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?


"Pete Kelly's Blues" was originally a radio series created by Richard L. Breen and starring Jack Webb. It ran on NBC as a summer replacement series from July 4 to September 19, 1951. It later became a short-lived TV series (Pete Kelly's Blues (1959)), produced by Webb. 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 »


I'm Gonna Meet My Sweetie Now
Music by Jesse Greer
Lyrics by Benny Davis
Performed by Janet Leigh
See more »

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User Reviews

One of Peg's Greatest Moments
22 January 2002 | by (Fords,NJ) – See all my reviews

Great Singer, reknowned composer, Peggy lee had a chance to really act and act she did in Pete Kellys Blues earning her an Oscar nomination and many fans...She died today (1/22/02), and the world is a lot less brighter.. This is one of the few glimpses we get to see her in her heydey, beautiful, young and talented... This film should be treasured for that alone plus some fine singing by not only Peg, but the great Ella Fitzgerald... for these reasons alone this flick is worth seeing buying and reissuing/ contrived maybe, poorly directed possibly but to see Peggy Lee on film singing and emoting, and earning an Oscar nom., that alone is worth the price/ also look for an ingenue, Jayne mansfield in the chorus... thank you Jack Webb also

15 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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