In Prohibition-era Chicago, the murder of mob boss Big Jim Stevens leaves a vacuum at the top. As the murder was orchestrated by Gisborne - one of Big Jim's underlings - with the assistance of Sheriff Glick and Deputy Sheriff Potts, who were also in Big Jim's back pocket, Gisborne plans to take over. However, Big Jim would have wanted Robbo, who he treated like a son, to take over. As such, a gangland war ensues, with Robbo having among his men an Indiana pool hustler named Little John, and Will, a sharp shooter. What happens between the two gangs is affected by Marian Stevens, Big Jim's beautiful and sophisticated daughter, who inherited her father's ambition and has more criminal smarts than her father. Among Marian's wants is for her father's murder to be avenged. Marian's intervention into the matter leads to Robbo and his band of merry men gaining some legitimacy within the Chicago public mindset, he giving some of his profits and the profits of others to the less fortunate. But ...Written by
I consider this the best of all the Clan movies that Frank Sinatra did with his pallies. By the time Robin and the 7 Hoods was made, Sinatra's movie career consisted of a lot of sleep walking roles. But Frank still took his singing quite seriously and he's at the top of his game in this one.
Since he produced and starred in it naturally Frankie reserved for himself the best song in the Jimmy Van Heusen-Sammy Cahn score. My Kind of Town did for Chicago what New York, New York did for the Big Apple and was nominated for best song that year. Sinatra delivers it in grand style.
He gave a little something for everyone in the cast. Peter Falk who plays Guy Gisborne gets one of those once in a lifetime chances to overact with abandon and gusto. He looks like he's having a ball, especially singing All For One And One For All as he's electing himself numero uno of the Chicago gangs.
Sammy Davis, Jr. other than in Porgy and Bess and here got very little opportunity to show off his amazing multi-talents in film. His Bang Bang number as Frankie's crew is busting up Falk's speakeasy, displays those talents of singing, dancing and mimicry. Listen close and you'll Davis do some good imitations of Al Jolson and Jerry Lewis.
Bing Crosby in his last musical role plays Alan-A-Dale and he replaced Peter Lawford when he and Sinatra came to an abrupt parting of the ways. He's the secretary of an orphans home where Sinatra donates some hot money to launder it. Crosby's one solo number in this is Don't Be A Do-Badder which is vintage philosophical Bing and I'm sure Van Heusen and Cahn wrote it after the casting change was made.
Dean Martin got short changed here. I wish he'd been given something better as a solo than Any Man Who Loves His Mother.
There's a song on the cast album that is heard in the background called I Like To Lead When I Dance. It got cut from the film. It also appeared on other Sinatra albums and Old Blue Eyes does really well by it. I wish it had been left in.
You can't possibly go wrong with all the talent that Sinatra gathered for this film. It was his last musical role as well.
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