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Pete Kelly's Blues (1955)

 |  Crime, Drama, Music  |  31 July 1955 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 730 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 9 critic

It was Kansas City, not New Orleans.

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Title: Pete Kelly's Blues (1955)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Fran McCarg
...
Rose Hopkins
...
George Tenell
...
Al Gannaway
...
Maggie Jackson
...
Joey Firestone
Than Wyenn ...
Rudy Shulak
Herbert Ellis ...
Bedido (as Herb Ellis)
John Dennis ...
Guy Bettenhouser
...
Cigarette Girl
Mort Marshall ...
Cootie Jacobs
Moe Schneider ...
Band member (Big 7)
George Van Eps ...
Guitarist (Big 7)
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Storyline

In 1927 Kansas City Pete Kelly and his jazz band play nightly at a speakeasy. A local gangster starts to move in on them and when their drummer is killed Kelly gives in, even though this also means taking the thug's alcoholic girl as a singer. Kelly soon realises he has made a big mistake selling out in this way and that rich girl Ivy is now the only decent thing in his life. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A jazz-man of the wide-open '20s - caught in the crossfire of its blazing .38s! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 July 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Es geschah in einer Nacht  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)| (RCA Sound Recording) (optical prints)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Webb actually knew how to play the cornet. He loved jazz music and, as a boy, was given a cornet by a musician who lived near his home. While he never truly mastered the instrument he knew it well enough that his handling and fingering of the cornet in this movie is accurate. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Colgate Comedy Hour: Episode #5.33 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Pete Kelly's Blues
Music by Ray Heindorf
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald
See more »

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User Reviews

 
All That Jazz
4 November 2002 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

Jack Webb takes up the trumpet and takes on local gangsters in this colorful if at times somewhat peculiar movie about jazz musicians in the Kansas City of the Roaring Twenties. The story is disappointingly shallow and by-the-numbers, but there's some great music and songs from, among others, Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald, courtesy of Ray Heindorf and Sammy Cahn.

Webb was a strange case. A true pioneer of early television production, and in his way a true innovator, he made a virtue out of impassivity. He directs this one with more energy than his TV shows, but the dryness and apathy are still there. When he's dealing with conventional players, like Martin Milner, it's like he's directing himself. But when he's got a live wire, like Lee Marvin, who has a colorful supporting role in this one, or Andy Devine, who has an offbeat one, he seems almost to have the makings of an American Fellini. Deep down, I suspect, that Webb really loved crazy people. He just didn't know how to show it.


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