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directed by Jack Webb
USA 1955

 

The story opens in Kansas City in 1927 during Prohibition. Jazz cornetist Pete Kelly (Webb) and his Big Seven are the house band at the 17 Club, a lower-level speakeasy at 17 Cherry Street in Kansas City when Pete is approached by new local crime boss Fran McCarg (Edmond O'Brien), who intends to put Kelly on his own client list. McCarg gives Kelly until the end of the night to talk it over with the band and to “make up his mind”.

Before the night ends, Rudy, the overly-efficient manager of the 17 Club, orders Kelly and the band to go to the house of Ivy Conrad (Janet Leigh), a woman with a reputation for hosting exceptionally rowdy parties and who, we find out early on, has designs on Kelly. Reluctantly, Kelly arrives at the party expecting to hear from McCarg via phone, but when the call comes through, it’s intercepted by Kelly’s hot-tempered drummer Joey Firestone (Martin Milner), who, in a drunken stupor, blatantly turns McCarg down, telling him to “go get a ticket to nowhere”. McCarg promptly gets the word out as one of his cronies runs Kelly and his band off the road as they drive back to Kansas City.

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 31 July 1955 (USA)

Reviews                                                                       More Reviews                                                                DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Warner Home Video - Region 1 2, 3, 4 - NTSC vs. Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the DVD Review!

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC

Warner Archive

Region FREE  - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:35:18 1:35:23.718
Video

2.52:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.50 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,882,739,941 bytes

Feature: 28,725,891,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1) DTS-HD Master Audio English 3129 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3129 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English, French, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.52:1

Edition Details:
• Gadgets Galore short (10:37)
• The Hole Idea short (6:50)

DVD Release Date: July 22, 2008
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Archive
 

2.56:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,882,739,941 bytes

Feature: 28,725,891,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Theatrical Trailer (version 1 - 3:45)

• Theatrical Trailer (version 2 - 5:22)

• Gadgets Galore (10:37)

• The Hole Idea (6:51)

Song Selection Chapters

Blu-ray Release Date:
November 4th, 2014
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters:
35

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: (November 2014) Warner Archive Region FREE - Blu-ray: We get this crime-music potboiler-ish period film, Pete Kelly's Blues, to Blu-ray via the Warner Archive. It has some impressive moments and delightful soundtrack. The static captures below show the improvement of the 1080P resolution. It is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate and has a heavy film-like quality about the visuals. Colors become deeper and tighter. Detail and contrast also ratchet-up a few notches. I don't doubt this is as good as this film will look on digital.

As Gregory mentioned about the DVD, the 4-track stereo soundtrack has been remastered in 5.1, but in DTS-HD Master at a healthy 3129 kbps. It sounds marvelous with notable songs being Peggy Lee's That Sugar Baby of Mine, He Needs Me, Sing a Rainbow and Gershwin's Somebody Loves Me and Ella Fitzgerald's Hard Hearted Hannah, Ella Hums the Blues and Pete Kelly's Blues. What is a cool addition is that these songs are accessible via a chapter menu. Great idea. There is also additional mood music by David Buttolph (Rope, Three Secrets, Kiss of Death, Blood and Sand and many more.) There are optional English subtitles on the region FREE Blu-ray.

Extras have the same 2 1955 shorts - one a cartoon - and two, lengthy theatrical trailers.

Great film with many stars. I really enjoyed Pete Kelly's Blues., and we can endorse the Warner Blu-ray.

 - Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: Having reviewed Jack Webb's -30- recently, I picked up Pete Kelly's Blues, released in DVD back in 2008. This 1955 picture was based on Jack Webb's earlier radio series and would later be adapted into 1959 TV series with William Reynolds playing Pete Kelly. The disc went out of print and has been unavailable for some time, but now it became available again and can be found at some stores, including Amazon. This is a great jazz movie with some wonderful performances by Edmond O'Brien, Lee Marvin and Peggy Lee (who was nominated for an Academy Award as best actress in a supporting role). Great Ella Fitzgerald sings two songs in the film, so the film is highly recommended to any jazz fan.

The disc is single-layered disc and progressive in its proper cinemascope aspect ratio with lively colors and no damage visible on the print. 4-track stereo soundtrack has been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 and sounds excellent. Optional English and French subtitles are provided and 2 shorts from the same year (1955), but not related to the feature are provided. Unfortunately, a theatrical trailer introduced by Jack Webb himself is not available on the disc, although a squeezed version can be seen on YouTube (HERE).

  - Gregory Meshman

 


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CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM


Subtitle sample

 

 


1) Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

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Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC

Warner Archive

Region FREE  - Blu-ray

 




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