6.5/10
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34 user 13 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
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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 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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It was the jazz-mad wide open '20s-great music, bad booze-and a bullet if you didn't jump for the mob. This is the story of a man who wouldn't jump. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 July 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Es geschah in einer Nacht See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,000,000, 31 December 1955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mark VII Ltd. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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
See full technical specs »
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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

Ivy Conrad: You don't want to get married Pete; unless you find a girl that looks like a cornet. I'm short three valves. I might as well pack up an move someplace else.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Colgate Comedy Hour: Episode #5.33 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Sing a Rainbow
Written by Arthur Hamilton
Sung by Peggy Lee
See more »

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User Reviews

 
All That Jazz
4 November 2002 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

Jack Webb takes up the trumpet and takes on local gangsters in this colorful if at times somewhat peculiar movie about jazz musicians in the Kansas City of the Roaring Twenties. The story is disappointingly shallow and by-the-numbers, but there's some great music and songs from, among others, Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald, courtesy of Ray Heindorf and Sammy Cahn.

Webb was a strange case. A true pioneer of early television production, and in his way a true innovator, he made a virtue out of impassivity. He directs this one with more energy than his TV shows, but the dryness and apathy are still there. When he's dealing with conventional players, like Martin Milner, it's like he's directing himself. But when he's got a live wire, like Lee Marvin, who has a colorful supporting role in this one, or Andy Devine, who has an offbeat one, he seems almost to have the makings of an American Fellini. Deep down, I suspect, that Webb really loved crazy people. He just didn't know how to show it.


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