Pete Kelly's Blues (1955) - Rotten Tomatoes

Pete Kelly's Blues (1955)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This tuneful melodrama is set during the height of the Jazz Age and presents a lively and realistic view of life in swinging Kansas City, where gangsters ruled and bathtub gin flowed like water.

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Jack Webb
as Pete Kelly
Janet Leigh
as Ivy Conrad
Edmond O'Brien
as Fran McCarg
Peggy Lee
as Rose Hopkins
Andy Devine
as George Tenell
Lee Marvin
as Al Gannaway
Ella Fitzgerald
as Maggie Jackson
Martin Milner
as Joey Firestone
Jayne Mansfield
as Cigarette Girl
Herb Ellis
as Bedido
John Dennis
as Guy Bettenhouser
Mort Marshall
as Cootie Jacobs
Nesdon Booth
as Squat Henchman
John Booth
as Guy Bettenhouser
Dick Cathcart
as Cornetist
Matty Matlock
as Clarinetist
Moe Schneider
as Trombonist
Eddie Miller
as Saxophonist
George Van Eps
as Guitarist
Nick Fatool
as Drummer
Jud de Naut
as Bass Player
'Snub' Pollard
as Waiter in Rudy's
Joe Venuti
as Featured Members of the Tuxedo Band
Harper Goff
as Featured Members of the Tuxedo Band
Perry Bodkin
as Featured Members of the Tuxedo Band
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Critic Reviews for Pete Kelly's Blues

All Critics (3)

Jazz fans, except the ultra-cool school, will enjoy the music, and the film is well worth seeing as well as hearing in spite of several contrived and incoherent touches. With Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee.

October 21, 2019 | Full Review…

Tedious but well-photographed atmospheric jazz pic from the Prohibition era.

July 15, 2015 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Like Love Me or Leave Me, also made in 1955, Webb's film is set in the golden age of Prohibition, mixing crime-gangster drama with great jazz music by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee, who received a Supporting Oscar nomination.

December 29, 2007 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Pete Kelly's Blues


There are some wonderful things in this, foremost Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee spreading their special brands of magic, both are luminous. The music is good and Andy Devine, without his trademark voice, is a revelation in a gritty part as a dogged cop. And Edmond O'Brien could play the venal gangster like few others. All these are highly enjoyable but stuck in the center is the absolutely awful Jack Webb, the man makes a blank wall look expressive and that a beauty like Janet Leigh would go to such lengths to catch him makes her seem either seriously misguided or a total idiot. Still for the great stuff contained within its worth at least a view.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Pete Kelly's Blues Quotes

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