6.4/10
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36 user 17 critic

Pete Kelly's Blues (1955)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Music | 31 July 1955 (USA)
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.

Director:

Jack Webb
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Webb ... Pete Kelly
Janet Leigh ... Ivy Conrad
Edmond O'Brien ... Fran McCarg
Peggy Lee ... Rose Hopkins
Andy Devine ... George Tenell
Lee Marvin ... Al Gannaway
Ella Fitzgerald ... Maggie Jackson
Martin Milner ... Joey Firestone
Than Wyenn Than Wyenn ... Rudy Shulak
Herbert Ellis Herbert Ellis ... Bedido (as Herb Ellis)
John Dennis ... Guy Bettenhouser
Jayne Mansfield ... Cigarette Girl
Mort Marshall ... Cootie Jacobs
Moe Schneider Moe Schneider ... Trombonist (Big 7)
George Van Eps George Van Eps ... Guitarist (Big 7)
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Storyline

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. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All the Drama...Color...Glamor of the Exciting Jazz-Mad 20's!...with its great music, flappers, quick money! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Webb actually knew how to play the cornet. He loved jazz music and, as a boy, was given a cornet by a musician who lived near his home. While he never truly mastered the instrument, he knew it well enough that his handling and fingering of the cornet in this movie is accurate. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
New Orleans Funeral Mourner: Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust, If the women don't get you, The whiskey must.
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Crazy Credits

Harper Goff's credit is followed by (courtesy Walt Disney Productions) See more »

Connections

Spin-off Pete Kelly's Blues (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Just a Closer Walk with Thee
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by choir of Israelite Spiritual Church, New Orleans
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User Reviews

A positive reaction to the film.
29 November 2004 | by larryliddellSee all my reviews

"Pete Kelly's Blues" is, in my humble opinion, like a lot of Jack Webb's work, an underrated movie. Even as a teenager, I realized in 1955 that the movie had a dark plot but at the same time was highlighted by great musical performances. Jack got an academy award performance from Peggy Lee and outstanding performances from Ella Fitzgerald, Edmund O'Brien and Martin Milner, to say nothing of Janet Leigh, whose performance was good. Jack was not liked by a lot of people in Hollywood who panned his work. With the exception of "Dragnet", the TV show and the movies, "Pete Kelly's Blues" was Jack's most important work, if not the most appreciated. It's a shame when personalities interfere with an appraisal of someone's work.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 July 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pete Kelly's Blues See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mark VII Ltd. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)| Mono (RCA Sound Recording) (optical prints)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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