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Pedro Armendáriz Jr.
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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 <email@example.com>
This film is musically great with a couple of numbers by Ella Fitzgerald. However, this is not anything close to a musical. Rather it is a 20's gangster tale that involves Pete Kelly (Jack Webb) and his band. For those of you who remember Dragnet, Webb's narration might have you thinking of Dragnet just a little too much. Webb also directed this film, and he did a great job of giving it a real 20's feel. You don't feel like you're looking at a bunch of people from the 50's dressed up for a 20's costume party.
The only thing bad I can say about it is I had a hard time figuring out Pete Kelly's motivation. A person close to him is killed, and he is ready to give in to the gangster responsible and forget the whole thing ever happened. He finds out another person he barely knows has been killed by the same gangster and he's ready for war. He tosses an eager and beautiful Janet Leigh out of his room in one scene, and in the next scene he's overjoyed to see her to the point of wanting to marry her. The clinical acting style that worked so well for Webb in Dragnet just left me a little confused here. Still, overall, I would recommend it.
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