6.5/10
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34 user 12 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.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Pete Kelly
... Ivy Conrad
... Fran McCarg
... Rose Hopkins
... George Tenell
... Al Gannaway
... Maggie Jackson
... Joey Firestone
Than Wyenn ... Rudy Shulak
Herbert Ellis ... Bedido (as Herb Ellis)
... Guy Bettenhouser
... Cigarette Girl
Mort Marshall ... Cootie Jacobs
Moe Schneider ... Trombonist (Big 7)
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:

Language:

Release Date:

31 July 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Es geschah in einer Nacht  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)| (RCA Sound Recording) (optical prints)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The release date above lists 31 July 1955, yet in a special episode of "Colgate Variety Hour" (24 July 1955) devoted to this film, Jack Webb emphasizes, complete with a written out sign, the date August 1, 1955 is the big day. See more »

Quotes

Ivy Conrad: What are you doing?
Pete Kelly: Making tea.
Ivy Conrad: Could I have some?
Pete Kelly: You won't like it. I'm using water.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Very stylish and a little confusing
16 January 2010 | by See all my reviews

This film is musically great with a couple of numbers by Ella Fitzgerald. However, this is not anything close to a musical. Rather it is a 20's gangster tale that involves Pete Kelly (Jack Webb) and his band. For those of you who remember Dragnet, Webb's narration might have you thinking of Dragnet just a little too much. Webb also directed this film, and he did a great job of giving it a real 20's feel. You don't feel like you're looking at a bunch of people from the 50's dressed up for a 20's costume party.

The only thing bad I can say about it is I had a hard time figuring out Pete Kelly's motivation. A person close to him is killed, and he is ready to give in to the gangster responsible and forget the whole thing ever happened. He finds out another person he barely knows has been killed by the same gangster and he's ready for war. He tosses an eager and beautiful Janet Leigh out of his room in one scene, and in the next scene he's overjoyed to see her to the point of wanting to marry her. The clinical acting style that worked so well for Webb in Dragnet just left me a little confused here. Still, overall, I would recommend it.


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