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Lady in Cement
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Lady in Cement More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The Smarmy Lisps of Mockery

3/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
13 January 2012

While playing tag with a pair of sharks Frank Sinatra as Tony Rome discovers the body of a woman with cement overshoes at the bottom of the ocean. As he says it was obvious someone did not want this body to be discovered. Which begins the tale of Sinatra's second Tony Rome film Lady In Cement.

Sinatra as Rome is still living the good life on his boat and betting whatever he does earn on horses. He still has a good in with the Miami Police in the person of Richard Conte as Lieutenant Santini, but the in only goes so far as we see when Sinatra is framed for a murder and Conte has to go after his good friend. Of course in a rather long chase sequence toward the end of the film Frank does get the better of Conte and half the Miami PD.

In order to appreciate Lady In Cement and Tony Rome you have to really dig Sinatra's whole hipster, Rat Pack shtick from the times. If you don't both films will leave you cold. But Lady In Cement was far worse in that Frank attacked the nascent gay liberation movement with a few well chosen imitation lisps mocking the gay characters in the film. After the Stonewall Rebellion a lot of establishment figures even in the entertainment world mocked the movement and Frank Sinatra was no exception. Interesting because in The Detective Sinatra played a detective who got a coerced confession of a gay suspect in the murder of a gay man and then when evidence showed New York had executed the wrong man took it upon himself to get justice applied rightly.

A few in jokes for wannabe swingers abound in Lady In Cement, the strip club where the deceased woman worked was called Jilly's after Sinatra favorite eatery in New York. And at one point Frank remarks to leading lady Raquel Welch that he 'once knew a broad who collected bull fighters' a reference to former Mrs. Sinatra, Ava Gardner. I've got to wonder what Ava must have thought of that.

Even more important how did Richard Deacon who was a closeted gay man and had a small part in the film must have felt about some of Sinatra's lines in the script?

Still the smarmy lisps of mockery really have made Lady In Cement not wear well over the years. Definitely for die-hard Sinatra fans.

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Maca pa-ca to not say ca-ca

2/10
Author: rodrig58
6 March 2017

It is not just a joke with blondes, this blonde really caught her both feet in a piece of cement and waves on the ocean floor, where she meets Frank Sinatra. It's 1968's cool music (Hugo Montenegro) and the chicks are even coolest (Raquel Welch is one of them). The rest is just talk. And, unfortunately, in the only scene we see some blood, that does not look genuine, as shown in movies today, you can tell from a post that it is paint. I agreed to give it 2 points because I'm a generous guy. And for Raquel Welch's sexy ass. Not worth wasting one hour and a half watching it. Only if you love Raquel and Frank Sinatra.

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Another case for Tony Rome

7/10
Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
5 October 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film sees the return of Miami private investigator Tony Rome. As the story opens he is scuba diving at a site that a friend assures him is the final resting place of a number of Spanish galleons; he doesn't find and wrecks… just a naked blonde with her feet set in a concrete block! Soon afterwards he is hired by a large man named Waldo Gronsky to find a blonde named Sandra, who he assures him is not the one he found earlier. The last place Sandra was seen was the house of Kit Forrest, a wealthy and attractive young widow. She had been throwing a party but didn't recall if Sandra was actually there as she had been drinking. She doesn't really want to talk so calls her neighbour; retired gangster Al Mungar. His investigation takes him to a go-go club where the manager is murdered shortly afterwards leading to the police wanting to arrest Tony for murder! If he is to clear his name he will have to stay a step ahead of the police and solve the case he was paid for.

Frank Sinatra returns for a second, and sadly final, time as Tony Rome. He does a fine job as this likable detective; cool but not too cool. The case is interesting and provides several potential suspects including Kit Forrest, Gronsky and Mungar as well as more victims. For the most part the movie still feels fresh with its bright Miami locations and cool '60s feel but in other ways it has dated; most notably portrayal and treatment of homosexual characters, including by the protagonist… something that almost certainly wouldn't be accepted in a modern film. The secondary cast are solid enough; Raquel Welch is fine as Kit Forrest, her introduction where she exits a pools wearing a bikini is certainly impressive! Unfortunately she isn't quite as good a female lead as Jill St.John was in the first 'Tony Rome' film; she was sexy but lacked a certain something. Overall I'd recommend this to anybody wanting some '60s fun; if you liked the first Tony Rome film you should enjoy this too.

