The Man with the Golden Arm

1955

Crime / Drama / Romance

5
IMDb Rating 7.3/10 10 12275 12.3K

Director

Top cast

Kim Novak as Molly
Darren McGavin as Louie
Eleanor Parker as Zosh Machine
Frank Sinatra as Frankie Machine
720p.BLU
1.07 GB
1280*742
English 2.0
NR
us  
24 fps
1 hr 59 min
Seeds 43

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 8 / 10

"C'mon, One Hustler To Another."

The Man With a Golden Arm was one of a trio of great films around that same time that dealt with drug addiction. The other two were Monkey On My Back and A Hatful of Rain. But I think of the three this one is the best.

Maybe if Otto Preminger had shot the thing in the real Chicago instead of those obvious studio sets the film might have been better yet. Who knows, maybe Preminger couldn't get enough money to pay for the location. It's the only flaw I find in the film.

Frank Sinatra is a heroin addicted card dealer who was busted for covering for his boss Robert Strauss when the game was raided. He took the cure while in jail and wants a new life as a jazz drummer. But a whole lot of people are conspiring against him.

First Bob Strauss who wants him back dealing, especially because a couple of heavyweight gamblers are in town. He uses a few underhanded methods to get Sinatra's services back. Secondly Darren McGavin is the local dope dealer who wants Sinatra good and hooked as a customer again. And finally Eleanor Parker his clinging wife who's working a con game to beat all, just to keep him around.

Frank Sinatra got a nomination for Best Actor for this film, but lost to Ernest Borgnine in Marty. Sinatra might have won for this one if he hadn't won for From Here to Eternity in the Supporting Actor category a few years back and that Marty was such an acclaimed film in that year. His scenes going through withdrawal locked up in Kim Novak's apartment will leave you shaken.

Eleanor Parker does not get enough credit for her role. She's really something as the crazy scheming wife who wants Sinatra tied to her no matter what the cost. If she had not been nominated that same year for Interrupted Melody, she might have been nominated for this. 1955 marked the high point of her career.

Darren McGavin got his first real notice as the very serpentine drug peddler. His performance is guaranteed to make your flesh crawl.

Elmer Bernstein contributed a great jazz score to accentuate the general dinginess of the bleak Chicago neighborhood the characters live in. Not a place you'd want to bring up your family.

Reviewed by mattymatt4ever 8 / 10

A moving drama with golden performances

I've always enjoyed Frank Sinatra's music, and just recently I wrote a term paper about his life story. I've been fascinated by the life and legend of Ol' Blue Eyes. However, I've never seen any of his movies. So I wanted to see if his acting was as great as his singing. Well...it was! I was blown away by his performance in this movie! He really does a tremendous job as recovering heroin addict Frankie Machine, who's trying to put his life back together and audition as a drummer for a local band.

Otto Preminger's direction is great as well. I haven't seen any of his other movies. I read his biography on the IMDB. He seems like one of those directors who was sorely misunderstood, and people had conflicted thoughts about him. Seems like the kind of person who appeals most to cult enthusiasts. I haven't seen enough of his films to know for sure if he's really brilliant, but now I'm curious. I want to see more of his films, because judging by his attempt with "The Man with the Golden Arm" this guy has talent. I also loved the music for this movie. The score definitely contains the kind of music that I'll remember if I ever happen to hear it again. That's when you know you have a great score.

The supporting performances are fine as well, including Darren McGavin as the local drug pusher, Eleanor Parker as Frankie's wheelchair-bound wife and Kim Novak as his lover.

It's interesting to see how filmmakers handled the subject of drug abuse, as opposed to modern attempts in films like "Trainspotting" and "Requiem for a Dream." Back in 1955, just mentioning the word "drugs" caused controversy, and if you watch the film they kept the subject on a very discreet level. There's only one scene where Frankie is actually getting heroin injected into his arm, and they showed a close-up of the reaction of his face rather than showing the needle graphically poking into his veins. But it delivered its message without making it feel watered-down. In a powerful drama like this, with powerful performances and direction like this, you don't need graphic portrayals of drug abuse to keep the audience intrigued.

"The Man with the Golden Arm" is a dramatic gem that all film buffs should check out. It really is an amazing piece of work!

My score: 8 (out of 10)

Reviewed by dhoffman 8 / 10

Only the subject matter of this film is dated.

We have moved far beyond this tentative foray into a forbidden area-drug addiction-for the 1950s. As such, the film may seem dated. The Man with the Golden Arm served its function is peeling back a layer of the underside of society, an eye-opener to a Southern country boy in 1955 when I first viewed this film in the theater. After some serious consideration about being too young, I was allowed to go. It was powerful and affecting then and still maintains some sharp, painful moments of the soul stripped naked. As a movie depicting the loneliness at the core of being, it succeeds.

Filled with angst, Frank Sinatra, in his best role, creates a vulnerability that makes him sympathetic to the viewer. He conveys his helplessness and ineffectualness in a beautifully restrained performance. As a voice of common sense in the dead-end urban jungle, Kim Novak as Molly is quite good. She is compassionate and yet stands on solid ground. The interaction between Sinatra and Novak is really good. Darren McGavin plays a slimy character and does it very well. Eleanor Parker is superbly irritating and painfully insecure in her role of the pathetic Zosch, the crippled wife of Sinatra. Arnold Stang is another unlikely survivor of the street. Regarded as pitiful and despicable, his character Sparrow provides tart comedic moments.

The music is almost the star of this film-brooding, frenetic, moody, poignant. Elmer Bernstein's score perfectly accentuates the tensions of Frankie Machine's spiritual weakness and physical need for heroin. Molly's theme is bittersweet and captures aurally what the film depicts visually. I know of no other soundtrack that effectively complements the tension and defeat within a man as effectively as does this one.

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