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Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Frank Sinatra Collection: The Golden Years”

(Warner Home Video. Not Rated. B&W/Color.) The Tender Trap (1955, directed by Charles Walters), The Man with the Golden Arm (Otto Preminger; score by Elmer Bernstein), Some Came Running (1958, Vincente Minnelli, Elmer Bernstein), Marriage on the Rocks (1965, Jack Donohue, Nelson Riddle), None but the Brave (1965, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Williams).


Years ago, I had a button that said “It’s Sinatra’s world…we just live in it.” Well, Ol’ Blue Eyes has been gone 10 years now, and Warner is releasing a total of 22 films in five new collections, with 11 titles new to DVD. The Golden Years is a very good start. One of my favorite openings to any movie is Frank jauntily strolling towards the camera while singing the wonderful title song to The Tender Trap. Written by Sammy Cahn and James van Heusen, it’s the perfect song for the Chairman of the Board, and the way we like to remember him. The plot has Manhattan talent agent Sinatra in full swinging bachelor mode until he meets Debbie Reynolds. The other musical/comedy is the set’s only dud: Marriage on the Rocks has Nelson Riddle’s musical arrangements, plus Deborah Kerr and Dean Martin as Frank’s co-stars, but can’t rise above a silly plot about marital mixups. The three dramas here are all very good: Golden Arm has Frank as a drug addict with the truly creepy Darren McGavin as his pusher…and don’t forget Arnold Stang. Eleanor Parker and Kim Novak are the women in Frank’s life. Great jazz score by Elmer Bernstein. Running teams Frank, Dean, Shirley MacLaine, and Martha Hyer in a good story of small-town hypocrisy, based on the second novel by James Jones (his first was From Here To Eternity). MacLaine was nominated for an Oscar. Frank’s only directorial effort is the competent Brave, a World War II drama in which he also starred. Good and unknown – music by John Williams when he was still “Johnny.” Box set extras include trailers and a few new featurettes, the best being “Frank in the Fifties.” Ring-a-ding-ding.