The public and private lives of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford.The public and private lives of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford.The public and private lives of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford.
On the one hand, it is just a rehashing of some old cliches and an extended display of celebrity impersonations. (When Sinatra performs, for example, it is Ray Liotta's body and the voice of a fellow named Michael Dees)
Forget about the rest of the players ... they do OK, but this anonymous guy named Michael Dees is the real star ... a flawless recreation of Sinatra's phrasing on the Kennedy campaign song, the best-ever rendition of "One More for the Road", and more. This guy is so good it is eerie.
I guess what I liked about the movie is that it was just so much damned fun to live in those days again for a couple of hours. The movie did a decent job of showing what it was like to be hung up in the ring-a-ding, koo-koo life of the guys who had "the world on a string" for a couple of decades.
Forget the deep insights. There aren't any but, as Dino said, "you can't share your deepest feelings when you don't have any". The film did make an effort to show Sammy's inner conflict between his own sense of self-worth and the second class citizenship he was accorded by his country and even his buddies, but it was a clumsy attempt to be serious, like a drunken guy telling you how much he loves you, and frankly it provided some of the slowest moments in the movie.
But you'll marvel again at Dino's centered calm, Sammy's dazzling talent, Frank's complex and godlike power, JFK's charisma, and Frank's incomparable phrasing of a song ... even when it's actually sung by Michael Dees.
- Jan 6, 1999