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A Murder Mystery Played For Laughs

7/10
Author: seymourblack-1 from United Kingdom
13 January 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The second and last Tony Rome film "Lady In Cement" was released in 1968. Its bright colours, perky background music and slang terms (like "fuzz" and "split" etc.) are typical of the period but there are also some features which aren't. The practice of murder victims being anchored underwater in cement shoes was prevalent in the 1920s and 1930s and the movie also draws influences from the films noir of the 1940s and 1950s. For example, the sequence in which the "lady in cement" is found by Rome, strongly evokes an underwater sequence in "The Night Of The Hunter" (1955) and a character called Gronsky is identical to Moose Malloy from Raymond Chandler's "Murder My Sweet" (1944). A scene in which Frank Sinatra gazes at a large portrait of Raquel Welch's character is also a conscious replication of a motif which was frequently seen in the noirs of the 40s and 50s.

In this movie, Tony Rome is a typical noir private detective working on a missing person case that involves murder and gangsters but also shows certain characteristics of James Bond (e.g. fighting off a shark, being surrounded by semi-clad young ladies etc.). The incongruities highlighted above could be regarded as disconcerting but in this movie seem to have been used purely for laughs.

Private eye Tony Rome (Frank Sinatra) is scuba-diving somewhere off the Miami coast at a location where some Spanish treasure had reputedly been lost many years earlier when he sees the nude corpse of a blonde woman whose feet had been set in cement. Shortly after reporting the incident to the coastguard, he gets approached by a hulk of a man called Waldo Gronsky (Dan Blocker) who hires him to find his lost girlfriend, Sandra Lomax. Rome's investigations take him to the go-go bar where Sandra used to work as a dancer and he speaks to her roommate and gets a hostile reception from the camp owner Danny Yale (Frank Raiter) and his bartender boyfriend.

Having learned from her roommate that Sandra had been at a party at the home of Kit Forrest (Raquel Welch) on the night when she died, Rome goes to visit the alcoholic heiress who tells him that she can't remember much about the night in question. Shortly after, Rome has to make a quick exit after being threatened by her protective neighbour and ex-mobster, Al Mungar (Martin Gabel). After Sandra's roommate is found dead and a couple of thugs try to kill Gronsky, Rome gets into a whole series of tight spots (including being framed for the murder of Danny Yale) before he eventually brings his investigation to a successful conclusion.

Despite the nature of its plot, "Lady In Cement" is essentially a light-hearted confection which enables Sinatra to indulge in numerous in-jokes and have fun with women who are half his age. He does well in conveying how jaded Rome has become and is also good at delivering some snappy one-liners. Among the supporting cast, Dan Blocker makes the strongest impression as the larger-than-life Gronsky. The emphasis in this movie is very much on the humour and judged on this basis, it clearly succeeded.

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Camp fest, but well worth it

8/10
Author: tforbes-2 from Massachusetts, USA
16 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Even if this film does not measure up to the original "Tony Rome" film of 1967, this is still a very enjoyable romp fest nonetheless. I confess I am a Frank Sinatra fan, so seeing him chew up the Florida scenery is fun.

And I admit that Dan Blocker as Gronsky is a delight to watch. His role is a real change of pace from his usual signature role of Hoss in "Bonanza," which we get to see playing on a TV! He, Raquel Welch and Richard Conte offer fine support.

I was surprised at the nudity in the film, and even more so when Richard Deacon was present, but the scenes work well. Maybe the film is not a world beater, nor up to the level of the original, but it is well worth a watch. And hey, seeing Florida from 1968 is a real treat in itself!

