A group of concerned adults try to ban that newfangled Rock & Roll music in their town because they think that the music promotes juvenile delinquency. It's now up to a disc jockey and his Beatnik-ish right-hand man to defend the music in a televised trial. The movie also features several rock and roll performances, most notably from Fats Domino.
This film features examples of:
- Actor Allusion: Dick Miller plays Officer Paisley in the remake, named after his character, Walter Paisley from A Bucket of Blood.
- The '50s: The movie is a window to the early days of rock 'n' roll in the '50s, in the vein of Rock Around the Clock and Go, Johnny, Go!.
- As Himself: There are some rock 'n' roll acts who appear, most notably Fats Domino.
- Beatnik: Axe is an example in that, while he doesn't have the stereotypical look, he has the language down to a T, daddy-o. He seems to be what would have been called a Hipster at the time the film was made.note This is what makes him express empathy towards the rock 'n' roll cause.
- Dance Party Ending: Of course the film ends with the youngsters dancing after rock 'n' roll is saved, with the older people (now convinced that they had nothing to worry about) joining in.
- Excited Show Title!: Shake, Rattle & Rock!
- Moral Guardians: The older people who try to ban rock 'n' roll.
- The New Rock & Roll: The elder people preach against the evils of rock music and attempt to have it forbidden, thinking that it promotes juvenile delinquency.
- The Power of Rock: Played straight.
- The Remake: Had a made for TV one, directed by Lou Arkoff in 1994.
- Slobs vs. Snobs: The snobbish elder adults antagonize the rock 'n' roll-listening youth. The film's Tagline is in fact, "Rock 'n' Rock vs. the 'Squares'".