Everett records “Don’t Leave Me Now” and Van Alden shops it around, finally selling it to a new label, but when she and Everett go to the store to buy copies, they find out that Everett’s arrangement had been stolen by Mickey Alba as the label wanted a proven star. Not willing to give up, Everett decides to form his own label with Van Alden distributing the records. Everett’s new song, “Treat Me Nice,” is a big hit and Everett is on his way.
In his lust for fame though though, Everett forgets the people who helped get him there. When Houghton is freed from jail, Everett reluctantly agrees to let his old-style country number into his TV appearance — the same one that features the dynamic “Jailhouse Rock” dance number. Houghton’s song gets cut and he reminds Everett of the contract while Everett reminds him of the mail scam. They compromise and Houghton becomes Everett’s paid flunky, forced to do such tasks as walking the dogs. When Everett treats Van Alden poorly though, it is all Houghton can take and he takes several swings at Everett. Not wanting to hurt the older Houghton, Everett doesn’t fight back; something Van Alden considers an act of love. Everett once again wins over her affections. Houghton had given Everett what he had coming to him and Shaughnessy delivers the scene convincingly. Likewise, Presley succeeds in making Everett a very unlikable character prior to his redemption.
This DVD is part of the Elvis 75th Anniversary DVD Collection and was supposed to include a commentary by the director, a retrospective featurettes, the theatrical trailer and soundtrack in both Dolby 5.1 stereo as well as the original mono. Instead, one may select the language or view the trailer. This is an obvious mistake on the part of Warner Brothers that will hopefully be corrected in later pressings.
Jailhouse Rock is different from most Presley films in that he plays the antihero. He was a killer; he curses and treats everyone with disdain, making the film edgy for its time and certainly among Presley films. When people say Presley had the potential to be a good actor, they point to films such as Jailhouse Rock as proof. Sadly, Presley was ever given much of a chance to prove himself with more serious material — especially post Army — and the world will never know Presley’s true acting potential.