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lady in cement

7/10
Author: jazzcat47 from United States
4 April 2007

All the poor marks taken in to account......it's still fun to see Sinatra at his wisecracking best.....Tony Rome and Sinatra are gone and perhaps so are all those Runyonesque characters.In many ways like the music he left us.....even the below par efforts of his later years, there are a few similar films which kind of grow on you and certainly the Tony Rome films can be included. While its not "Some Came Running" or "Man with the Golden Arm" they do compare to the celebrated "Rat Pack" movies which seem to be getting a revival of sorts.Or perhaps it's just that absence makes the heart grow fonder....nice to remember there were guys like that around not too long ago.....like an older relative of mine recently said..."I sure miss those kind of guys".My guess is that as we get further and further away from the days of the rat pack we my become fonder and fonder of Tony Rome and Lady in Cement

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The End of Film Noir

1/10
Author: drhersh from Los Angeles, CA
30 December 2016

This must be a career low point for Frank Sinatra, Raquel Welch and Richard Conte whose acting is uniformly cheesy and staged. With lots of additional bad acting from B movie extras and what is arguably the worst music track in film history (laughable, then annoying), it is not even a shadow of the ingenious, dark and powerful Film Noir of earlier decades. The skin diving scene with a Frank body double is particularly silly and laughable, but it actually takes itself seriously, rather than tongue in cheek. Other high points of hilarity: Raquel's giant hair and the go-go bar scene. This could be considered the Plan Nine from Outer Space of detective movies...

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Fun Romp That Killed Tony Rome

6/10
Author: AudioFileZ from United States
8 August 2013

O.K., Tony doesn't die, but this film killed an otherwise promising franchise. While the original, Tony Rome, wasn't a monumental piece of film-making this one fell flat at the box office.

Lovable loser Tony Rome is back. He's still cool in his deadbeat style, but this time he's on a case that just doesn't gel. Revisiting the ingredients that made the original a fun romp falls flat this time as the story just hasn't got legs. It starts off startling enough with the underwater discovery of a nude (torso up) blonde on the bottom of the sea. The story could have gone any number of ways from here, but the direction it took - mobster gone straight and jealousy among lovers, including bashing gays, seems mis-placed to be kind.

The high points here include good turns by Raquel Welsh and Dan Blocher. As a character actor Blocher really lights up the screen. His presence is formidable and begs for more screen time. Raquel Welsh is fantastic window dressing, if not quite as effective as Jill St. John in Tony Rome. Sinatra is totally relaxed and rolling nicely with the character. Blame the writers and the screenplay because with the cool backdrop of Miami Beach and the straight man role reprised of homicide chief Richard Conti this could have extended Tony Rome into at least another two or three films. It didn't, however, and this is still worth a watch if not very compelling.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Hip" 60's version of "Murder, My Sweet"

7/10
Author: literati-2 from United States
24 February 2008

Film noir fans who are familiar with "Murder, My Sweet"(1944)directed by Edward Dmytryk, with Dick Powell and Claire Trevor can't help but see the similarities. Fun seeing Dan Blocker playing the Moose Malloy role (played in 1944 by Mike Mazurki). Guess they wanted a sequel to the first Tony Rome film and decided an updated version of a detective classic would fit the bill. This is as much a "period" piece as the original is to its time: Dick Powell and the whole flick personifying the 40's, Sinatra and Raquel Welch, et al, and the "funky" music and "edgy" references by Sinatra being a poster child for the free-lovin', hip 60's.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Tony Rome is back in an entertaining, but unremarkable mystery/comedy

6/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
24 November 2006

Sinatra reprises his role of Tony Rome in this light weight murder mystery. Rome is hired by Dan Blocker to find out what happened to a young woman found dead in cement shoes. The movie is where the search takes him. Its more romp than real mystery with a light smart mouthed attitude hanging over everything. Its an enjoyable 93 minutes, certainly the laughs and the fun nature keep you watching, unfortunately you really do wish that there was some weight to the proceedings. The mystery has no real urgency and no real need to be solved other than it puts Rome in motion. Many of the actors, Sinatra included, seem to be walking through the film (and Raquel Welch seems unable to even do that). Of course then there is Dan Blocker as Gronsky, the man who hires Sinatra and who is much more trouble than he's worth. Blocker is a real joy to behold and if there is any real reason to see this film its him and his performance, its a blast. Mostly unremarkable, this film is still worth seeing for the mindless entertainment of it all. Recommended for those times when you want absolutely nothing to tax you brain.

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