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
Frank Sinatra is in cruise control for this relaxed private eye yarn of boats, girls, open-top cars and more girls. A 'cool, daddy-o' 1960's 'Maltese Falcon' dripping with Florida sun, "Tony Rome" is a thin story about an ex-cop who works as a private investigator. His partner gets killed, and Tony finds himself caught up in the problems of a millionaire property developer with a wayward wife and daughter.
Frankie was approaching 50 when he made this one, and he looks it. Yet, being Frankie, he stays cool with his trademark snap-brim hat, expensive hairpiece, dry martinis and even drier quips. As is customary, Frankie gets family and friends onto the payroll. Richard Conte plays Dave Santini, Tony's long-suffering cop buddy, and Rocky Graziano has a little cameo as Packy, the (guess what) Italian American former middleweight champ. Nancy Sinatra sings the theme song penned for her by (guess who) Lee Hazelwood.
Jill St. John has a nice comedy part as the femme fatale who hates Miami ("twenty miles of sand looking for a city"). It was not a good idea to dress Mrs. Schuyler in a polka-dot outfit which sets up a fierce onscreen interference pattern, but as Tony Rome would say, "It's one thing you can't blame on Lyndon Johnson."
Whenever the film tries to be 'now and happening, man' it simply reveals itself as hopelessly out of its depth. Cracks like "when georgia gets a coloured governor" weren't funny, even in 1967. In one highly significant scene, Frankie walks along a quay, gazing up in bewilderment at some youngsters boogieing at an onboard disco. The gulf between Ol' Blue Eyes and 1967 is unbridgeable.
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