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The Man with the Golden Arm (50th Anniversary Special Edition) [Import]
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Hollywood lore says that Sinatra visited a rehab clinic while preparing for this film in order to see what a herion addict going through withdrawal really looked (and acted) like. If true, it certainly must have given him an insight into a world that its impossible for most people to understand.
Judged against Sinatra's other film performances, this certainly has to rank as the best; the only other film roles that come close are Maggio in "From Here to Eternity" and "The Manchurian Candidate". Its this performance, however, and the despiration of a man who wants to take control of his life, but can't, that has to be at the top of the list.
In the end, Sinatra didn't win that Best Actor Oscar, losing out to Ernest Borgnine for his role in "Marty". After watching this movie, one wonders what more Frank could've done. As far as I'm concerned, he should'a won it.
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.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
Most recent customer reviews
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.Published on Nov. 14 2010 by Larry A. Hunter
This is one of Frank Sinatra's most powerful and believing performances.The music is great-dynamic and haunting at the same time.A great jazz score. Read morePublished on March 8 1999