Tony Rome, a tough Miami PI living on a houseboat, is hired by a local millionaire to find jewelry stolen from his daughter, and in the process has several encounters with local hoods as well as the Miami Beach PD.
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Tony Rome is an ex-cop turned private eye in Miami Beach. For $200 he returns a young woman to her father's house after she passes out in a seedy hotel, and he keeps the hotel's name out of it. Trouble is, she's missing a diamond pin, and tough guys show up at Tony's boat looking for it. When the pin does turn up, it's fake, so the girl's father, a wealthy builder, hires Tony to find out what happened to the real stones. Bodies pile up, Tony suspects the builder's trophy wife, and he's also looking for a mysterious guy named Nimmo who used to date Ann Archer, a stunning redhead Tony meets at the builder's. Can Tony sort it out before too many die, and what about Ann? Written by
Long before Miami Vice which had hip cop Don Johnson living on a boat with an alligator in Miami Beach, you had Frank Sinatra as private eye Tony Rome doing the same.
He's an ex-cop now a private eye who still has an inside with the police in the person of Richard Conte who's his former partner. Turns out he needs him when he takes the case of Sue Lyon who misplaced a diamond stickpin.
Before the film ends Sinatra has himself all involved with every member of Lyon's family including wives and ex-wives, husbands and ex-husbands in a lovely blackmail scheme. Quite a number of people wind up dead including Sinatra's private eye partner Robert J. Wilkie. In the tradition of Sam Spade, though he might not have thought Wilkie the salt of the earth, it's an obligation to find out who shortened Wilkie's life span.
Tony Rome is a Sinatra project through and through. Basically he just plays himself or at least shows the public persona that we know him for. Frank got parts in this for restaurant owner pallies, Mike Romanoff and Jilly Rizzo and one even for Rocky Graziano as a punch drunk old pug. There's even a part for Jill St. John as an amorous divorcée who you're never quite sure how she fits in the story. Jill and Frank were once a hot item, but this one was for old time sake.
The problem with Tony Rome is you really do have to be a Sinatra fan to watch it. And I don't mean just of his singing, you have to be really into the whole rat pack scene.
Otherwise Tony Rome and it's sequel Lady in Cement just ain't for you.
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