Film Legends Of Yesteryear: Screen Team & “Star Of The Month (June 2022)” Featuring Frank Sinatra in… Some Came Running (1958)

For my second and final post on Frank Sinatra (my June 2022 Star Of The Month), I’m going with his other 1958 film. That, of course, would be Some Came Running, which also stars Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine!

Coming Up Shorts! with… The Woody Woodpecker Polka (1951)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Woody Woodpecker Screwball Collection from Universal Studios)

(Length: 6 minutes, 43 seconds)

Woody Woodpecker wants to get in to the barn dance for the free food, but Wally Walrus, the ticket taker, won’t let him in without paying. So, Woody decides to dress up as a lady to get in free! This one was interesting, but, at the same time, very similar to the earlier Chew-Chew Baby, with Woody dressing up as a girl to get some easy food. The main difference here is the song “The Woody Woodpecker Polka,” sung by the Starlighters during the opening credits and through part of the short itself. There are a few laughs to be had, but, at the same time, I’ve certainly seen better from Woody before this.

And Now For The Main Feature…

Recently discharged from the army, former writer David Hirsh (Frank Sinatra) finds himself on a bus to his hometown of Parkman, Indiana after a night of drinking. He discovers that he has been accompanied by Ginnie Moorehead (Shirley MacLaine), whom he had invited along in his drunken state. Still confused by everything, he gives her money to go back to Chicago and then goes off to check into a hotel. Even though he hasn’t been in Parkman for sixteen years, word gets around town that he is back, with his older brother, Frank Hirsh (Arthur Kennedy), being one of the last to find out. Frank goes to see David and tries to invite him to dinner with his family. Initially resistant to the idea, David finally agrees to join them later. In the meantime, he goes to Smitty’s Bar and Grill, where he meets gambler Bama Dillert (Dean Martin), who invites David to join him and some buddies in the back room later that evening for a game of poker. When David joins Frank at his home, they discover that Frank’s wife, Agnes (Leora Dana), has invited Professor Robert Haven French (Larry Gates) and his daughter, Gwen (Martha Hyer) to join them for dinner. David is smitten with Gwen, but she is only interested in critiquing his writing and spurns his advances. After David and Gwen part, he joins Bama for that game of poker. He finds that Ginnie has stayed in town, but has been followed there by her abusive ex, Raymond Lanchak (Steven Peck), who picks a fight with David (and loses, especially when the police get involved). The next day, Frank gets on David’s case about the fight and what it means for Frank’s reputation in town, while also admitting to paying for David’s bail. David later goes to the home of the Frenches, where he shares his unfinished story with Gwen. She likes it, and recommends that he submit it for publication. He tries to flirt with her again, but she turns him down. After several further failed attempts at romancing her, David decides to go on the road with Bama to various other cities for gambling purposes, along with Ginnie and Bama’s girlfriend. At a bar in Terre Haute, David discovers his niece, Dawn (Betty Lou Keim), who is out on a drunken binge in order to get back at her father (whom she had secretly caught making out with his secretary). David helps her get a bus ticket to go back home, advising her to avoid making any major life changes until he gets back. Throughout the trip, David unsuccessfully attempts to call Gwen, until she hears good news from the publisher about his story, and finally starts to soften up towards him. However, that is short-lived, when Ginnie comes to visit her secretly, and reveals that she had been on the trip with Dave and Bama (which causes Gwen to decide not to see David any more). Meanwhile, Bama had gotten into trouble on the trip when a sore loser gambler picked a fight with him. Although the resulting injury wasn’t serious, Bama learns from a doctor that his lifestyle needs to change because he has diabetes, which leaves David worried about his friend. With Gwen refusing to see him or go out with him, David starts to consider Ginnie, who has been there for him all along, and reluctantly decides to marry her. With this decision increasing the divide between him and Bama, not to mention all the other troubles with David’s family, will everything end in tragedy, or will they be able to come together?

