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The Gene Krupa Story (1959)

6.8
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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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Title: The Gene Krupa Story (1959)

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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:

The Pounding Story of a Jazz Great! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jazz-Ekstase  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

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 scene between Gene and Ethel, right after Gene's mother argues with him in the speakeasy about the priesthood, Ethel's small handbag on the table is closer to her on the close-in shots than it is on the longer shots. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Death in Hollywood (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Let There Be Love
Music by Lionel Rand
Lyrics by Ian Grant
Sung by James Darren
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Bang The Drum Briskly
25 April 2006 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

If you've ever wanted to be a drummer this is the film for you. Even if the sounds of percussion instruments leave you with a pounding headache, it's still a good film to watch, for the acting and for the general atmosphere the film evokes.

With a straightforward, linear plot, "The Gene Krupa Story" highlights some of the career events of the legendary drummer, from his high school days in Chicago until his comeback from the depths, following an unfortunate incident in San Francisco. Krupa comes across in the film as outgoing, ambitious, single-minded, determined, and unable to handle success.

The story spans roughly a twenty year period from the late 1920s to the late 1940. Sal Mineo has the title role ... and what an acting job! In scenes with dialogue, his performance is intense, subtle, and very convincing. But, when Mineo mimics Krupa's frenetic drum solos, Mineo's performance is electrifying.

Both Susan Kohner as Krupa's love interest, and Susan Oliver as a femme fatale with attitude, further elevate the overall acting level. And the B&W cinematography from Charles Lawton, Jr., combined with smoke filled rooms and jazzy/blues music, is wonderfully suggestive of the beat generation of the 1950s, even though we are supposed to believe that it is an earlier era.

On the downside, the story is only partly factual. Production values are hardly better than average, and the editing is at times sloppy. The film has an inexplicably abrupt ending.

Overall, I recommend this film for the jazzy atmosphere of a bygone era, and especially for the high quality acting. "The Gene Krupa Story" is worth watching, if for no other reason than to marvel at Sal Mineo's ability to bang the drum briskly.


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