IMDb > The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)
The Man with the Golden Arm
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The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) More at IMDbPro »

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The Man with the Golden Arm -- Otto Preminger extracts a powerful performance from Frank Sinatra as Frankie Machine, a former drug addicted card dealer just out of detox.


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7.5/10   6,417 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Walter Newman (screenplay) and
Lewis Meltzer (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Man with the Golden Arm on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 January 1956 (Brazil) See more »
Strung-out junkie deals with daily demoralizing drug addiction while crippled wife and card sharks continue to pull him down. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Only the subject matter of this film is dated. See more (73 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Frank Sinatra ... Frankie Machine

Eleanor Parker ... Zosch Machine

Kim Novak ... Molly

Arnold Stang ... Sparrow

Darren McGavin ... Louie

Robert Strauss ... Schwiefka
John Conte ... Drunky
Doro Merande ... Vi

George E. Stone ... Sam Markette
George Mathews ... Williams
Leonid Kinskey ... Dominiwski
Emile Meyer ... Detective Bednar
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jered Barclay ... Junkie in Lock-Up (uncredited)
Leonard Bremen ... Cabbie in Lock-Yp (uncredited)
Paul E. Burns ... Suspenders in Lock-Up (uncredited)

Pete Candoli ... Jazz Musician (uncredited)
Harold 'Tommy' Hart ... Officer Kvorka (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Club Safari Bartender (uncredited)

Shelly Manne ... Himself (uncredited)
Frank Marlowe ... Yantek (uncredited)
Joe McTurk ... Meter-Reader (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Street Vagrant (uncredited)

Gordon Mitchell ... (uncredited)

Jack Mulhall ... Turnkey (uncredited)
Ralph Neff ... Chester (uncredited)
Norman Papson ... Newspaper Boy (uncredited)

'Snub' Pollard ... Street Vagrant (uncredited)
Ernest Raboff ... Bird-Dog (uncredited)
Frank Richards ... Blind Barfly (uncredited)
Suzanne Ridgeway ... Brunette in Window (uncredited)

Shorty Rogers ... Himself (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Club Safari Patron (uncredited)
Charles Seel ... Proprietor (uncredited)
Martha Wentworth ... Vangie (uncredited)

Will Wright ... Harry Lane (uncredited)

Directed by
Otto Preminger 
Writing credits
Walter Newman (screenplay) and
Lewis Meltzer (screenplay)

Nelson Algren (from the novel by)

Ben Hecht  uncredited

Produced by
Otto Preminger .... producer
Original Music by
Elmer Bernstein 
Cinematography by
Sam Leavitt (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Louis R. Loeffler 
Production Design by
Joseph C. Wright  (as Joe Wright)
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera 
Makeup Department
Hazel Keats .... hair stylist
Ben Lane .... makeup artist
Helene Parrish .... hair stylist
Bernard Ponedel .... makeup artist
Jack Stone .... makeup artist
Production Management
Jack McEdward .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
James Engle .... assistant director
Horace Hough .... assistant director
Art Department
Saul Bass .... poster designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Jack Solomon .... sound engineer
Paul Baxley .... stunts (uncredited)
Martha Crawford .... stunt double: Eleanor Parker (uncredited)
Helen Thurston .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
James Almond .... lighting technician
Albert Myers .... camera operator
Morris Rosen .... head grip
Eugene Kornman .... still photographer (uncredited)
Val O'Malley .... camera operator (uncredited)
Robert Willoughby .... special still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joe King .... wardrobe: men
Mary Ann Nyberg .... costume supervisor
Adele Parmenter .... wardrobe: women
Editorial Department
Tony de Zarraga .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Leon Birnbaum .... music editor
Shorty Rogers .... musician: jazz sequences
Shorty Rogers and His Giants .... musician: jazz sequences (as Shorty Rogers and his Giants)
Elmer Bernstein .... conductor (uncredited)
Jack Hayes .... arranger (uncredited)
Milt Holland .... musician: percussionist (uncredited)
Shelly Manne .... musician (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... arranger (uncredited)
Fred Steiner .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Saul Bass .... title designer
Kathleen Fagan .... script supervisor
Otto Preminger .... presenter
Max Slater .... assistant to producer (as Maximilian Slater)
Jack Entratter .... technical advisor (uncredited)
David Haft .... assistant to producer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
119 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Australia:M (TV rating) | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) | USA:TV-14 | USA:Approved (PCA #17011) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

According to screenwriter Walter Newman Preminger was interested in Montgomery Clift as Frankie Machine, but the actor was either unavailable or uninterested.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: In the first scene between Frankie and Zosch the shadow of the camera is frequently visible as it moves around the set.See more »
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 you had a dog's life with never a break. Why try to face it like most people do? No, just roll up all your pains into one big hurt and then flatten it with a fix.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in American Grindhouse (2010)See more »
Jazz sequencesSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
52 out of 57 people found the following review useful.
Only the subject matter of this film is dated., 28 February 2001
Author: David Hoffman from Virginia

We have moved far beyond this tentative foray into a forbidden area-drug addiction-for the 1950s. As such, the film may seem dated. The Man with the Golden Arm served its function is peeling back a layer of the underside of society, an eye-opener to a Southern country boy in 1955 when I first viewed this film in the theater. After some serious consideration about being too young, I was allowed to go. It was powerful and affecting then and still maintains some sharp, painful moments of the soul stripped naked. As a movie depicting the loneliness at the core of being, it succeeds.

Filled with angst, Frank Sinatra, in his best role, creates a vulnerability that makes him sympathetic to the viewer. He conveys his helplessness and ineffectualness in a beautifully restrained performance. As a voice of common sense in the dead-end urban jungle, Kim Novak as Molly is quite good. She is compassionate and yet stands on solid ground. The interaction between Sinatra and Novak is really good. Darren McGavin plays a slimy character and does it very well. Eleanor Parker is superbly irritating and painfully insecure in her role of the pathetic Zosch, the crippled wife of Sinatra. Arnold Stang is another unlikely survivor of the street. Regarded as pitiful and despicable, his character Sparrow provides tart comedic moments.

The music is almost the star of this film-brooding, frenetic, moody, poignant. Elmer Bernstein's score perfectly accentuates the tensions of Frankie Machine's spiritual weakness and physical need for heroin. Molly's theme is bittersweet and captures aurally what the film depicts visually. I know of no other soundtrack that effectively complements the tension and defeat within a man as effectively as does this one.

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Dat music, though... brautigan-126-784250
Drumming off beat stephenfb
Remake anyone? Johnny_Wood
something that's always bothered me wilbrifar
Zosh? billellis
which version has the best picture and audio quality? thePaleface
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