With James Jones’ debut novel From Here To Eternity proving to be a best-seller with his readers and an equally big hit when adapted to the big screen, he of course wanted to keep writing. For his follow-up, he wrote Some Came Running, which was published in 1957. After seeing the success that Columbia Pictures had with the earlier film, MGM bought the film rights to Some Came Running close to a year before it was even published. When it was published (at a length of 1266 pages), it wasn’t received as well by the critics, but MGM stuck to their guns. Producer Sol C. Siegel at first pondered Glenn Ford for the starring role, but decided to go with Frank Sinatra instead (since the earlier film had been such a big hit for him in particular). Frank, in turn, brought in Dean Martin to play Bama, and suggested Shirley MacLaine for the role of Ginnie. Vincente Minelli was brought in to direct the film, and it took a lot of work to get the overly long story condensed into a shorter, more cinematic form. A lot of filming took place in Madison, Indiana at first, before returning to the soundstages to finish up the film. Upon release, it was received well critically (with several Oscar nominations, particularly Shirley MacLaine for Best Actress), and audiences took to it as well (although not enough to offset the high costs of filming it).

Honestly, it was mostly a coincidence that I ended up going with both of Frank’s 1958 movies for this month (owing as much to the idea that they were the only two films of his that I have on physical media and hadn’t reviewed yet). This was my first time seeing Some Came Running, and I have to admit that I liked it! It’s only their first film together, but Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin both work together quite well! It’s definitely more dramatic than any of their later pairings that I’ve seen, but they both show that they can handle it quite easily! Now, it really should be said that very few characters in this film are that likable, and this applies especially for the men. Frank’s David is very aggressive towards Martha Hyer’s Gwen in that he constantly ignores her rejections and her pleas to let her be. Dean’s Bama is definitely very sexist, and neither of them treats Shirley MacLaine’s Ginnie very kindly for most of the film. Honestly, Gwen and Ginnie are the only two characters for whom I really feel any sympathy. Still, I think everybody did quite well here with their performances. I will admit that I prefer some of the later, more comedic pairings for Frank and Dean, but this film is still good enough that I would recommend it highly!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2021) with… Some Came Running (1958)

This movie is available on Blu-ray from Warner Archive Collection utilizing a transfer from a 4K scan of the original camera negative. Put simply, it’s a typical Warner Archive Blu-ray, with good color, great detail and an image cleaned up of all scratches, dirt and debris. In short, the best way to enjoy this wonderful movie!

Film Length: 2 hours, 16 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Kings Go Forth (1958)Frank SinatraNever So Few (1959)

Road To Bali (1952) – Dean Martin – Ocean’s 11 (1960)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

“Star Of The Month (June 2022)” Featuring Frank Sinatra in… Kings Go Forth (1958)

Now that I’m here for my first post on Frank Sinatra (my Star Of The Month for June 2022), I’m going for his 1958 war movie Kings Go Forth (based on the 1956 novel of the same name by Joe David Brown), co-starring Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Wild And Woody! (1948)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Woody Woodpecker Screwball Collection from Universal Studios)

(Length: 6 minutes, 40 seconds)

In the town of Rigor Mortis, Arizona, outlaw Buzz Buzzard has a habit of killing off every sheriff. However, Woody Woodpecker decides to take the job, and gives Buzz a run for his money! Like the earlier Woody Woodpecker short Wet Blanket Policy, this one gives Woody a very definite villain. And this time, I like the interplay between Woody and Buzz Buzzard much better! I like the various gags (including Buzz shooting the one sheriff on a golf course), and the ending was quite hilarious! I know this is one that I certainly would love to see again and again!

