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Pete Kelly’s Blues

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.

With:
Jack Webb Janet Leigh Edmond O'Brien Peggy Lee Andy Devine Lee Marvin

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)

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Pete Kelly's Blues

Production: Mark VII/Warner. Director Jack Webb; Producer [uncredited]; Screenplay Richard L. Breen; Camera Hal Rosson; Editor Robert M. Leeds; Music Matty Matlock (arr.); Art Director Harper Goff

Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1955. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: Jack Webb Janet Leigh Edmond O'Brien Peggy Lee Andy Devine Lee Marvin

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