The Twist was such a huge dance craze during the 1960s that it spawned several movies whose plots were based on the dance. These two films from the early 60s really are just excuses to put long twist scenes up on the big screen. Both films star Twist legend Chubby Checker.
Twist Around the Clock:
Director: Oscar Rudolph
With only a couple of changes, this film is almost a carbon copy of the earlier film entitled, "Rock Around the Clock". This is the first time it is available on DVD. The only reason to watch this film, with a paper thin plot and pretty bad acting, is the dance sequences.
Mitch Mason (John Cronin – first film) is a talent agent who books rock 'n roll acts. The only problem is that rock is dying out so jobs are few and far between. Mitch and his pal Dizzy (Alvy Moore – Herbie Rides Again, There's No Business Like Show Business) decide to go to New York to see if they can find any work. On their way to New York by car they stop overnight in a small town. In the town they attend a dance and discover the kids doing a new dance they call "The Twist". Mitch believes that he has found what he is looking for, so he gets a band and brother and sister dance act, Larry (Jeff Parker – appeared in episodes of Leave It to Beaver) and Tina Louden (Mary Mitchel – appeared in episodes of Perry Mason and Gomer Pyle) to practice together as an act he can book. Now all Mitch has to do is convince Joe Marshall (Tol Avery – North By Northwest), a booking agent he used to work for, to book the act. This is going to be tricky as Mitch used to date Joe's daughter Debbie (Maura McGiveney – appeared in episodes of Hawaii Five-O), who still has her eye on him. Mitch has to figure out a way to have his cake and eat it too.
Don't Knock The Twist:
Director: Oscar Rudolph
Ted Haver (Lang Jeffries – star of several Mexican films) is a television network executive. He is assigned the job of rounding up a top-notch lineup of musicians and dancers for a television special featuring America's newest dance craze, The Twist. The bad news is that he only has four weeks to do it. Haver turns to his buddy Chubby Checker (yes, that Chubby Checker!) for some help rounding up the talent. While on a weekend away with his girlfriend, fashion designer, Dulcie Corbin (Mari Blanchard – Copacabana), Haver stumbles upon a girl who is a great twister. He decides to use Madge (Georgine Darcy – Rear Window) in what might be the biggest night of his career. Dulcie sees what is going on between Haver and Madge and does not like it one bit. She decides to sabotage the show and have the censors blow a fuse.
Once again this is a film in which the dancing is the only bright spot in it. It is so formulaic that you will find yourself yawning ten minutes in. The story is only an afterthought to the long dance numbers featuring pretty young things shaking their tailfeathers.