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The Man With The Golden Arm (1956)
 
Well here is a bit of a surprise. In my life I have not heard as many wildly different views of any film as with this one. Maybe it is the subject matter?!

Ignoring all other reviews, the fact that a film in 1956 features heroin addiction with the worlds most famous performer is an incredible thing. or that they show heroin at all is also strong. We should rate the film with that period in mind.

Why we are considering it is because Sinatra (one of our heros) is playing Frankie Machine, a junkie poker dealer. He is recovering after a period in re-habilitation and has decided on a new career as a big band drummer.

From the outset this looks like a film pretending to be a play because the sets are so so cheap and superficial that you believe only in the characters as metaphors.
 
OK, lets ignore all that because there was some artistry intent here that never got out. The interesting thing for gamblers is a really good scene of Frank dealing poker in 1956 America. Its quite real and the short number of frames where he is accused of cheating is very much like several scenes from The Cincinnati Kid. The makers of that film certainly copied something from this.
 
I will always watch Frank but this was very short of a complete script. However it still had my attention just because of the year it was made and because of the subject matter.

Otto Preminger had a strange idea directing this movie. At least the poker turned out to be quite a revelation. I don't know what else did in this budget set movie. Quirky! 5/10
Marks : 5/10
Director Otto Preminger Frank Sinatra Frankie Machine
Writing Nelson Algren Molly Kim Novak
Cinematography Sam Leavitt Sparrow Arnold Stang
 
 
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