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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 5,778 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)

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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

In a conversation with Robert Osborne, Frank Sinatra Jr. said the hands in the tight shots of Frankie's second dealing belong to Milton Berle. See more »

Goofs

In the first scene between Frankie and Zosch the shadow of the camera is frequently visible as it moves around the set. 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 »


Soundtracks

Jazz sequences
Played by Shorty Rogers and His Giants with Shelly Manne
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User Reviews

 
Gripping study of addiction
12 December 2005 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Otto Preminger's "The Man with the Golden Arm" is a reference to heroin addiction - something that must have been rather risky to film back in 1955, fifty years ago (the censors today STILL have a problem with drug content in films!).

The lead role was originally offered to Marlon Brando, then snatched by Frank Sinatra before Brando could respond. Sinatra convincingly portrays a pro card dealer and ex-heroin addict who returns home to the city only to find himself battling the demons of temptation.

Preminger is one of my favorite directors (his "Anatomy of a Murder" starring James Stewart is a brilliant and revolutionary courtroom drama). Preminger pretty much helped change the face of cinema back in the '50s - "Anatomy of a Murder" was extremely controversial when it came out due to both its plot and content (references to rape, women's "panties," seduction, etc.) and "The Man with the Golden Arm" deals with a topic that is equally volatile.

However, Preminger pulls it off without becoming exploitative. This is like a forerunner to "The Panic in Needle Park" (1971) and bears more than a few similarities in terms of general motifs to the classic Billy Wilder movie "Lost Weekend," starring Ray Milland. These three films in particular are probably the best movies about alcoholism predating the 1980s and still remain relevant today.


17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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