Anti-Semitism, race relations, coming of age, and fathers and sons: in Baltimore from fall, 1954, to fall, 1955. Racial integration comes to the high school, TV is killing burlesque, and ... See full summary »
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 »
Arthur Bartley and Janet Willard are fairly typical 1950s teenagers. Their lives are turned upside down however when Janet becomes pregnant. Desperate to tell his parents of the predicament... See full summary »
Brandon De Wilde,
A Sergeant must deal with his desires to save the lives of young soldiers being sent to Viet Nam. Continuously denied the chance to teach the soldiers about his experiences, he settles for trying to help the son of an old Army buddy.
Francis Ford Coppola
James Earl Jones
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
The movie is based on the career of artists manager Robert P. Marcucci who discovered and managed rock idols Frankie Avalon and Fabian during the 1950s and 1960s. Vincent 'Vinnie' Vacarri (Ray Sharkey) is based on Marcucci; Tommy Del Russo aka Tommy Dee (Paul Land) is based on Avalon; Guido Bevaloqua aka Caesare (Peter Gallagher) is based on Fabian and Vacarri's assistant, Brenda Roberts (Tovah Feldshuh), is based on Marcucci's real-life assistant at the time, Rona Barrett. Marcucci contributed his reminisces of the 50s & 60s music business to the film's script, did a cameo, and acted as a technical consultant to the production. See more »
After Caessare's first successful concert, there is a montage of magazine covers. The only date showing on those issues is July, 1961. Caeasare is then in seclusion for several months, before finally putting on his second appearance in Memphis. The banner above the venue however, announces the second concert occurring March 17, 1961. 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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