And Now For The Main Feature…

In World War II, a platoon of soldiers has marched into southern France. This group, led by First Lieutenant Sam Loggins (Frank Sinatra), has just had some much-needed replacement soldiers sent their way. One of these newer recruits is Britt Harris (Tony Curtis). At first, Sam doesn’t really trust him (since Britt comes from wealth and seems to get everything he wants), even when Britt helps rescue some soldiers that get injured in a minefield. However, Sam later comes to respect him when Britt single-handedly manages to help them capture a German bunker. All the men get some rest when the Colonel (Karl Swenson) learns that they’ve been under fire for a long time, and offers them some time to rest up in Nice. While exploring the area, Sam meets a young American girl named Monique Blair (Natalie Wood). They talk for a while, and Sam hopes to meet her again. She says that it will not happen, but he still leaves the offer open to meet in another week. He shows up at the arranged time and place, but she doesn’t. Instead, Sam finds himself talking to an older woman (Leora Dana), who asks him a lot of questions. Satisfied with his answers, she reveals herself to be Monique’s mother, and invites him to join them at their home. Over the next few weeks, Sam grows fonder of Monique, and proposes marriage. Monique is reluctant to accept, and reveals to him that her late father was black. This blindsides Sam, who then spends the next week agonizing over the decision of whether to go back to her or not. Much to the happiness of both Monique and her mother, he does decide to come back. Sam takes Monique out to a jazz club, where they find Britt, who joins the club’s musicians for a trumpet solo. To Sam’s dismay, Britt falls for Monique (and she for him). The next few weeks, Monique and Britt spend a lot of time together (with Sam along as the third wheel), and they eventually become engaged. While Sam doesn’t like this turn of events, he reluctantly offers his congratulations to the couple. However, when he and Britt are given a mission to sneak into a nearby town controlled by the Germans, Sam also finds out that Britt, who had submitted a marriage application to the army (at Sam’s insistence), had been hiding the fact that he was approved (and had been blaming the “delay” on the army). Sam forces Britt to tell Monique that he had no real plans to marry her, which leaves her overwrought to the point of trying to commit suicide (which she is stopped from doing). Now stuck with Britt on their mission, Sam makes it plain to him that he will try to kill him. But, with an important mission on the line, can the two get along long enough to complete it, or will they be caught by the Germans?

I first heard of the film when it was announced for Blu-ray a number of years back, and Frank’s presence in the film, plus that of Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood (whom I liked together in the 1965 comedy The Great Race) made it sound like a movie I would enjoy. I found that I enjoyed it. So far, of the four Frank Sinatra war dramas that I’ve had the chance to see (the other three being the 1959 film Never So Few and the 1965 movies None But The Brave and the not-yet-reviewed Von Ryan’s Express), I consider this one my least favorite. Frank is very good here, solidly convincing us that his character is unpopular with the ladies (a better performance than his more awkward characters from his early years at MGM), and he does equally well as a character who finds himself caring for Natalie Wood’s Monique, even after he finds out her black ancestry. I admit, him getting over his previously racist way of thinking seems a little too quick, but I blame that on the film’s writing. Both the other leads do very well here, with Tony Curtis’ Britt proving himself to be a bit of a scoundrel (but not as likeable as his character in the following year’s Operation Petticoat), and Natalie Wood doing well as the young Monique (even if, as a white Russian woman, she wouldn’t get cast in the role of a mulatto if the movie were made now), who gets too emotionally tied to Britt (making his eventual betrayal much crueler). I do think the film is at its best in the not-frequent-enough war scenes, while it drags a bit through the love story itself. Still, it’s an entertaining film that I’ve enjoyed seeing a few times, and certainly would suggest giving it a chance!

This movie is available on Blu-ray from Twilight Time (available at www.screenarchives.com) and on DVD from MGM.

Film Length: 1 hour, 51 minutes

My Rating: 7/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Pal Joey (1957)Frank SinatraSome Came Running (1958)

Tony Curtis – Operation Petticoat (1959)

Marjorie Morningstar (1958) – Natalie Wood

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

TFTMM Presents “Star Of The Month (June 2022)” Featuring Frank Sinatra

May is past (and with it, my tribute to the screen team of Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour). So, next up for the month of June is actor and singer Frank Sinatra (which you might have noticed if you’ve paid any attention to my homepage for the last few weeks)! As previously indicated here, I’m still not doing this as a blogathon (especially since I didn’t announce it a month ahead of time), but, if you’re interested in joining in anyways, you can still contribute if you’d like to (as long as it’s still in the month of June 2022)!

Table Of Contents

Quick Film Career Bio

Birth: December 12, 1915

Death: May 14, 1998

On December 12, 1915, Francis Albert Sinatra was born to Antonino Martino Sinatra and Natalina Garaventa in Hoboken, New Jersey. Since he had to be delivered via the use of forceps, he suffered permanent scarring on his face and a perforated eardrum. As a kid, Frank became fascinated with music, listening to many big singers (including Bing Crosby), while performing at a tavern operated by his parents and at family gatherings. He left high school before he graduated, and tried various odd jobs (mostly as a favor for his mother). With his mother’s help, he got his start when he joined a group of singers called “The Three Flashes” (which was renamed the “Hoboken Four” after he joined). However, he didn’t end up staying with them for too long. After getting employment as a singing waiter for a brief period, he signed with bandleader Harry James, whom he toured with for six months. Feeling he wasn’t getting the success there that he thought he should, he signed with the far more successful Tommy Dorsey.

