IMDb > Pete Kelly's Blues (1955)
Pete Kelly's Blues
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Pete Kelly's Blues (1955) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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6.5/10   634 votes »
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Up 214% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Contact:
View company contact information for Pete Kelly's Blues on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 July 1955 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A jazz-man of the wide-open '20s - caught in the crossfire of its blazing .38s! See more »
Plot:
It was Kansas City, not New Orleans. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(4 articles)
Martin Scorsese's 15 Favorite Gangster Flicks
 (From Cinematical. 9 September 2010, 6:15 PM, PDT)

Reese Witherspoon set to play Peggy Lee in Nora Ephron's biopic
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 10 August 2010, 3:47 AM, PDT)

Actress Janet Leigh Dies at 77
 (From IMDb News. 4 October 2004)

User Reviews:
The hole in the donut See more (29 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jack Webb ... Pete Kelly

Janet Leigh ... Ivy Conrad

Edmond O'Brien ... Fran McCarg

Peggy Lee ... Rose Hopkins

Andy Devine ... George Tenell

Lee Marvin ... Al Gannaway

Ella Fitzgerald ... Maggie Jackson

Martin Milner ... Joey Firestone
Than Wyenn ... Rudy Shulak
Herbert Ellis ... Bedido (as Herb Ellis)
John Dennis ... Guy Bettenhouser

Jayne Mansfield ... Cigarette Girl
Mort Marshall ... Cootie Jacobs
Moe Schneider ... Band member (Big 7)
George Van Eps ... Guitarist (Big 7)
Ray Sherman ... Band member (Big 7)
Matty Matlock ... Band member (Big 7)
Eddie Miller ... Band member (Big 7)
Nick Fatool ... Drummer (Big 7)
Jud De Naut ... Bassist (Big 7)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Don Abney ... Piano Player (uncredited)
Perry Bodkin ... Tuxedo Band Member (uncredited)

Nesdon Booth ... Squat Henchman (uncredited)
Teddy Buckner ... Cornet Soloist (uncredited)
Dick Cathcart ... Trumpet Player / Webb's Cornet Double (uncredited)
Harper Goff ... Tuxedo Band Banjo Player (uncredited)
Jester Hairston ... Mourner, Pre-Credit Sequence (uncredited)
Jimmie Horan ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Drunk in Speakeasy (uncredited)
William Lazeras ... Dako (uncredited)
Hank Mann ... Argumentative Husband in Speakeasy (uncredited)

Harry Morgan ... (uncredited)

'Snub' Pollard ... Waiter (uncredited)
Herman S. Saunders ... Pianist at Jazz Club (uncredited)
Joe Venuti ... Tuxedo Band Member (uncredited)

Directed by
Jack Webb 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Richard L. Breen 

Produced by
Jack Webb .... producer
 
Original Music by
David Buttolph (uncredited)
Ray Heindorf (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Harold Rosson  (as Hal Rosson)
 
Film Editing by
Robert M. Leeds 
 
Production Design by
Harper Goff 
 
Art Direction by
Feild M. Gray  (as Feild Gray)
 
Set Decoration by
John Sturtevant 
 
Costume Design by
Howard Shoup 
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup artist
Stanley E. Campbell .... makeup artist (as Stanley Campbell)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Harry D'Arcy .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Leslie G. Hewitt .... sound
Dolph Thomas .... sound
 
Stunts
Helen Thurston .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
James Potevin .... chief set electrician
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gene Martin .... wardrober
 
Music Department
Matty Matlock .... music arranger: Pete Kelly's Big 7
Teddy Buckner .... musician: cornet (uncredited)
Larry Bunker .... musican: drums (uncredited)
Frank Comstock .... conductor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Harry B. Friedman .... publicist (uncredited)
William Guthrie .... location chief (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
95 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (WarnerColor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints) | Mono (RCA Sound Recording) (optical prints)
Certification:

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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Bye Bye BlackbirdSee more »

FAQ

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27 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
The hole in the donut, 9 June 2003
Author: schappe1 from N Syracuse NY

This was Jack Webb's labor of love and his big shot at big screen stardom. Humphrey Bogart was aging, (and soon to die), and perhaps Webb saw himself as an heir to his thrown. He certainly was a lover of everything about the 1920's into which he was born and of the jazz of the time in particular. He was a competent actor, (quite good in 1950's "The Men", opposite Marlon Brando) but ultimately lacked the presence and ability necessary for stardom. he we see him completely outacted by two who did, Edmund O'Brien and Lee Marvin, (who would have been a fabulous choice to play Pete Kelly). Webb seems trapped in his Joe Friday characterization. Particularly poor his the scene where he first confronts O'Brien, as gangster McClarg, in anger. Kelly, (Webb), knocks out McClarg's henchmen. McClarg then breaks a bottle on the bar and offers Kelly a chance to beat him to it. Kelly then shrinks into intimidation and sulks out. The scene is preposterous to begin with: why would Kelly be intimidated by McClarg when he's just kayoed hi body guard? But Webb clearly has no idea how to play it. He just stars blankly at O'Brien, then turns around and, hunched over and with his arms dangling lifelessly at his side, he marches out stage left while the music swells up to convey Kelly's humiliation to us much more effectively than Webb does.

Where Webb really excelled was as a director. He opens this with a shot of a New Orleans jazz funeral. Period detail is exquisite throughout. The dialog is snappy and authentic. The music, of course is great if jazz is to your taste. Any film with both Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald singing in it is work a listen. This one is worth a look, as well. There are great camera shots, particularly when one of Kelly's associates gets gunned down in an alley. The final confrontation is exciting and well-staged. As noted below, it was clearly influential to modern directors. The cast of the film is uniformly excellent except for Webb himself. Peggy Lee is great and one wonders why a significant acting career didn't follow. O'Brien, in a rare villain role, is forceful without the overacting he's often guilty of. Marvin dominates every scene he's in and Martin Milner, a much underrated actor, is excellent in an early role as well. Andy Devine is a revelation as a tough cop. You've got to see it to believe it. Janet Leigh appears as Kelly's girlfriend. She's essentially window dressing but very attractive window dressing. But it's hard to tell what attracted her to Kelly. Webb is so stiff an uncomfortable in their romantic scenes that their relationship is hardly credible.

This film would probably be regarded as a classic today if Webb had not insisted on playing the lead, but who can blame him? It was his big chance on the big screen. He created an exquisite donut to star in. But this donut had a hole in it and he was that hole.

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