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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:

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

Features Peggy Lee's only Oscar nominated performance. 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

Pete Kelly's Blues
Music by Ray Heindorf
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald
See more »

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User Reviews

If you can only see one existential noir gangster musical...
11 April 2000 | by marcslopeSee all my reviews

What a weird brew this one is! The toughness of a gangster pic, the existential malhereuse of a trendy European epic, the fine '20s sounds of a period musical, all in Warners wide screen. Webb's production design is arty and interesting, and Lee Marvin is really, really good in a supporting role. There's terse, snappy dialogue that sounds like it's out of a much later movie, and a killer finale that clearly influenced Coppola, Scorsese, and practially every other showy director of that generation.


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