7.1/10
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21 user 5 critic

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

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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

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 »

Goofs

Towards the end, when Joe is receiving a pep talk from his "reflection" in the store glass window, his real reflection briefly appears beside it, thus revealing two reflections; one speaking, the other silent. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Battle of the Blades: Episode #1.3 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

June in January
(uncredited)
Music by Ralph Rainger
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Sung by Bing Crosby on a record
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Frank Sinatra is an underrated actor!
25 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If only this movie was available on DVD! This movie is good for those people who have had major setbacks in life, and need to start over. It reinforced in me the need to make the best of your situation in life.

Frank played the title role impeccably. I think its a travesty that his performance didn't garner him a best actor nomination. That just shows you how superior the actors of that era were in comparison to the actors of today.

Again, I'm befuddled as to why this movie is not available on DVD. Hopefully, it will be more accessible for viewers who know very little of the acting talents of old blue eyes!


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Needed on DVD, right? Romojo
need a copy gerriwithremax
How much of this was based on reality? philosophymom
Jackie Coogan!!! flashbacktogreatness
The Soundtrack sheenatra
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