The Man With the Golden Arm

The Man With the Golden Arm

DVD - 2005
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An ex-convict recovering from heroin addiction returns to the Chicago slums and struggles to become a musician.


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heroin has become so much a part of our lives, we shrug as if we don't care when President Trump warns of the dangers of drug gangs from the south bringing it over the border. We don't care. Let's save a few young lives by not allowing the drug gangs from below our border to prosper here. Are we so conditioned by 'the establishment media' to believe that he is all-ogre, thus not to take anything of value out of his presidency? Nobody's perfect, you know; I even met a bus driver on the way out here who sincerely believes that Nixon was one of our best presidents, 'if you take Watergate out.' Nixon did end the Vietnam War, as he said he would, if elected, and this driver appreciates that. That it took him five years to do it, fazes this man, not at all. LBJ's criminal past in Texas, similarly does not surprise him. Who bothers him is Alan Greenspan, who lowered interest rates, which precipitated the 2008 housing crisis. That and the Federal Reserve Board, which 'preserves financial inequities between people.' I told him that one writer I had read stated JFK's plans to eliminate the FRB were what got him killed. This did not surprise him. He proceeded to reiterate again and again that 'Kennedy started the Vietnam War, LBJ escalated it, and Nixon ended it.'/// Sinatra was a proven actor by the time he made this film, and its downbeatness (noir) suits his customary mood (dour).

Oct 24, 2018

VERY GOOD B/W 1955 film noir starring Frank Sinatra as a reforming dope addict who who gets clean while in prison, upon release returns (perhaps bad idea) to S. Chicago where he had been a card dealer in illegal gaming parlor. Definitely a quirky (but well done) role for Frank - and everybody else, including Arnold Stang in his comedic side kick role as Sparrow. Kim Novak was VERY watchable as Molly O.

Apr 07, 2018

Otto Preminger’s sanitized screen adaptation of Nelson Algren’s novel almost didn’t make it into American theatres due to its graphic portrayal of heroin addiction, including a cold turkey sequence that helped garner a Best Actor nomination for star Frank Sinatra. Tainted in parts by the director's predilection for lurid details and carrying a script that too often slips into pulp magazine tropes, this is nevertheless one of cinema’s first serious forays into the mind of a junkie with Sinatra proving he is up for the task as he sweats and trembles his way towards a final catharsis that arrives a little too conveniently for all its emotional build-up. Besides his Oscar nomination, the film was also nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Musical Score and for good reason. Shot in dreary B&W on RKO backlots and studio sound stages, Preminger and cinematographer Sam Leavitt create a world of stifling apartments, sleazy nightclubs, and smoky backrooms while Shorty Rogers’ manic jazz numbers underscore the film’s pall of desperation. Stuck in the style of 50s melodrama but still worthwhile viewing despite Eleanor Parker's over-the-top hysterical performance as Sinatra's crazy wheelchair-bound wife.

Aug 24, 2016

Based on Nelson Algren’s National Book award winning novel, the film was shot in Chicago’s Milwaukee Ave/Division St neighborhood. The rights to the film were owned by John Garfield who hoped to star in the film but died at age 39 most likely because of threats from the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC) for refusing to name names during the McCarthy Red Scare period. The MPAA censorship board refused to approve of the film saying they would never approve of a film that depicted a drug addict, stating that movies like this might get people addicted to drugs. Watch the film and decide for yourself if you see one second of drug glamour. The producers agreed to cut the pre-shot prep of the morphine with a flame turning the morphine powder into a liquid (the censors so stupidly believed that such a scene would teach people how to take drugs).

Sep 05, 2015

We are fortunate to have the 50th Year Edition of "The Man With the Golden Arm". As if the movie alone was not enough. Otto Preminger from the opening credits and the first sounds of the soundtrack, makes it known that you are in for a special film. Frank Sinatra, as a drug addict, transforms himself from a recovered addict to the depths of addiction. During the process he gives a performance that should be in the Library of Congress . Kim Novak never looked or acted so impressively. I was moved almost to tears many times. There is a comic genius in the film. He is the famous character actor Arnold Stang. His role as Frankie's friend and friend to lost dogs is precious. "The Man With the Golden Arm" goes down as one of my personal favorites of all time!

Jan 16, 2014

Based on the novel by Nelson "Walk on the Wild Side" Algren, this has to be one of the first Hollywood films with a junkie as its protagonist. Frank Sinatra, in a gritty, stark performance, plays a card dealer who gets out of prison and tries to stay away from heroin ans his old friends. He's torn between his wheelchair-bound wife and sultry Kim Novak. The dad from "A Christmas Story" plays the bad dude. If there's a fault it's that the actress who plays Sinatra's wife is shrill and unlikable, like a refuge from a bad Tennessee Williams's play. It takes some liberties from the book, but is a pretty stark, unglamorous look at both drugs and down and out characters. Directed by Otto Preminger with a typically striking title sequence by the legendary Saul Bass, who also designed the iconic poster.

Mar 24, 2012

Man, everybody's got issues in this one! Magnificent, groundbreaking 1955 Otto Preminger film, very controversial for that period. Sinatra was outstanding, and this was his favorite role of his career. It earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. The entire cast was superb - the ravishing Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker, the late great Darren McGavin, Arnold Stang (the voice of cartoon character 'Top Cat'!), etc. Junkies & strippers; petty thieves & drug pushers; card sharks & drunks... Doesn't get much more BLEAK. Hopeless, lost souls, trapped in a vicious circle, dreaming of escape, of something 'better'... Terrific dramatic jazz score by Elmer Bernstein, also. FIVE STARS.

sendaikid Oct 27, 2010

One of my favorite

mack1943 Oct 25, 2010

Excellent movie about drug addiction and musicians.


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Mar 24, 2012

Louie: "The monkey's never dead, Dealer. The monkey never dies. When you kick him off... he just hides in a corner... waitin' his turn..." Frankie Machine (after he 'shoots up'): "The monkey'll die waitin'... He ain't climbin' up on my back no more. Never again..." Louie: "Sure!... Sure..."

Mar 24, 2012

Frankie Machine (talking about Johnny): "Everybody needs somebody... but you can do better than him." Molly: "Can I Frankie?"

Frankie: "He's a lush, Molly! He's a 100% habitual drunk." Molly: "Look, everybody's habitual somethin'. With him it's liquor, is all."

Mar 24, 2012

Sparrow (to cop): "Now listen. You can't hold me, I'm 'un-incapable'. I ain't smart enough to be runnin' around loose. And I'm too goofy to be locked up!"


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