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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 5,690 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
...
Sparrow
...
Louie
...
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

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

Featured in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
A moving drama with golden performances
17 September 2001 | by (Jersey City, NJ) – See all my reviews

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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