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The Gene Krupa Story (1959)

The story of legendary jazz drummer, Gene Krupa. Since his youth, all Gene ever wanted to do is play the drums and make music. This is something his parents would not approve of- they want ... See full summary »

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Gene Krupa
...
Ethel Maguire
...
Eddie Sirota
...
Dorissa Dinell
...
Gloria Corregio
Lawrence Dobkin ...
Speaker Willis
...
Mother
Red Nichols ...
Himself
...
Anita O'Day ...
Herself
...
Davey Tough
...
Himself
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Storyline

The story of legendary jazz drummer, Gene Krupa. Since his youth, all Gene ever wanted to do is play the drums and make music. This is something his parents would not approve of- they want him to be a priest. When Gene's father dies he promises to enter the priesthood. He soon realizes that he doesn't belong there and leaves to join his friend, Eddie's band. Ethel, Eddie's girlfriend, convinces Gene to go to New York and make it big. The 3 of them head to New York. Here Ethel and Gene soon fall in love and Gene makes a name for himself. Gene starts to live in the fast lane, with drugs, alcohol, women and parties. Ethel, unhappy with Gene's lifestyle, leaves him. Gene soon "hits rock bottom" where he has to face reality and choose where to take his life. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

band | drugs | drummer | jazz | seminary | See All (32) »

Taglines:

He hammered out the savage tempo of the jazz era! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jazz-Ekstase  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film opened in Krupa's hometown of Chicago at the Schiller Theatre on January 15, 1960 both Gene Krupa and Sal Mineo were on hand to greet the public and sign "fan fotos." See more »

Goofs

In the final scene, when Krupa makes his comeback appearance with Tommy Dorsey's band, the set he's playing changes in the close-ups from the front left. The high hat cymbals are in a different position, and the tom tom to his left disappears completely. See more »

Quotes

[Gene is offered a marijuana cigarette]
Gene Krupa: Reefers huh? So that's what they look like.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Police Story: The Broken Badge (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Sunny Side of the Street
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Gene Krupa recast as Sputnik Teen Idol.
2 May 2007 | by See all my reviews

Competent, slick and well photographed, but fairly banal treatment of the famous drummer.

Almost no attempt is made to visually set the story in the twenties and thirties. Thus, the film abounds in an abundance of visual anachronisms, including fifties architecture, decor, and clothing, (Misses Kohner and Craig wear Dior style shirtwaist dirndls throughout, whilst Miss Oliver wears Capri style cocktail pants!--nowhere is there a cloche hat, aigrette or dropped waist). Only slight sartorial concessions are made for the men, (a few bowler hats and double breasted vests)

These inaccuracies no doubt accrue from the fact that the picture is being pitched wholesale to the 1959 teen audience and not to their parents.

For his part, Mr. Mineo does exceedingly well, though at times he does lapse into hipster posturing, (in his finger pointing angry scenes he appears to be imitating Ben Gazzara). Given his extreme youth, however, he demonstrates more poise and depth than his teen idol peers. The only really embarrassing moments come when he is depicted as a cassock clad seminarian in prayer.

If nothing else, this film provides your only chance to see Sal Mineo in spats.


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