16 user 4 critic

Frank and Ava (2018)

Before he was chairman of the board. He was just a man, desperate for a woman, clinging to a dream. The story of Sinatra as never told before and Ava Gardner, the woman who saved him, by breaking him. Based on true stories.


Michael Oblowitz


Willard Manus, Rico Simonini (screenplay)
5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Rico Simonini ... Frank
Emily Elicia Low Emily Elicia Low ... Ava
Harry Dean Stanton ... Sheriff Lloyd
Eric Roberts ... Harry Cohn
Lukas Haas ... Officer Josenhans
Jonathan Silverman ... Mannie Sacks
Domenick Lombardozzi ... Jack Keller
Katherine Helmond ... Betty
Dionne Warwick ... Lady Singing the Blues
Terry Moore ... Self
Shirley Jones ... Self
Eliza Roberts ... Sheilah
Ed O'Ross ... Sgt. Haney
Tony Denison ... Adler
Robert Costanzo ... Willie


The steel line of sex and tension is palpable throughout this harrowing and heart-stirring Hollywood romance between Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner. It's 1949 and Sinatra, the former king of swoon who once enchanted millions of "bobby soxers", is at the downturn of his career as the once golden "Voice" is now compromised by a hemorrhage to his vocal cords while his reputation is lambasted by the press who parade his alleged Mafia connections, liberal sympathies, and extramarital affairs. In the midst of his despair, he falls hard and fast for Gardner, MGM's sultry starlet with whom he shares proclivities for passion, whiskey, obstinacy, and sexual infidelities. Equal to his desire to maintain the interest of the mercurial Gardner, is his almost sacred infatuation aimed at attaining the role of Private Angelo Maggio in Columbia Picture's From Here to Eternity, the sole ray of hope in salvaging his career. An acknowledged long shot due to his questionable acting chops and heretofore box ... Written by Rico Simonini

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They loved each other like a battle to the death See more »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The film feature academy award winner Shirley Jones, whom Sinatra worked with on "Carousel" before walking off and being replaced, as well as Oscar nominated actresses, Katherine Helmond and Terry Moore. The film also features the legendary Harry Dean Stanton, who worked on the film less than a year before he passed away, as well as Robert Christopher, who after unsuccessfully auditioning for the "Maggio" role that eventually won Sinatra an Oscar, went on to work with Ava Gardner in "The Barefoot Contessa". See more »


When the sheriff is called about Frank and Ava getting arrested, he gets dressed in front of a 50-star flag, which did not exist for at least 10 years. See more »

User Reviews

It could have been a lot better, a waste of talent and possibilties.
9 September 2019 | by richardstarrSee all my reviews

So, I finally got my Blu-Ray of Frank and Ava. I've been looking forward to watching it ever since Emily Elicia Low announced she was working on it. I really, really want to love this movie because she's in it.

When I see her on the screen she always puts out a certain something, but I admit I'm biased. The problem is, well, there are a number of problems actually.

First, the good, I loved the cars, the clothes, and many of the locations. It was great to see Harry Dean Stanton and Katherine Helmond in their last roles as well as veterans like Robert Costanzo and Eric Roberts. Ron Pritchard killed as Sammy Davis Jr. and the people playing the newscasters and rumor mongers were overall excellent. A very nice use of underused talent. Robin Arcuri as a stenographer is an almost criminal under use of talent.

The not so good involved much of the script which just did not seem to give Emily the right words. I'm not sure if there was some bad directing going or or if they just chose to limit the number of shoots, but the scenes with her varied from excellent to ones I really think they should have shot again.

The subplot dealing with abortion managed to get lost along the way and could have easily been cut. The scene in Africa with the "Frank is bigger" should have been cut completely, it was really, really bad and there was no excuse for it.

There were times when there really should have been more people in the scene and their lack was missing. The cinematography/lighting jumped around from movie quality to cheap TV show settings.

Seeing the old school royalty chatting about Frank and Ava was a nice touch.

Overall I was not unhappy I watched it, but for whatever reason what could have been, did not happen. I'll still watch Emily Elicia Low's next film.

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Release Date:

September 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Frank and Ava See more »

Filming Locations:

Palm Springs, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,080, 9 December 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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