Stoller were called for a meeting in New York City to show the progress of the repertoire. The writers, who had not produced any material, toured the city and were confronted in a hotel room by Jean Aberbach, who locked them into their hotel room by blocking the hotel room door with a sofa until they wrote the material. Presley recorded the soundtrack at Radio Recorders in Hollywood on April 30 and May 3, with an additional session at the MGM Soundstage on May 9. During post-production, the songs were dubbed into the films scenes, in which Presley mimed the lyrics.
Jailhouse Rock premiered on October 17, 1957 in Memphis, Tennessee and was released nationwide on November 8, 1957. It peaked at number 3 on the Variety box office chart, and reached number 14 in the year's box office totals, grossing $4 million. Jailhouse Rock earned mixed reviews, with most of the negative reception directed towards Presley's persona. In 2004, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry and was deemed "culturally, aesthetically or historically significant." On its January 28, 2019 edition, the Ultimate Classic Rock website named it the best rock movie of 1957.