In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming odds with his brother Aron for the love of their father Adam. Cal is frustrated at ... See full summary »
Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
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 <email@example.com>
I've always enjoyed Frank Sinatra's music, and just recently I wrote a term paper about his life story. I've been fascinated by the life and legend of Ol' Blue Eyes. However, I've never seen any of his movies. So I wanted to see if his acting was as great as his singing. Well...it was! I was blown away by his performance in this movie! He really does a tremendous job as recovering heroin addict Frankie Machine, who's trying to put his life back together and audition as a drummer for a local band.
Otto Preminger's direction is great as well. I haven't seen any of his other movies. I read his biography on the IMDB. He seems like one of those directors who was sorely misunderstood, and people had conflicted thoughts about him. Seems like the kind of person who appeals most to cult enthusiasts. I haven't seen enough of his films to know for sure if he's really brilliant, but now I'm curious. I want to see more of his films, because judging by his attempt with "The Man with the Golden Arm" this guy has talent. I also loved the music for this movie. The score definitely contains the kind of music that I'll remember if I ever happen to hear it again. That's when you know you have a great score.
The supporting performances are fine as well, including Darren McGavin as the local drug pusher, Eleanor Parker as Frankie's wheelchair-bound wife and Kim Novak as his lover.
It's interesting to see how filmmakers handled the subject of drug abuse, as opposed to modern attempts in films like "Trainspotting" and "Requiem for a Dream." Back in 1955, just mentioning the word "drugs" caused controversy, and if you watch the film they kept the subject on a very discreet level. There's only one scene where Frankie is actually getting heroin injected into his arm, and they showed a close-up of the reaction of his face rather than showing the needle graphically poking into his veins. But it delivered its message without making it feel watered-down. In a powerful drama like this, with powerful performances and direction like this, you don't need graphic portrayals of drug abuse to keep the audience intrigued.
"The Man with the Golden Arm" is a dramatic gem that all film buffs should check out. It really is an amazing piece of work!
My score: 8 (out of 10)
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