It happened in one night (1955)

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German title It happened in one night
Original title Pete Kelly's Blues
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1955
length 95 minutes
Director Jack Webb
script Richard L. Breen
production Jack Webb
music Arthur Hamilton ,
Ray Heindorf ,
David Buttolph ,
Matty Matlock
camera Harold Rosson
cut Robert Leeds

It Happened In One Night is a 1955 American crime film based on the 1951 radio series of the same name. Jack Webb played the title role and directed the film. Janet Leigh and Edmond O'Brien can also be seen in other leading roles . Peggy Lee represented the alcoholic and jazz singer Rose Hopkins and was at the Oscars in 1956 for the Oscar as Best Supporting Actress nomination. Ella Fitzgerald made a cameo as singer Maggie Jackson. Lee Marvin , Martin Milner and Jayne Mansfield had one of their first film roles. The film premiered in the USA on July 31, 1955, in Germany on December 9, 1955, in Austria on March 9, 1956 and in Switzerland on August 10, 2003 at the Locarno Film Festival .


Kansas City 1927: Jazz musician Pete Kelly and his band Big 7 are the house band in the 17 Club, a speakeasy at the time of Prohibition . The crime boss Fran McCarg demands a part of the meager income of the band. Before the night is over, Rudy, the club's manager, orders Kelly and the band to go to the wealthy Ivy Conrad's house. It's a woman who is known for rowdy partying. Kelly reluctantly goes to the party, and on the way home to Kansas City, he and his band are pushed off the street.

The following night, Firestone beats up Guy Bettenhouser, McCarg's right-hand man. Kelly then tries desperately to fix things, but to no avail. When the band got on their last song, two armed men storm through the front door of the club. Kelly tries to save Firestone by sending him back, but Firestone is shot dead in the alley. Tired and frustrated by the murder of his drummer and the subsequent departure of Al, the band's clarinetist and longtime friend of Kelly, Kelly returns to his apartment to find Ivy waiting for him. Although he initially resists her advances, the two enter into a relationship that ends in an engagement.

Later, all of the local band leaders meet in secret to decide how to respond to McCarg's pressure. When Kelly announces that he will not resist, the others join in. Detective George Tennell tries to bring McCarg down and wants Kelly to help. But this refuses.

McCarg tries to befriend Kelly and tells him that Bettenhouser acted alone in Firestone's murder. He also introduces Kelly to a new band member: his gangster bride Rose Hopkins. Rose, who is celebrating Pete and Ivy's engagement, has had a little too much to drink and therefore can't sing. McCarg angrily chases her into her dressing room and beats her. Kelly then turns to Tennell, who informs him that Bettenhouser has left town.

Al wants to see Kelly. The two surprise Kelly's handling of the situation, but reunite and Al rejoins the band. When Kelly realizes he has handled the situation wrong, he tries to find a way out, but McCarg intimidates him to move on. Meanwhile, Ivy decides to feel left out of Kelly's commitment to his music and to go her own way.

Kelly gets a message to meet someone. This turns out to be a bed house. He tells Kelly that it was McCarg who ordered Firestone's death, but if Kelly can raise $ 1,200 by daylight, Bettenhouser will help him. Kelly agrees. Bettenhouser also tells him he can find canceled checks and papers in McCarg's office in the Everglade Ballroom.

Back at the club, Kelly arms herself but is stopped by Ivy, who wants to have one last dance with him. He insists he doesn't have time. Kelly finds the papers he needs, but comes back after a loud orchestra starts playing. Ivy follows Kelly into the ballroom, lets the music play, and turns on all the lights. Kelly anxiously agrees to one last dance, but is soon surrounded by McCarg and two of his men. One is Bettenhouser! Kelly is trapped.

There is a shootout. Bettenhouser tries to get a better position, but Kelly shoots first. McCarg's other henchman tries to shoot Kelly, but Kelly throws a chair at him, mortally wounding McCarg. When the gunman sees this, he surrenders.

Back at the 17 Club everything is as usual - the band is playing and Ivy and Pete are back together.


The synchronization was carried out by Deutsche Mondial Film.

actor speaker role
Edmond O'Brien Wolfgang Lukschy Frank McCarg
Andy Devine Jochen Brockmann George Tennell
John Dennis Wolfgang Preiss Guy Bettenhouser
Janet Leigh Marion Degler Ivy Conrad
Jack Webb Hans Nielsen Pete Kelly
Peggy Lee Tilly Lauenstein Rose Hopkins
Than Wyenn Gerd Martienzen Rudy Shulag

Songs featured in the film

The film's music appeared on the two albums

  • Pete Kelly's Blues (Pete Kelly and His Big Seven) RCA Victor LPM1126
  • Songs from Pete Kelly's Blues (Peggy Lee with the Hal Mooney orchestra , among others with Dick Cathcart (tp), Matty Matlock (cl), Eddie Miller (ts), Dick McDonough (git), Nick Fatool, dr) Decca DL8166

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. It happened one night. In: German dubbing index , accessed on January 31, 2020 .
  2. Tom Lord : The Jazz Discography (online, accessed February 2, 2020)