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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 5,505 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 37 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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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) on IMDb 7.5/10

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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
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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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 January 1956 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

The Man with the Golden Arm  »

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

Screenwriter Walter Newman was unhappy with Eleanor Parker as Zosh and related in a 1972 interview that he told Preminger that Shelley Winters should be cast in the role. The writer thought Joanne Woodward would be fine in the role, but she hadn't acted in a film as yet at that point and Preminger turned her down. See more »

Goofs

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

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Strange Brew
15 August 2001 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

Rather than go on location and make a realistic film about drug addiction in the Windy City, contrarian director Otto Preminger decided to go the opposite way and make his movie appear as artificial as possible, thus flying in the face of the fashion set by men like Kazan, Huston and Zinnemann, who were making their pictures all over the world. Nelson Algren, on whose novel the movie is based, went on record as despising it. What, one wonders, was Preminger up to, and why did he do the movie this way?

The sets in the film are so minimal as to suggest a Mr. Magoo cartoon. Louie, the drug pusher, is attired as to resemble the sort of gangster the artists at Mad magazine used to draw. Arnold Stang, wonderful comedian that he was, seems out of place in a serious picture like this, and his very appearance, topped off by an exaggerated and over-sized baseball cap, elicits laughter. Robert Strauss, another actor best known for humorous roles, is likewise out of place, as his large, heavily jowled face and Runyonesque delivery of lines seems more appropriate to a Jerry Lewis movie. Against all this, stars Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak and Eleanor Parker have to work overtime to just keep the viewer from snickering. Sinatra is jittery and manic throughout, suggesting a man ill at ease with himself, hence wholly appropriate for the role of a drug addict. Miss Novak, plant-like and sublimely deadpan, is sympathetic and seems a product of the artfully dingy slums she graces in the film. Parker is pure Hollywood and very hard-working as the crippled and crafty Zosch. She is never convincing, but then neither is the film.

I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone interested in a realistic depiction of the lives of drug addicts in America. The Caligari sets alone make it unbelievable. Preminger may have been aiming for a dream effect, as the cardboard backgrounds give the proceedings the surreal feeling of a nightmare operetta, perhaps harking back to Preminger's early days in Vienna.


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