Joey Evans' a charming, handsome, funny, talented a-1st class, A-N°.1 - heel. When Joey meets the former chorus girl and now is the rich widow, Vera Simpson, the pair of lecherous souls seem made for each other.
Dave Hirsch, a writer and an army veteran winds up in his small Indiana hometown, to the dismay of his respectable older brother. He meets and befriends various different characters and tries to figure out what to do with his life.
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 »
Frankie Machine is a skilled card dealer and one-time heroin addict. When he returns home from jail, he struggles to find a new livelihood and to avoid slipping back into addiction.Written by
Mike Campanelli <email@example.com>
According to screenwriter Walter Newman, Preminger was interested in Montgomery Clift as Frankie Machine, but the actor was either unavailable or uninterested. See more »
A heroin addict is shown in jail going through withdrawals. Nirnalmy, the first thing which occurs are physical symptoms, like vomiting, running a high fever, cold sweats, etc. This man grabs the jail cell bars an screams " I need a fix!" over and over. This is completely not authentic. So bad, it is like a cartoon. See more »
I've always enjoyed Frank Sinatra's music, and just recently I wrote a term paper about his life story. I've been fascinated by the life and legend of Ol' Blue Eyes. However, I've never seen any of his movies. So I wanted to see if his acting was as great as his singing. Well...it was! I was blown away by his performance in this movie! He really does a tremendous job as recovering heroin addict Frankie Machine, who's trying to put his life back together and audition as a drummer for a local band.
Otto Preminger's direction is great as well. I haven't seen any of his other movies. I read his biography on the IMDB. He seems like one of those directors who was sorely misunderstood, and people had conflicted thoughts about him. Seems like the kind of person who appeals most to cult enthusiasts. I haven't seen enough of his films to know for sure if he's really brilliant, but now I'm curious. I want to see more of his films, because judging by his attempt with "The Man with the Golden Arm" this guy has talent. I also loved the music for this movie. The score definitely contains the kind of music that I'll remember if I ever happen to hear it again. That's when you know you have a great score.
The supporting performances are fine as well, including Darren McGavin as the local drug pusher, Eleanor Parker as Frankie's wheelchair-bound wife and Kim Novak as his lover.
It's interesting to see how filmmakers handled the subject of drug abuse, as opposed to modern attempts in films like "Trainspotting" and "Requiem for a Dream." Back in 1955, just mentioning the word "drugs" caused controversy, and if you watch the film they kept the subject on a very discreet level. There's only one scene where Frankie is actually getting heroin injected into his arm, and they showed a close-up of the reaction of his face rather than showing the needle graphically poking into his veins. But it delivered its message without making it feel watered-down. In a powerful drama like this, with powerful performances and direction like this, you don't need graphic portrayals of drug abuse to keep the audience intrigued.
"The Man with the Golden Arm" is a dramatic gem that all film buffs should check out. It really is an amazing piece of work!
My score: 8 (out of 10)
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