Joey Evans is charming, handsome, funny, talented, and a first class, A-number-one heel. When Joey meets the former chorus girl ("She used to be 'Vera...with the Vanishing Veils'") and now ... See full summary »
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>
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 »
Zasha's scrapbook is titled "My Scrapbook of Fatal Accidence" (instead of "accidents"). See more »
Right now I need a fix. Just one fix to help me stop hurting'...
[Molly suggests he quit using]
You mean just stop? Cold turkey? You don't understand... the pain...
What else can you do?
All I need is one shot, just one.
[She takes money from a drawer]
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]
Take it. Why should you hurt like other people hurt? Yeah, so ...
See more »
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.
19 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?