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The Joker Is Wild (1957)

Approved | | Drama, Musical | October 1957 (USA)
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 »

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(screenplay), (book)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Joe E. Lewis
...
...
Letty Page
...
Austin Mack
...
...
Swifty Morgan
Barry Kelley ...
Captain Hugh McCarthy
...
Georgie Parker
Leonard Graves ...
Tim Coogan
Valerie Allen ...
Flora - Chorine
Hank Henry ...
Burlesque Comedian
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Johnson (unconfirmed)
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Storyline

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 David Oboyski

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

All the Way  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For some unknown reason, Jack "Machine Gun" McGurn is portrayed in this film as "Tim Coogan." See more »

Goofs

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 »


Soundtracks

Swingin' on a Star
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
Special lyrics by Harry Barris
Sung by Frank Sinatra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of Sinatra's best
30 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sinatra offers a good account of Joe E. Lewis in a film made during his most fruitful as an actor before the laziness of the Rat Pack years crept into his work. Plus it contains one of his most beautifully sung songs "All the Way". The moody black and white camera work also helps set the tone for this rather downbeat bio pic. As the two women in his life Jeanne Crain and Mitzi Gaynor both perform well but the really strong woman's role goes to Beverly Garland, always an underused and undervalued actress, as Eddie Albert's loyal wife. She is strong, gritty, sensible and sympathetic as needs be doing a great deal with what could have been a nothing part.


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