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The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

 -  Drama  -  16 January 1956 (Brazil)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 5,833 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 39 critic

Strung-out junkie deals with daily demoralizing drug addiction while crippled wife and card sharks continue to pull him down.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Zosch Machine
...
Molly
...
...
...
Schwiefka
John Conte ...
Drunky
Doro Merande ...
Vi
...
Sam Markette
George Mathews ...
Williams
Leonid Kinskey ...
Dominiwski
Emile Meyer ...
Detective Bednar
Edit

Storyline

Frankie Machine is a skilled card dealer and one-time heroin addict. When he returns home from jail, he struggles to find a new livelihood and to avoid slipping back into addiction. Written by Mike Campanelli <mjc@rubinbaum.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 January 1956 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre del brazo de oro  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Motion Picture Association of America originally refused to issue a seal for this movie because it shows drug addiction. The next year the production code was changed to allow movies to deal with drugs, kidnapping, abortion and prostitution. The film was eventually assigned certificate no. 17011. See more »

Goofs

At the start of the the scene where Frankie is forced to return to card-dealing, the boom mic can be seen near the light fixture. See more »

Quotes

Frankie Machine: Right now I need a fix. Just one fix to help me stop hurting'...
[Molly suggests he quit using]
Frankie Machine: You mean just stop? Cold turkey? You don't understand... the pain...
Molly: What else can you do?
Frankie Machine: All I need is one shot, just one.
Molly: All right.
[She takes money from a drawer]
Molly: Here. Take it. Go on and take it all. Cause all that you're gonna need after that one shot is another and then another and then another. Take it.
[She throws her money at him]
Molly: Take it. Why should you hurt like other people hurt? Yeah, so ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in White Irish Drinkers (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Jazz sequences
Played by Shorty Rogers and His Giants with Shelly Manne
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"C'mon, One Hustler To Another."
22 October 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Man With a Golden Arm was one of a trio of great films around that same time that dealt with drug addiction. The other two were Monkey On My Back and A Hatful of Rain. But I think of the three this one is the best.

Maybe if Otto Preminger had shot the thing in the real Chicago instead of those obvious studio sets the film might have been better yet. Who knows, maybe Preminger couldn't get enough money to pay for the location. It's the only flaw I find in the film.

Frank Sinatra is a heroin addicted card dealer who was busted for covering for his boss Robert Strauss when the game was raided. He took the cure while in jail and wants a new life as a jazz drummer. But a whole lot of people are conspiring against him.

First Bob Strauss who wants him back dealing, especially because a couple of heavyweight gamblers are in town. He uses a few underhanded methods to get Sinatra's services back. Secondly Darren McGavin is the local dope dealer who wants Sinatra good and hooked as a customer again. And finally Eleanor Parker his clinging wife who's working a con game to beat all, just to keep him around.

Frank Sinatra got a nomination for Best Actor for this film, but lost to Ernest Borgnine in Marty. Sinatra might have won for this one if he hadn't won for From Here to Eternity in the Supporting Actor category a few years back and that Marty was such an acclaimed film in that year. His scenes going through withdrawal locked up in Kim Novak's apartment will leave you shaken.

Eleanor Parker does not get enough credit for her role. She's really something as the crazy scheming wife who wants Sinatra tied to her no matter what the cost. If she had not been nominated that same year for Interrupted Melody, she might have been nominated for this. 1955 marked the high point of her career.

Darren McGavin got his first real notice as the very serpentine drug peddler. His performance is guaranteed to make your flesh crawl.

Elmer Bernstein contributed a great jazz score to accentuate the general dinginess of the bleak Chicago neighborhood the characters live in. Not a place you'd want to bring up your family.


37 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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