Pete Kelly

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Pete Kelly
When I think of the actor, Jack Webb, I cannot help but think of Dragnet's Sgt. Joe Friday. But there was much more to Jack (real name John). Jack Webb had a lifelong love of jazz. His interests started early on when a former jazz musician—one of the tenants in his mother's boarding house—gave him a recording of Bix Beiderbecke's "At the Jazz Band Ball". The reason I bring this to your attention is to recommend you watch an absolute classic of a movie first recommended to me by my lovely wife Terri. Pete Kelly's Blues, starring (and directed by) Jack Webb. Pete Kelly's Blues is more than a great crime drama spiced with music and rich dialog. It's also a remarkable piece of film in all the right ways: musical richness, cinematic excellence, and amazing sound quality. Indeed, if you can watch this in a home theater setting as did we, do it. You will not be disappointed. The film is a musical treasure featuring songstress greats Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee along with the coronet work of Dick Cathcart. But if that were not enough, we also get treated to some of the best Pulp Fiction dialog imaginable. The screenplay is peppered full of Raymond Chandler-esque Hardboiled detective speak with lines like: "She drifted into the room like 98 pounds of warm smoke. Her voice was hot and sticky—like a furnace full of marshmallows." OMG. Watching this classic I was in heaven. The photography and sets are amazing, the sound is great, actor Edmond O'Brian is the perfect bad guy, and the music is just wonderful. I found it streaming on Amazon. If you want an hour and a half of great moviemaking, this one's got to be on your short list.
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Paul McGowan

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