Frank Sinatra plays Joe E. Lewis, a famous comedian of the 1930s-50s. When the movie opens, Lewis is a young, talented singer who performs in speakeasies. When he bolts one job for another,... See full summary »
Frank Sinatra plays Joe E. Lewis, a famous comedian of the 1930s-50s. When the movie opens, Lewis is a young, talented singer who performs in speakeasies. When he bolts one job for another, the mob boss who owns the first speakeasy has his thugs try to kill Lewis. Lewis survives, but his vocal cords are cut and he cannot sing. Several years later, his buddy tracks him down and tries to help him with little success. That attempt, though, leads to Lewis meeting Letty Page (Jeanne Crain). They fall in love and she inspires him to follow up on an offer to become a comedian (a result of his buddy's failed attempt to rejuvenate his singing career). Lewis has problems, though. The assault that nearly cost him his life also helped turn him into an alcoholic and an inveterate gambler. These two character defects become the basis for his act and help to make him a smash success. Unfortunately, they also work to wreak havoc in his personal life. Written by
In real life, Danny Cohen owned the club in which Joe E. Lewis first worked. When Lewis defected for more money, Cohen gave mobster Jack "Machine Gun" McGurn (real name: Vincenzo Antonio Gebhardi), a lieutenant in Al Capone's mob, a 25% share in the club in return for his persuading Lewis to stay. McGurn's method of persuasion was the beating which Lewis received. See more »
When Joe is looking at the building directory, the close-up shows "MORRIS WILLIAM". Yet in the next shot as Joe turns to go to the elevator, it says "MORRIS Wm" See more »
Amazing biography of an amazing man. Joe E. Lewis was the quintessential star of the roaring 20's, with apologies to Al Jolson. A great singer who crossed the wrong people and paid for it with a slashed throat. Sinatra's performance is beyond belief. Already noted as a great actor he outdoes himself. It's been heard that FS "walked" through his roles but not here. Shows how much respect he had for Lewis. A great supporting cast ( Eddie Albert, Jeanne Crain, Mitzi Gaynor and Jackie Coogan) help the film but without the "Chairman of the Board" it would have been just another biography. Sinatra's rendition of "All the Way" is not to be missed. Do yourself a favor and see this movie.
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