It was while singing with Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra that Frank made his debut in the motion pictures (in 1941’s Las Vegas Nights). Although Frank enjoyed greater exposure with Tommy Dorsey, his contract (which entitled Dorsey to a third of Sinatra’s lifetime earnings as an entertainer) left him feeling too confined. Somehow, Frank was able to buy out his contract (the exact method isn’t fully known, leading to many conspiracies about mob connections). Not long after, Frank made history with his very successful opening at the Paramount Theater on December 30, 1942 (a feat which would be topped in 1944 when he returned for what would become the infamous “Columbus Day Riot,” so great were the hysterics of his fans who were unable to get into the theater that time). On the music front, he signed with Columbia Records in 1943. In Hollywood, he started out with RKO Studios, but quickly switched to MGM when they cast him in Anchors Aweigh (1945) opposite rising star Gene Kelly. He enjoyed several more hits at MGM before a combination of rumors about him being associated with mobsters (like Lucky Luciano) and being miscast in The Miracle Of The Bells (1948) sent his career downhill. He still enjoyed some success opposite Gene Kelly in the 1949 films Take Me Out To The Ball Game and On The Town, but they weren’t enough to save his career.

When Columbia Pictures was trying to cast their film adaption of James Jones’ novel From Here To Eternity, everybody wanted a shot at it. It took some pushing (and a willingness to take a pay cut) for Frank to get the role of Angelo Maggio, a role that would result in him winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar (and thus resurrecting his career). On the recording side, he signed with Capitol Records, where he was paired with arranger Nelson Riddle (who helped him to develop the style he would later be known for). In the movies, Frank had a few more hits in the form of Suddenly (1954) and The Man With The Golden Arm (1955) (for which he received another Oscar nomination). In the process, he started to gain power in his ability to have movies altered (like when he had the ending changed for 1954’s Young At Heart), although he didn’t gain enough power quick enough to get the coveted role of Sky Masterson in Guys And Dolls (1955). Still, through films like High Society (1956) (opposite Bing Crosby), The Joker Is Wild (1957) and Pal Joey (1957), he continued to rise to the top of the box office.

Beginning with Some Came Running (1958), he started working with Dean Martin and various other members of the Rat Pack. As an overall group, they made their first appearance together in Ocean’s 11 (1960). They continued to make movies together into the 1960s, ending with Robin And The 7 Hoods (1964). On his own, Frank continued to enjoy success in films like The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Von Ryan’s Express (1965) and None But The Brave (1965) (which he directed) before transitioning into detective films at the end of the decade. However, his popularity on the big screen was waning, with Dirty Dingus Magee (1970) being poorly received. Developing Dupuytren’s contracture in his hand, he turned down the title role in Dirty Harry (1971) and went into retirement, both from the big screen and from singing. His retirement was short-lived, as he came back in 1973 for a television special and recorded a new album. He continued to perform, mostly in Las Vegas, with a few attempted returns to the big screen in the form of The First Deadly Sin (1980) and Cannonball Run II (1984). Other than those films and a few TV appearances, he mainly continued to perform at concerts and record new albums. However, in the 1990s, his memory started to fail him, and his health started to go downhill. His final concerts were held in late 1994, with his final singing performance on February 25, 1995 at Palm Desert Marriott Ballroom. He finally succumbed to a heart attack on May 14, 1998.

My Own Feelings On Frank Sinatra

Honestly, Frank Sinatra is one of those classic movie stars I started out not caring for at all. I mainly saw him through films that featured other stars that I liked, like High Society with Bing Crosby, or his three films with Gene Kelly. I personally preferred Bing Crosby (Frank’s main rival as a singer and actor), and it took a while for me to come around to Frank himself. Guys And Dolls was probably the first film I saw with him in it that made me appreciate him as a performer (helped by the fact that the film didn’t really feature anybody else I knew and liked at that time). Ever since, I’ve enjoyed various films of his as I’ve sought them out here and there. So, this month is a nice mix for me of one film I’ve seen before and one that is new to me!

Filmography

This is a list of all the films that I personally have reviewed from his filmography so far. Obviously, I will be adding to it throughout the month of June, and it is my plan to add to it as I review more and more of his films even beyond this month’s celebration.

