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Pete Kelly's Blues (1955) - Plot Summary Poster

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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.

  • In 1919, returning soldier Pete Kelly wins a cornet in a crap game. By 1927, he has a small jazz band playing in a Kansas City speakeasy. Gangster Fran McCarg wants extortion money from Pete; hot flapper Ivy Conrad wants Pete in person; but Pete just wants to keep the band together. Against a background of Dixieland jazz, pervasive corruption and angst may finally force Pete to take action.

  • In 1927, a Kansas City, Missouri cornet player and his band perform nightly at a seedy speakeasy until a racketeer tries to extort them in exchange for protection.

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