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Blues in the Night (1941)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 November 1941 (USA)
"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 »

Director:

Anatole Litvak

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

"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

Taglines:

2 GRAND BANDS! JIMMY LUNCEFORD'S and WILL OSBORNE'S! MUSIC GALORE! (original print media ad - mostly caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Brad and Kay crash their car toward the end of the movie, The car looks like a '40 or '41 Buick. The car in the crash is an much older car. See more »

Quotes

Brad Ames: Before it's too late, get her out of your system.
Jigger Pine: I don't think I can. I just don't think I can.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sucker Punch (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

In Waikiki
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung a cappella by Jack Carson, Peter Whitney and Elia Kazan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Film Noir meets Jazz
12 November 2009 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

This is a very offbeat kind of film that is not well known. You'll either really love it - I do - or you'll not care for it at all. Anatole Litvak, who directed so many womens' pictures, directs this odd little film that starts out as a kind of "small town band does good" picture, takes a turn into gangster territory, and then gets really dark with a venture into film noir and mental illness. Nobody in this film was a big name at the time, and I get the feeling it was one of those films that Warner's liked to grind out like sausages in the 30's and 40's that just happened to turn out to be rather special. Great performances are turned in from everyone involved, which includes Priscilla Lane as a good girl with depth, Lloyd Nolan as a gangster with a touch of the entrepreneurial and even a bit of a mentor, Jack Carson as a heel with a large bag of excuses for his behavior, Betty Field as the gangster's moll who aspires to be a singer and also ruins men as a hobby, and Richard Whorf as the musician and bandleader who falls for the moll and also into temporary insanity. Also note that future great director Elia Kazan shows up playing a small part as one of the bandmembers.

Released just three weeks before the beginning of World War II, it provides a snapshot of how the Depression and the era of the gangster were receding into memory just as an age of optimism was beginning that would go on hiatus during the war effort, and restart and peak after the war was over. Great atmosphere and great acting - highly recommended.


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