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 ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
If you can only see one existential noir gangster musical...
What a weird brew this one is! The toughness of a gangster pic, the existential malhereuse of a trendy European epic, the fine '20s sounds of a period musical, all in Warners wide screen. Webb's production design is arty and interesting, and Lee Marvin is really, really good in a supporting role. There's terse, snappy dialogue that sounds like it's out of a much later movie, and a killer finale that clearly influenced Coppola, Scorsese, and practially every other showy director of that generation.
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