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The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  16 January 1956 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 6,343 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 46 critic

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Detective Bednar


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 January 1956 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann mit dem goldenen Arm  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A poster for director Otto Preminger's Carmen Jones (1954) is prominently featured on the building across the street from the saloon during the opening scene. See more »


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 »


Sparrow: Not even a postycard.
Frankie Machine: You can't read anyway.
Sparrow: You coulda drawed pictures.
See more »


Featured in Preminger: Anatomy of a Filmmaker (1991) See more »


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

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User Reviews

A film about moving on.
14 September 2004 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

I loved that this movie takes place on an imaginary block of an imaginary city. You could say the streets represents a state of mind just like the title of

Chinatown did two decades later. Here degeneracy and addiction are the

norm. This place sucks you in and wont let go. It's here that Sinatra must face his demons when he returns home after getting clean at a rehab clinic. The film ends up being just as much about moving on from the past as it does about drug addiction.

Sinatra's junky is a bit amorphous, we never really learn whether he grew up here or what led him to his addictions. However, the story is strong and told with a nice brisk pace. There are some real memorable moments (the Gambling

sequence, Frankie coming off smack, etc). Preminger's direction is great, some subtle camera work adds a lot to a number of scenes. Elmer Berstein's score

and Saul Bass' titles perfectly set the mood. Overall, an endearing film you should check out.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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