31 user 19 critic

Blues in the Night (1941)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 November 1941 (USA)
2:51 | Trailer
"Jigger' Lane forms a band that includes singer Ginger 'Character' Powell, wife of the trumpeter Leo Powell, and Nickie Haroyen and Peppi. All of them dedicate themselves to work as a unit ... See full summary »


Anatole Litvak


Edwin Gilbert (from a play by), Robert Rossen (screen play)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Priscilla Lane ... Ginger 'Character' Powell
Betty Field ... Kay Grant
Richard Whorf ... Jigger Pine
Lloyd Nolan ... Del Davis
Jack Carson ... Leo Powell
Wallace Ford ... Brad Ames
Elia Kazan ... Nickie Haroyen
Peter Whitney ... Pete Bossett
Billy Halop ... Peppi
Howard Da Silva ... Sam Paryas
Joyce Compton ... Blonde
Herbert Heywood Herbert Heywood ... Train Brakeman
George Lloyd ... Joe - St Louis Cafe Owner
Charles C. Wilson ... Barney (as Charles Wilson)
Matt McHugh Matt McHugh ... Drunk


"Jigger' Lane forms a band that includes singer Ginger 'Character' Powell, wife of the trumpeter Leo Powell, and Nickie Haroyen and Peppi. All of them dedicate themselves to work as a unit and to play 'blues' music. The dedication isn't paying off in money and, while riding the rails in a boxcar, they meet and befriend a gangster named Del Davis. He offers them a job at a New Jersey roadhouse, where Powell falls in love with Kay Grant, a former 'real-good friend' of Davis. But when Powell learns that 'Character' is about to have a baby, he returns to her. "Jigger" tries to make Kay the band's singer and, when this fails, runs off with her. She leaves him with nothing to show for him except a nervous breakdown.Back at the roadhouse, after his recovery, Kay shows up, has a quarrel with Davis, shoots and kills him and plans to take back up with "Jigger", who knows better but just can't help himself. While she is waiting in a car for him, along comes cripple Brad Ames, who she put in that... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


5 Songs! 2 Bands! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


John Garfield turned down the role of Jigger Pine. In Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943), Mr. Garfield would parody the already classic, Oscar-nominated song for 1941, "Blues in the Night" (music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Johnny Mercer). See more »


When Jigger and his pals are in St. Louis at the beginning of the film, a fight breaks out in the bar they are playing at the bartender calls the cops. The police car shown responding is clearly marked from the New York Police Deptartment, 18th Precinct. See more »


Jigger Pine: Why, that's the blues, the real low-down New Orleans blues.
Baritone Singer in Jail Cell: [singing] Now the rain's a fallin', hear the train a callin', oooo-ee, Hear the lonesome whistle blowin' 'cross the trestle, oooo-ee, Oooo-ee-a-oooo-ee, o' clickety-clack, Is echoin' back the Blues in the Night...
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Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Matt Groening (2007) See more »


This Time the Dream's on Me
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Played by the band and Sung by Priscilla Lane (uncredited)
Reprised by Betty Field (uncredited)
Played during the end credits
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User Reviews

Almost perfect drama
13 October 2003 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

A band lead by Jigger (Richard Whorf) has trouble landing a job. They get involved with gangster Dell (Lloyd Nolan) who gives them a job at his club. His jealous girlfriend Kay (Betty Field) sets out to destroy the band. Will she?

I'm only giving this a 9 because of the overly familiar story. That aside this is incredible. Nobody in the cast was a name at the time, but they're all very good actors. Field has a fun time in her bad girl role. Nolan is just great as Dell. Whorf is OK as Jigger. Also in the cast (and band) is Jack Carson, future director Elia Kazan and Priscilla Lane (who does wonders with the thankless 'good girl' role). The film is beautifully directed in gorgeous black and white by Anatole Litvak--he makes good use of his low budget and has some very nice sequences using light and shadows. Also there are a few truly bizarre (but fun) montages--they're unlike ANYTHING you'll see in a 1940s film. Also there's some really great music in here.

So...great music, good acting, beautiful photography...and just an OK story.

Still, well worth seeing.

Strange thing about this film--everybody seems to know about it, but it's almost never shown! Try catching it on TCM--their print isn't that great (the image kept shaking) but it's still worth seeing.

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Release Date:

15 November 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hot Nocturne See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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