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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:

A jazz-man of the wide-open '20s - caught in the crossfire of its blazing .38s! 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

In August 1957, this film was being widely shown on a double bill with The Last Hunt (1956). 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

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

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Stiff drama highlighted by great musical performances
5 November 1998 | by buxSee all my reviews

This could just as easily be titled 'Joe Friday's Blues'! Webb still has the cop demeanor in this rather routine story of a blues band leader during the 20s. Lord, even the narration is reminiscent of Dragnet. Now, having said all that, how can you not like a movie with a supporting cast of Marvin, Milner, Divine, Leigh, Lee, O'brian, and Fitzgerald? The musical numbers are sensational, and one can detect real admiration on Webb's face when he watches Lee and Ella perform; accordingly, this was Webb's labor of love. Watch for Andy Divine in a role unlike any you've seen him in before.


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