The Gene Krupa Story

  • 1959
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography

Sal Mineo was far too young and the direction far too pedestrian to bring this ordinary biopic of an extraordinary musician to life. It is true-to-life, but newspaper accounts would be more interesting than the film. Krupa's father wanted him to be a priest, but he chose music instead. He loses Kohner, his childhood sweetheart, then gets involved with bad...read more

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Sal Mineo was far too young and the direction far too pedestrian to bring this ordinary biopic of an extraordinary musician to life. It is true-to-life, but newspaper accounts would be more interesting than the film. Krupa's father wanted him to be a priest, but he chose music instead.

He loses Kohner, his childhood sweetheart, then gets involved with bad girl Oliver. The best parts of the movie are the songs and the performances by the stars who play themselves; Anita O'Day, Red Nichols, and Buddy Lester. In a small role as Mineo's dad is Gavin MacLeod, of "Love Boat" fame.

Yvonne Craig, who went on to become TV's "Bat Girl" registers strongly as a youthful nymphet. Although Mineo is seen at the skins, it is Krupa recording the drum work that puts a driving beat behind the picture's score. Musical numbers: "I Love My Baby" (Bud Green, Harry Warren; sung by Ruby

Lane), "Memories of You" (Eubie Blake, Andy Razaf; sung by O'Day), "Royal Garden Blues" (Spencer Williams, Clarence Williams, played by Krupa Orchestra), "Cherokee" (Ray Noble; Krupa Orchestra), "Indiana" (Ballard MacDonald, James Hanley; Krupa Orchestra, Nichols), "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans"

(Henry Creamer, J. Turner Layton; Krupa Orchestra), "Let There Be Love" (Ian Grant, Lionel Rand; Darren), "Song of India" (Rimsky-Korsakov), "Drum Crazy," "Spiritual Jazz."

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Sal Mineo was far too young and the direction far too pedestrian to bring this ordinary biopic of an extraordinary musician to life. It is true-to-life, but newspaper accounts would be more interesting than the film. Krupa's father wanted him to be a pries… (more)

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