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Danny Wilson and partner Mike make a meager living singing in dives and hustling pool. One night they meet entertainer Joy Carroll, who gets them a job at racketeer Nick Driscoll's posh nightclub. But Nick wants a high price: half of Danny's future income. Danny's career skyrockets, but his position at the top of the heap, and his one-sided romance with Joy, prove extremely unstable. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Engaging performance by Sinatra in important dramatic role with many popular songs
At the time of its release "Meet Danny Wilson" was never considered to be one of Frank Sinatra's better roles and the film received poor reviews in most of the Press. However, in my opinion it was the perfect part for Sinatra (almost a fictionalised biography of his life in fact) - he gave a most impressive performance and put over all his songs with superb style and confidence. This was Sinatra's last film before his celebrated "comeback" role in "From Here to Eternity" (1953) for which he deservedly won the Best Supporting Actor "Oscar". "Meet Danny Wilson" is one of Sinatra's lesser known films made during the shaky period when his career was in serious decline. Everyone remembers "Pal Joey", "The Joker Is Wild", "Man With the Golden Arm", "High Society", "Guys and Dolls", "The Manchurian Candidate", "Oceans 11" and the other Rat Pack films but how many can actually recall "Meet Danny Wilson"? Just a few dedicated fans I'll wager!
Although "Meet Danny Wilson" was only a small budget black and white production (from Universal International) it was competently directed by Joseph Pevney and had a talented supporting cast including Shelley Winters, Alex Nicol and Raymond Burr, with cameo appearances from Tony Curtis and Jeff Chandler. The film contains a wonderful range of Sinatra standards such as "She's Funny That Way", "That Old Black Magic", "When You're Smiling", "All of Me", "I've Got a Crush on You", "How Deep is the Ocean?" and others.
Sinatra played quick tempered up and coming bar singer Danny Wilson hoping to break into big time show business. Alex Nicol was his friend/pianist/manager Mike Ryan always there to get him out of trouble and Shelley Winters as Joy Carroll provided the love interest (although it has been rumoured that in reality Winters did not get on at all well with Sinatra during the filming!). Raymond Burr (in an early role long before his popular "Perry Mason" TV series) was corrupt club owner and gangster Nick Driscoll who could foresee the star potential in Danny and therefore gave him a singing engagement at his club to get him started (and gain control) in return for 50% of all Danny's future earnings. This arrangement naturally caused much bitterness and many problems later when Danny became famous!!
Raymond Burr: "Personally, I'm a Crosby fan". Sinatra: "That should make Bing very happy".
"Meet Danny Wilson" is one of Sinatra's more obscure films but has an interesting storyline with good performances by its stars. The songs alone make it all worthwhile. Be sure to see it if you get the chance. 10/10. Clive Roberts.
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