Pete Kelly's Blues (1955)

 |  Crime, Drama, Music  |  31 July 1955 (USA)
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Reviews: 32 user | 11 critic

It was Kansas City, not New Orleans.


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



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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)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Crime | Drama | Music


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Release Date:

31 July 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Es geschah in einer Nacht  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the office at the bar, a picture of Pres. Warren G Harding is hanging on the wall. See more »


Ivy Conrad: What are you doing?
Pete Kelly: Making tea.
Ivy Conrad: Could I have some?
Pete Kelly: You won't like it. I'm using water.
See more »


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


Breezin' Along With the Breeze
Written by Haven Gillespie, Seymour Simons and Richard A. Whiting
See more »

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User Reviews

Stiff drama highlighted by great musical performances
5 November 1998 | by (Tecumseh ok) – See all my reviews

This could just as easily be titled 'Joe Friday's Blues'! Webb still has the cop demeanor in this rather routine story of a blues band leader during the 20s. Lord, even the narration is reminiscent of Dragnet. Now, having said all that, how can you not like a movie with a supporting cast of Marvin, Milner, Divine, Leigh, Lee, O'brian, and Fitzgerald? The musical numbers are sensational, and one can detect real admiration on Webb's face when he watches Lee and Ella perform; accordingly, this was Webb's labor of love. Watch for Andy Divine in a role unlike any you've seen him in before.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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