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The Gene Krupa Story (1959)

The story of legendary jazz drummer, Gene Krupa. Since his youth, all Gene ever wanted to do is play the drums and make music. This is something his parents would not approve of- they want ... See full summary »

Director:

Don Weis

Writer:

Orin Jannings
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sal Mineo ... Gene Krupa
Susan Kohner ... Ethel Maguire
James Darren ... Eddie Sirota
Susan Oliver ... Dorissa Dinell
Yvonne Craig ... Gloria Corregio
Lawrence Dobkin ... Speaker Willis
Celia Lovsky ... Mother
Red Nichols ... Himself
Bobby Troup ... Tommy Dorsey
Anita O'Day ... Herself
Shelly Manne ... Davey Tough
Buddy Lester ... Himself
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Storyline

The story of legendary jazz drummer, Gene Krupa. Since his youth, all Gene ever wanted to do is play the drums and make music. This is something his parents would not approve of- they want him to be a priest. When Gene's father dies he promises to enter the priesthood. He soon realizes that he doesn't belong there and leaves to join his friend, Eddie's band. Ethel, Eddie's girlfriend, convinces Gene to go to New York and make it big. The 3 of them head to New York. Here Ethel and Gene soon fall in love and Gene makes a name for himself. Gene starts to live in the fast lane, with drugs, alcohol, women and parties. Ethel, unhappy with Gene's lifestyle, leaves him. Gene soon "hits rock bottom" where he has to face reality and choose where to take his life. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

band | drugs | drummer | jazz | seminary | See All (32) »

Taglines:

He hammered out the savage tempo of the jazz era! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jazz-Ekstase See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film opened in Krupa's hometown of Chicago at the Schiller Theatre on January 15, 1960 both Gene Krupa and Sal Mineo were on hand to greet the public and sign "fan fotos." See more »

Goofs

When we see Gene at his penthouse on Central Park, at the party one of the guests is Bix Beiderbecke. Bix died in 1931 and only ever played with Gene Krupa in Chicago. By the time Krupa made it in New York, Bix had already died. See more »

Quotes

[Gene is offered a marijuana cigarette]
Gene Krupa: Reefers huh? So that's what they look like.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Police Story: The Broken Badge (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Sunny Side of the Street
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Sal Mineo Goes Drum Crazy Over Gene Krupa
12 December 2010 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

In 1927 Chicago, gum-chewing Italian teenager Sal Mineo (as Gene Krupa) wants to be a professional drummer, but his family would rather he become a priest. He tries the latter, but Mr. Mineo can't keep his hands off of the drumsticks. He makes it big, with trumpet-swinging best pal James Darren (as Eddie Sirota) and pretty girlfriend Susan Kohner (as Ethel Maguire) in tow. Then, at the height of his fame, Mineo gets bitten by the drug bug. He succumbs to sexy Susan Oliver (as Dorissa Dinell) and is busted for possession of "reefer" (marijuana). Can Mineo battle his way back to the top?

The four stars above - plus young Yvonne Craig (as Gloria) - have some sexy scenes, with clothing hugging their curves.

The subject of "The Gene Krupa Story" receives an on-screen credit, and dubs Mineo's drumming. Their audio-visual collaboration is sometimes amazing, with Mineo frantically following Mr. Krupa's licks. This story of a musician's rise and fall may seem very formulaic, but the sex and drug road trip really happens; it's certainly a well-worn path. Unfortunately, there isn't much distinction in this story. Mineo never ages (Krupa's drug bust was in 1943), obvious hits like "Let Me Off Uptown" and "Sing, Sing, Sing (with a Swing)" are omitted, and the 1950s fashion clearly trumps the fabricated 1920s look.

****** The Gene Krupa Story (12/23/59) Don Weis ~ Sal Mineo, James Darren, Susan Kohner, Susan Oliver


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