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The Man with the Golden Arm (50th Anniversary Special Edition) [Import]

Frank Sinatra , Kim Novak , Otto Preminger    Unrated   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 42.93
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

When Frankie Machine (Frank Sinatra) comes back to the old neighborhood after a spell in the big house, he wants to stay straight and become a drummer. But his old life--as a poker dealer and heroin addict--comes rushing back to meet him. The subject matter of Nelson Algren's novel was still shocking in 1955, and The Man with the Golden Arm was released without the seal of approval from Hollywood's Production Code. The director, Otto Preminger, used the controversy to whip up interest in the film, and his championing of non-Code pictures such as The Moon Is Blue and The Man with the Golden Arm helped end the influence of the restrictive policy. For Frank Sinatra, the role was a high point; his performance is searching, honest, and (in long scenes of going cold turkey to kick the habit) frighteningly naked. He's touchingly matched with Kim Novak, in one of her best performances; adding a bit of method-acting madness is Eleanor Parker as Frankie's hysterical wife. Sinatra was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar, but lost to Ernest Borgnine--the same guy who beat him senseless in From Here to Eternity. The propulsive jazz score is by Elmer Bernstein. Even the credits sequence staked out new territory: the mod images created by Saul Bass were among his first in a long-standing collaboration with Preminger, and were highly influential on other designers. --Robert Horton

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a Classic Nov. 14 2010
Format:DVD
Sinatra was never better than he was here. Many decades after its creation, this pictures still captures the ravages of drug addiction as well as anything that has followed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sinatra's finest hour Dec 4 2009
Format:DVD
Cutting edge drama, dealing with drug addiction at the time of conservatism in post WWII Eisenhower America. The first film of it's kind, dealing with the demons and effects of hardcore drug use. Not as good as "The Lost Weekend" (1945), which dealt with alcoholism, but this film holds it's own, even after a half century.

After winning an Oscar in 1953 for "From here to Eternity", Sinatra began taking on bigger and juicier parts. Once a bit actor, trying to be taken seriously in Hollywood, this is arguably the Tour de Force performance of his career. Sinatra plays Frankie Machine, coming off a six month stint in rehab. He returns to his old haunts, trying to go straight. This is the film that showcased how good Sinatra really was. Not bad for someone who never had any formal training as an actor.

The cold turkey scene in the movie, was supposed to be filmed as a rehearsal. Director Otto Preminger, used that scene in the final cut of the movie. This film was not given a stamp of approval by the censors back in 1955, but was made anyway.

Director Preminger, always walked close to the edge in his film, a maverick film maker. His 1959 film "Anatomy of a Murder", was the first film to use the word, "panties", of all things.

Very good transfer to DVD. Special featurette , The story Behind the Man with the Golden Arm. Theatrical trailer. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sinatra at his best!! Oct. 9 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This has got to be one of the best movies ever made which has depicted the heroin addict and his predicament. Frank Sinatra, in one of his earlier roles, plays the part of an ex-convict/drug addict who returns back to the "old neighborhood," and wants to "come clean," and pursue a career as a big band drummer, but he unfortunately comes face to face with the "dealer" (Darren McGavin) and things cook from there. McGavin is a wonderful portrayal of the neighborhood supplier who keeps baiting Sinatra and baiting him until the he cannot say no any longer. Coupled with his own domestic situation, which I dare not give away, but only to tell you that the ensemble cast which makes up this movie is outstanding. The soundtrack is pulsating and keeps your adrenaline moving upward, and that is one of the most unnerving parts of the film, and one which keeps you on the edge of your seat, as the saying goes. This could be classified as a family movie, as there is no sex, nudity, profanity, but only the theme of drug addiction, and a family could watch this film and discuss these issues in an enlightened way. Sinatra once said he thought he should've gotten an Oscar for this movie, and I agree. Highly recommended!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great actor in an average film March 13 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Frank Sinatra impersonates a man who is the slave of his neighborhood in a big city that could be any metropolis. He is the slave of the powerful in this neighborhood because of his addiction to heroin, because of his being possessed by a girl who is in a wheel chair, though we know from the very start that she is acting the part of a handicapped girl. Thus enslaved by the local card-games organiser, the local heroin dealer and his responsibility towards the girl, without forgetting the local police, he is unable to realise his dream to become a drummer in some big jazz band...Frank Sinatra is particularly convincing in his part and his going cold turkey is marvellously depicted. A small film, maybe, but powerful and faith-carrying acting.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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