Film 223 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1955’s “The Man With the Golden Arm”. Based on Nelson Algren’s novel of the same name, this Otto Preminger drama is about a heroin addict who gets clean while in prison, but struggles to stay that way in the outside world. Going into this film I was expecting this to be fun. This was my first look at Frank Sinatra as an actor and he really didn’t impress me. Why does everyone have weird names (Zosh & Schwevka)? Why is Frankie’s friend like painting dogs? Also, I felt like my enjoyment was slightly dampened when I watched a review of this film on YouTube where the person reviewing the film said that this was dull to watch and the type of film that wouldn’t convince drug addicts to start quitting. Even the tagline on the DVD cover makes no sense, “What’s the deal? Cards or drugs?” That alone makes it feel like I’m about to watch one of those late night poker shows with “professional gamblers” who wear sunglasses indoors and have sponsors. It took 25 minutes until I started to fall asleep and for my head to start hurting. Overall, this was really hard to watch. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1955’s “The Man With the Golden Arm”
Year – 1995
Director – Otto Preminger
Written By – Walter Newman, Lewis Meltzer, Nelson Algren, Ben Hecht
Staring – Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker
IMBb Rating – 7.5/10
My Rating – ZZZZzzzzz
Length – 119 min (1h 59min)
Genre – Drama
Nothing like a bit of jazz music to open
We open with Frankie arriving at a bar after being released from prison
Someone is clearly an alcoholic
Frankie meets with his friend who likes painting dogs for a hobby
So… Is he trying to start a minstral show with dogs
Prison’s the best place to be?
Frankie wants to be a drummer and has stopped taking drugs
This dealer looks like Brad Pitt
Bugger off and get me some clothes
Nice to know Frankie didn’t get evicted from his apartment
Is this Frankie’s wife?
Why is she in a wheelchair?
Zosh? Bit of a weird name
I made you a necklace out of cigarette cases
Wait… Frankie brought home symbols and a base drum but none of the other parts
Sorry you’re boring me. Can I put the radio on?
Where did that snare come from?
Is he playing the snare with forks?
Cake first then you make your phone call
Wait… Is Molly Frankie’s secret admirer
Frankie got the drumming job
Zosh says her name is Sofia – Sofia is better
My new job is more important than your addictions Zosh
WHAT THE FUCK?!?!? She can walk!!!!
Schwevka meets with Frankie in the bar and offers him his old job back
Frankie rejects his offer
Frankie’s been arrested for wearing a stolen suit
And Frankie’s back in jail after two days
Nice to know you can take cigarettes in the jail cells
Schwevka says he’ll bail him out if he deals for him again
Think someone wants to leave – Let’s blame the drugs