Where Are They? American Hot Wax

An occasional series on missing films. They are rarely, if ever, shown on TV and have never been released on video in any form. If anyone has any knowledge where these films have been shown, TV, a film festival or in a basement in your house please let me know.

Released in 1978 “American Hot Wax” has never seen the light of day on home video in any format. Based on the life of Alan Freed who started as a DJ in Cleveland and eventually moved to New York.

Tim McIntire’s portrayal of Freed is arguably the best performance of his career. McIntire would ironically die at almost the same age as Freed in 1986.

Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Frankie Ford and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins perform and portray themselves.

The film also stars Lorraine Newman, Fran Drescher and Jay Leno.

Kenny Vance, original member of Jay and the Americans also appears with The Brooklyn Dreams as  The Planotones,  a fictional group. Later on Kenny Vance would use The Plantones name to perform and is still doing live shows as Kenny Vance and The Planotones.

Freed did appear in some early rock and roll films as himself.

Rock Around the Clock

Go, Johnny, Go

Mister Rock and Roll

Don’t Knock the Rock


19 comments on “Where Are They? American Hot Wax

  1. Chris, a librarian says:

    Not a bad little film if I remember correctly (Though it’s been years). Surprised to heare you say that it hasn’t been released on video in some form. I do like Tim Mcintyre. I remember him as Caine’s brother on the final episode of Kung Fu, among other things.


    • John Greco says:


      Like yourself I have not seen this film in years but it was decent and deserves to be better known.

      Welcome and please stop by again!


  2. Sam Juliano says:

    John: I’ll begin a search, but I can’t say I know of any of these being released. Of course I’d love to have copies myself!


    • John Greco says:

      Freed was also in a film called Rock, Rock, Rock that was out on VHS in the early days of home vid (the Video Shack days). I never did get a copy at the time and have not seen it since.


  3. Dylan Thomas Hayden says:

    I saw this film at the when it came out. I was eight years old and enjoyed it immensely, becoming an obsessive fan of early rock’n’roll at that tender age. There was a soundtrack album which I had, and I believe it was shown on television, perhaps HBO, in the early 80’s.


    • John Greco says:


      Welcome and thanks you for the information. We have to keep as many eyes out ofr any showing of this film as possible.


    • Burke says:

      WOW, your experience after watching American Hot Wax is almost identical to mine. I saw the movie in a theater back in 78′ at the age of 9. Other than that, every thing else is almost the same.

      Like acquiring an obsession with the music of the mid 50’s to early 60’s after watching the movie. I also had an 8 track tape of the movies sound track album that I played over-and-over again. But, after they stopped making stereo’s with 8 track players, the album became worthless. I have an Lp of the Sound track but nowhere to play it, and I don’t think they ever made a cassette tape or CD of the soundtrack.


  4. Dylan Thomas Hayden says:

    *at the TIME it came out!


  5. Stan says:

    This movie is available in DVD from The Video Beat


  6. Earl Bailey says:

    Just wanted to know if the LP is going to be transferred to CD. I have the LP from the seventies but nobody has a listing for it on CD.


  7. keith morris says:

    Please be aware that any of the versions mentioned are available they are bootlegs of varying quality since this movie has never been released officially and some of those sites are bogus or offer poor quality…haven’t seen it on tv since hbo in the early to mid 80s where my copy came from


  8. Jim Mc says:

    The full film can be viewed on myspace though the quality isn’t that good, but well worth watching anyway. Always loved this movie and the soundtrack my Dad had on LP…lost in my attic somewhere.

    Anyway, google “American Hot Wax videos” and click the myspace link. It brings you to the movie.



    • John Greco says:

      Jim thanks for the information and the link. The film can also be purchased from the Kenny Vance and the Planatones website. Vance was one of the original Jay and the Americans. He also was in the film AMERICAN HOT WAX and now tours with The Plantones who back in 1978 were a ficticious group in AHW.



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