7.5/10
7,232
79 user 51 critic

The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 16 January 1956 (Brazil)
A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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John Conte ...
Doro Merande ...
Vi
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Sam Markette
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Williams
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Dominiwski
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Detective Bednar
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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

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An "unthinkable" theme See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

16 January 1956 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann mit dem goldenen Arm  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Except for a few exteriors on the RKO backlot, the entire movie was shot on a soundstage See more »

Goofs

Zasha's scrapbook is titled "My Scrapbook of Fatal Accidence" (instead of "accidents"). See more »

Quotes

Frankie Machine: You got any money, Molly?... I feel so sick. I hurt all over...
Molly: Jump off a roof if you're gonna kill yourself but don't ask me to help ya...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sinatra raconté par le FBI (2007) See more »

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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.


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