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Blues in the Night (1941)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 November 1941 (USA)
"Jigger' Lane forms a band that includes singer Ginger 'Character' Powell, wife of the trumpeter Leo Powell, and Nickie Haroyen and Peppi. All of them dedicate themselves to work as a unit ... See full summary »

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(from a play by), (screen play)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
...
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Brad Ames (as Wally Ford)
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Nickie Haroyen
...
Pete Bossett
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Peppi
...
Sam Paryas
...
Blonde
Herbert Heywood ...
Brakeman
...
Joe
...
Barney (as Charles Wilson)
Matt McHugh ...
Drunk
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Storyline

"Jigger' Lane forms a band that includes singer Ginger 'Character' Powell, wife of the trumpeter Leo Powell, and Nickie Haroyen and Peppi. All of them dedicate themselves to work as a unit and to play 'blues' music. The dedication isn't paying off in money and, while riding the rails in a boxcar, they meet and befriend a gangster named Del Davis. He offers them a job at a New Jersey roadhouse, where Powell falls in love with Kay Grant, a former 'real-good friend' of Davis. But when Powell learns that 'Character' is about to have a baby, he returns to her. "Jigger" tries to make Kay the band's singer and, when this fails, runs off with her. She leaves him with nothing to show for him except a nervous breakdown.Back at the roadhouse, after his recovery, Kay shows up, has a quarrel with Davis, shoots and kills him and plans to take back up with "Jigger", who knows better but just can't help himself. While she is waiting in a car for him, along comes cripple Brad Ames, who she put in that... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The 'Inside Story' of the Blues! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

15 November 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hot Nocturne  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut (uncredited, as a jitterbug dancer) of Faith Domergue. See more »

Goofs

When Jigger and his pals are in St. Louis at the beginning of the film, a fight breaks out in the bar they are playing at the bartender calls the cops. The police car shown responding is clearly marked from the New York Police Deptartment, 18th Precinct. See more »

Quotes

Character: [to Kay] I'd slap you in the mouth if I thought it would do you any good.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sucker Punch (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Blues in the Night
(1941)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Played during the opening credits
Sung by William Gillespie (uncredited) in jail
Played and sung by blacks during a montage
Reprised often by Richard Whorf (uncredited) at the piano (dubbed by Stan Wrightman) (uncredited)
Used often as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Little Bit Of This, Little Bit Of That......
19 August 2008 | by See all my reviews

This movie was a bit unusual because it starts off strictly like a musical the first 20 minutes. It had me puzzled; I didn't think I had rented a musical. Well, it wasn't, as it turned out, even though music was a central element in the story. The rest of the film was a combination of drama, film noir and melodrama. At least that's the way I saw it and, yeah, I was glad to see IMDb confirm my description when I got to the title page here to post the review.

The only time the movie bogged down was when it became a little too melodramatic in a few spots. Betty Field ("Kay" )was usually in those scenes, playing a woman with a chip on her shoulder. As I watched her, I thought, "Wow, this woman is tailor-made for film noirs. She could have been another Marie Windsor." Sadly, she wasn't, but she was in a good number of movie and television shows. Still, I think noir would have been the best vehicle for her.

Priscilla Lane plays the female opposite: the wholesome-looking good gal ("Character") who just wants the band to click and for everybody to be happy. Heck, that's what the band in general wants, but "Jigger" is the guy who keeps putting a monkey-wrench into the deal and seems to be the band member whom everyone looks to for leadership.

Richard Worf plays "Jigger," and he's so-so as an actor. The fact he never made it big is understandable. There's a smoothness to his delivery that's missing. His changed his career from acting to directing in 1945 and did better at that. Obviously the same can be said for another member of the band in this story: "Nickie," played by Elia Kazan, who classic film fans know as a very famous director.

When all is said-and-done, actors Lane and Lloyd Nolan ("Del") seemed to be the most "real" in this film, and those two were the ones who had the best careers of this cast, particularly Nolan. Jack Carson and Howard da Silva are also in this movie and they're "known" actors, too.

My favorite part of the movie was a very short scene with about 15 minutes left with "Jigger" was in the hospital and he was hallucinating. The innovative camera-work was terrific, right out of Dali painting. Kudos to director Anatole Litvak for some good closeup shots and interesting camera angles and use of light, in that scene and others in the film. This movie is very well photographed. Ernie Haller was the cinematographer. Haller's resume includes some very famous films.

The odd mix of genres makes this intriguing movie I'm glad I checked out, and I recommended to fellow classic film fans.


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