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Pete Kelly's Blues (31-Jul-1955)

Director: Jack Webb

Writer: Richard L. Breen

Keywords: Crime, Jazz

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Andy Devine
7-Oct-1905 18-Feb-1977 Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok
Ella Fitzgerald
25-Apr-1917 15-Jun-1996 The First Lady of Jazz
Peggy Lee
26-May-1920 21-Jan-2002 Is That All There Is?
Janet Leigh
6-Jul-1927 4-Oct-2004 Psycho
Jayne Mansfield
19-Apr-1933 29-Jun-1967 The Girl Can't Help It
Lee Marvin
19-Feb-1924 29-Aug-1987 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Martin Milner
28-Dec-1931 6-Sep-2015 LAPD officer Pete Malloy on Adam-12
Edmond O'Brien
10-Sep-1915 9-May-1985 The Great Imposter
Jack Webb
2-Apr-1920 23-Dec-1982 Joe Friday in Dragnet


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   ...   Rudy
Herb Ellis   ...   Bedido
John Dennis   ...   Guy Bettenhouser
Jayne Mansfield   ...   Cigarette Girl
Mort Marshall   ...   Cootie Jacobs
Pete Kelly and His Big Seven   ...   Themselves
featuring the talents of
Dick Cathcart   ...   Bandmember
Matty Matlock   ...   Bandmember
Moe Schneider   ...   Bandmember
Eddie Miller   ...   Bandmember
George Van Eps   ...   Bandmember
Nick Fatool   ...   Bandmember
Ray Sherman   ...   Bandmember
Jud De Naut   ...   Bandmember


Review by Bob Farrell (posted on 26-May-2007)

Like Disieland music? This film has some of the greats of Dixieland music who are no longer with us. It's a somewhat of a B type movie produced without too much smoke and mirrors. The cast did a great job. No rug chewing. Just acting.Not one digital effect anywhere in the film. Which can not be said of today's films. Peggy Lee is the outstanding actor of the film. If I recall she received an award for her part.

Review by Gil Moon (posted on 13-Nov-2007)

Perhaps the best example of what made Jack Webb productions among the finest of their era, "Pete Kelly's Blues" is not only romantically reminesent of an exciting, facinating, and certainly myth ridden period in our history, but a perfect demonstration of story telling at it's best. The script is excellent, fast paced and captivating with it's quick wit. There are performances from two ladys that ranked at the very top of their professions in the mid 50s and their musical contributions are among the best ever put on film, in fact both Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee turned in masterful depictions of their characters without breaking from the theme of the picture for even a moment. The camera work, though typically Jack Webb, was creative and sometimes even masterful as we see something of an Orson Welles influence in the ballroom scenes and the obviously "sound staged" exteriors of 17 Cherry Street. I liked the score and found it to be a pleasant combination of a 20s Kansas City style "Dixieland" and an updated 50s style "Pop" with the "Big 7" drawing us back toward what traditional "Jazz" performances, where they were ment to be. From the first time I saw this "Classic" at a drive-in movie in Sunnyvale, California to the last time I watched my treasured VHS copy with some friends, I continue to marvel at the professionalism present in every frame from this wonderful film and enjoy each opportunity to point this out to friends and family who have joined me.

Review by anonymous (posted on 18-Nov-2006)

Saw this in Aberdeen Scotland 1955 when I was at college and should have been studying. the film Dragnet created the original scene opening for us as Sgt Joe Friday. Looking at Pete Kelly from my 'Preocupationwith Trad Jazz'perspective was a disappointment as far as the Jazz went, but it was a good story with some great scenes and moments of drama and pathos like Peggy Lee singing, Pete interested in going to Chicago until being told that 'Bix' was there, (don't bother going)and the meeting at the bar with the mobster who smashed the glass and told him he could have a free pass with either hand then the camera switched to the bodyguards putting their hands into their jackets ready to gun down Pete if he even twitched toward the smashed glass on the bar. If it came round again I'd go and see it (again).

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