The Blues Brothers
The second (and last) entry on the list to have spawned from a Saturday Night Live sketch, this time starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as Jake and Elwood Blues, better known as The Blues Brothers. This 1980 blockbuster comedy was directed by John Landis and was filled to the brim with both cinematic and musical cameos which included some of the greatest rock and roll stars in history such as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown and even Cab Calloway. If that’s not rock and roll enough for you by the time the film was released The Blues Brothers had already become a chart-topping musical act, they’re the real deal.
Inside Llewyn Davis
The offbeat and quirky tones of the Coen Brothers’ films may not bring rock and roll to mind but much of their work revolves around music (see O’ Brother Where art Thou for some major country folk influence), Inside Llewyn Davis is one of those movies, revolving around the rock folk movement of the 1960s. It is arguably one of their bleakest of stories that tells the tale of a struggling artist played by Oscar Isaac who seems to be just a little too ahead of his genres time, you see him as a struggling artist, ruining relationships and making terrible decisions just to get by. It’s a story that tells us of the lack of justice in the search for success.
Pink Floyd – The Wall
This is a film that is inspired by Pink Floyd’s album The Wall, one of the biggest selling rock albums of all time. It takes so much inspiration from the music that the film produced is a surreal tale with very little dialog and a huge emphasis on image and symbology. Granted, the film is not for everyone but those that consider film to be a form of art and expressionism will not be disappointed. It plays with the medium, even having several animated segments throughout. It follows a rock star dealing with mental instabilities that have risen thanks to the death of his father when he was baby. It’s something of an uncomfortable watch that digs deep into the meaning of the music and the genre.
A Hard Day’s Night
As per usual no list of rock and roll hits is complete with the inclusion of The Beatles. A Hard Day’s Night was the first of their films and certainly the most influential. It stars the band as themselves and is essentially a string of hijinks leading up to a performance at London’s Apollo theatre. The film at the time must have been an absolute treat and certainly added to their already incredible popularity, in fact the film even plays on this, presenting the likely lads as four normal and nice young men thrown in amongst a maelstrom of attention. It captures the height of rock and roll as well as Beatle mania simultaneously and includes some absolute corkers on the way.