American Hot Wax (1978) - Rotten Tomatoes

American Hot Wax (1978)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This lively musical comedy pays tribute to the birth of rock & roll in the late 1950s and the instrumental role played by disc jockey Alan Freed who helped bring the new sound into vogue. Much of the story centers on the daring deejay's attempts to put on the very first live rock & roll stage show at the Paramount Theatre in Brooklyn. To do this he must overcome the protests of concerned and angry parents, conservatives, and local police. Several performers of the era appear in the film including Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis.


Tim McIntire
as Alan Freed
Jay Leno
as Mookie
Laraine Newman
as Teenage Louise
Al Chalk
as The Chesterfield
Sam Harkness
as The Chesterfield
Arnold McCuller
as The Chesterfield
Jeff Altman
as Lennie Richfield
Moosie Drier
as Artie Moress
John Lehne
as District Attorney
Kenny Vane
as Prof. La Plano
Chuck Berry
as Himself
Kenny Vance
as Prof. La Piano
Stephen Pearlman
as Peter Overmyer
Keene Curtis
as Mr. Leonard
Hamilton Camp
as Louie Morgan
Carl Earl Weaver
as Member of The Chesterfields
Joe Esposito
as Pianotone
Richard Roat
as Newscaster #1
Matthew Tobin
as Artie's Dad
Bobby Johnson
as Tap Dancer
Elmer Valentine
as Union Man
Charles Irwin
as Timmy and the Tangerine
Jo Ann Harris
as Timmy and the Tangerine
John Hawker
as Janitor
Heather Lowe
as Harriet (D.A.'s Secretary)
Nora Denney
as Louise's Mom
Garry Goodrow
as Louise's Dad
Arnold Johnson
as Arnold (Musician in Bar)
Larry Hankin
as Diamond's Manger
Dina Ousley
as Stage Manger's Date
Lonna Montrose
as Girl at Bar
Johnny Haymer
as Song Plugger
Michael Heit
as Mr. Morris (Manager)
Tom Baker
as Vinnie (Promo Man)
Fil Formicola
as Man Singing in the Hallway
Mary Peters
as "Big Red"
Howard Storm
as Billy Russo
Richard Perry
as George (Record Producer)
Cameron Crowe
as Delivery Boy
View All

Critic Reviews for American Hot Wax

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1)

If you can believe what you see in "American Hot Wax," the only person in the New York record business taking bribes in 1959 was the janitor at Freed's radio station.

May 7, 2017 | Full Review…

American Hot Wax moves at a fast pace not unlike the music that is almost constantly playing in the background.

August 5, 2021 | Full Review…

Perhaps a reel is missing.

November 1, 2019 | Full Review…

... a solid stellar performance by Tim McIntire, and if he doesn't manage to save the film, he gives it a much-needed center of gravity.

September 18, 2010 | Full Review…

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