Pete Kelly's Blues

Pete Kelly's Blues

Jack Webb
Jack Webb
Director: Harry S. Webb Cast: Jack Webb
Jack Webb
, Janet Leigh
Janet Leigh
, Edmond O'Brien
Edmond O'Brien
Harry S. Webb


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Pete Kelly's Blues is arguably the most stylish of director/star Jack Webb's theatrical features. Beginning with a brilliantly evocative pre-credits prologue, wherein we see how WWI vet Pete Kelly (Webb) came into possession of his precious trumpet, the film traces Kelly to his 1927 gig at a Kansas City speakeasy. Most of the film concerns Kelly's efforts to keep his "Big Seven" aggregation together, his off-and-on romance with socialite Ivy Conrad (Janet Leigh), and his frequent confrontations with mob boss Fran McCarg (Edmond O'Brien). The Richard L. Breen screenplay is full of the deliciously hyperbolic allusions, similes, and metaphors that characterized Webb's radio version of Pete Kelly's Blues, while the musical score is graced by the jazz artistry of such greats as Ella Fitzgerald and Teddy Buckner. Peggy Lee, cast as a mob mistress who is rendered an imbecile after falling down a flight of stars, deservedly earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance. Likewise superb is Andy Devine, cast against type as a corrupt, brutal Kansas City detective, and Lee Marvin as Kelly's best pal. Disney art director Harper Goff, who'd been performing miracles on Webb's TV series Dragnet, brilliantly sustains the smoky zeitgeist of the Prohibition era. Pete Kelly's Blues was later spun off into a TV series starring William Reynolds as Kelly.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/04/2014
UPC: 0888574055721
Original Release: 1955
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Archives
Time: 1:35:00
Sales rank: 24,278

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
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
Nesdon Booth Squat Henchman
John Booth Guy Bettenhouser
Dick Cathcart Cornetist
Harper Goff Actor
Joe Venuti Actor
Harry "Snub" Pollard Walter

Technical Credits
Jack Webb Director,Producer
Harry S. Webb Director
Gordon Bau Makeup
Richard L. Breen Screenwriter
Sammy Cahn Score Composer
Harper Goff Production Designer
Field M. Gray Art Director
Arthur Hamilton Score Composer
Ray Heindorf Score Composer
Robert M. Leeds Editor
Harold Hal Rosson Cinematographer
Howard Shoup Costumes/Costume Designer
John Sturtevant Set Decoration/Design

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