An expatriate Russian dancer is on a plane forced to land on Soviet territory. He is taken to an apartment in which a black American, who has married a Russian woman, lives with her. He is ... See full summary »
1959. Twenty-seven year old Vinnie Vacarri works as a waiter at his older brother Mario's upscale Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, but much to Mario's chagrin, Vinnie lets work at the restaurant slide whenever opportunities arise to achieve his dream of being in the music business. Along with his best friend and music partner, pianist Gino Pilato, Vinnie writes songs, and believes he has everything but the most important thing to make it big, namely the look, he most self-conscious about his receding hairline. As such, he and Gino are looking for someone to perform their songs on their own terms. He thinks he's found the person in his friend Tomaso DeLorusso, a saxophonist who has been struggling himself in the club scene to find his niche. With Gino largely staying in the background, Vinnie begins a professional association with Tomaso, who he reinvents as rock singer Tommy Dee, this the beginning of Vinnie's foray into talent manager, he knowing the look and sound he wants, with his ...Written by
Producer Gene Kirkwood once said of this film: "If you took all the music out of the film, the story would still hold up strongly on its own". See more »
Caesare's rise to fame is charted through a montage of various magazine covers dated from May 1961 through October 1961. However, later in the film, Caesare arrives to play in Nashville and a banner reads March 17, 1961, before any of those magazines would have hit the stands. See more »
I remember going to see this movie when it first came out. It's sort of a formula picture with the struggle to get to the top, the fame/power corrupting, the fall, then the redemption. Two things made this work, first the musical numbers were very good. This is a very difficult thing, making a movie about hit records and having to write original music that sounds like a hit. The movie shows how much work goes into the preparation and planning required to make it. This aspect was surprisingly good.
The main thing that holds your attention though is Ray Sharkey. I just saw it again on Encore. I knew Sharkey was good in the part but looking back now I can see he is very good. It almost seems that Bruce Willis copied Sharkey's style from this movie in several of his own. I could see Sharkey in the "Die Hard" movies. He brings so much energy to the part and is totally believable as wise guy with a quick temper.
When I first saw this movie I thought Sharkey was going to have a great career. I don't know if it was the drugs, a poor choice of parts or both but he really had talent and charisma. If he hadn't gotten hooked on drugs and contracted AIDS he could have been a Joe Pesci if not a Jr Robert DeNiro. If you think I am making this up get a copy of this movie and take a look. He did show flashes of what he could do in some television work but just couldn't keep it together for any length of time.
If you have any interest in the pop music of the late fifties early sixties or just want to watch what a talented actor can do with a formula picture take a look at this.
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