Jazz addicts (usually highly opinionated) may have a special interest in the musical frame. Beyond this special-interest factor is a melodramatic story that catches the mood of the Prohibition era. Jack Webb enacts a cornet player in a 1927 Kansas City speakeasy. Mostly it develops as a gangster picture (without the cops) with a Dixieland accompaniment.
Plot around which the music is woven has to do with the move-in into the band field by Edmond O’Brien, smalltime bootlegger-racketeer, and the abortive efforts at resistance made by Webb to protect his small outfit. Webb’s understatement of his character is good and Peggy Lee scores a personal hit with her portrayal of a fading singer taken to the bottle.
1955: Nomination: Best Supp. Actress (Peggy Lee)