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The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 16 January 1956 (Brazil)
A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

Walter Newman (screenplay), Lewis Meltzer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Frank Sinatra ... Frankie Machine
Eleanor Parker ... Zosh Machine
Kim Novak ... Molly
Arnold Stang ... Sparrow
Darren McGavin ... Louie
Robert Strauss ... Schwiefka
John Conte John Conte ... Drunky
Doro Merande ... Vi
George E. Stone ... Sam Markette
George Mathews ... Williams
Leonid Kinskey ... Dominiwski
Emile Meyer ... Detective Bednar
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Storyline

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 <mjc@rubinbaum.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An unusual motion picture See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to screenwriter Walter Newman, Preminger was interested in Montgomery Clift as Frankie Machine, but the actor was either unavailable or uninterested. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Frankie Machine: I don't need it is all, I kicked it.
Louie: Oh, kicked it... wanna bet?
Frankie Machine: I mean it.
Louie: Sure, I'll be around.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Guns for Hire: The Making of 'The Magnificent Seven' (2000) See more »

User Reviews

 
A moving drama with golden performances
17 September 2001 | by mattymatt4everSee all my reviews

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 January 1956 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man with the Golden Arm See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Otto Preminger Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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