Anchors Aweigh (1945)

Take Me Out To The Ball Game (1949)

On The Town (1949)

Young At Heart (1954)

Guys And Dolls (1955)

The Tender Trap (1955)

High Society (1956)

Pal Joey (1957)

Kings Go Forth (1958)

Some Came Running (1958)

Never So Few (1959)

Ocean’s 11 (1960)

The Road To Hong Kong (1962) (cameo)

Robin And The 7 Hoods (1964)

None But The Brave (1965)

Entries For This Month

Thoughts From The Music(al) Man –

Kings Go Forth (1958)

Some Came Running (1958)

Film Legends Of Yesteryear (2021): Rita Hayworth in… Pal Joey (1957)

Well, it’s September 17, which means that it’s time for another round of “Film Legends Of Yesteryear” with another Rita Hayworth film! Now, if I was strictly doing things in chronological order (working from the twelve film set I was given for Christmas 2020), then today’s film would be Miss Sadie Thompson. However, I’ve got the Musicals: With A Song And A Dance In My Heart blogathon that I’ve been hosting for the month of September, so I decided to skip around to the one film left in the set that really fits: the 1957 musical Pal Joey, also starring Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Teacher’s Pet (1930)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Little Rascals: The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 2 (1930-1931) from ClassicFlix)

(Length: 20 minutes, 54 seconds)

The Gang have a new teacher, and, since they don’t think they will like her as much as their previous one, Jackie (Jackie Cooper) makes plans to play some pranks on her. The fun continues in this short, which introduced June Marlowe as their teacher, Miss Crabtree. The humor obviously comes from Jackie’s plans, and how he unknowingly reveals them to Miss Crabtree (and, all things considered, I can’t say as I blame him). Dorothy DeBorba makes a quick appearance, mainly making a nuisance of herself (for the kids, not so much for us) by repeating what the others are saying. Overall, a fun short that manages both humor and warmth, and keeps me looking forward to the rest of the series!

And Now For The Main Feature…

After being kicked out of town for trying to romance the mayor’s underage daughter, Joey Evans (Frank Sinatra) makes his way to San Francisco. He tries looking for work there as a singer, but finds no openings. Finally, he sees a poster promoting his friend, bandleader Ned Galvin (Bobby Sherwood), who is working at the Barbary Coast Club. Joey tries to get a job there, but runs into trouble with the Club’s owner, Mike Miggins (Hank Henry), who knows Joey’s reputation and doesn’t want to hire him. Mike only reluctantly gives Joey a job when his emcee doesn’t show up, and Joey gets up on stage and does it successfully. Afterwards, he is introduced to one of the chorus girls, Linda English (Kim Novak), whom he starts flirting with almost immediately (although she doesn’t respond in kind). Ned invites both Joey and Linda to join the band at a charity event that evening being put on by society lady Vera Prentice-Simpson (Rita Hayworth). Joey recognizes Vera as a former stripper and, when the charity auction doesn’t meet its goal, he proposes the audience bid for her to do one of her old stripper routines. With that, the charity meets their goal (much to Vera’s embarrassment). Later that night, Joey and Ned walk Linda back to the rooming house she is living at. Joey sees a “room for rent” sign and, after Ned leaves, he convinces the landlady to let him rent the room (which just happens to be connected to Linda’s room via the bathroom). Over the next few days, Joey wins over most of the chorus girls at the club, with the two exceptions of Linda and her friend Gladys (Barbara Nichols). One night, Vera comes in to the club, but she and her two male escorts leave without paying. Since her presence there was essentially Joey’s fault, Mike fires him. However, Joey is able to delay his firing by betting that Vera will be back by the end of the week, or he can be fired without pay. To do something about it, Joey returns to Vera’s mansion and tells her that she caused him to lose his job, which gives him no choice but to leave town. Meanwhile, Linda starts to soften and accepts his invitation to dinner that Saturday. However, when Saturday comes around, Vera comes to the Club (thereby allowing Joey to keep his job), and she and Joey leave together. When he tells her about his dream of owning his own club, she decides to invest in the idea. She offers him a place to stay, either on her yacht or at her mansion, and they find a place in a much swankier neighborhood to establish his club. Linda is back to being mad at Joey for missing their dinner, but she (along with everybody at the Barbary Coast Club) are hired to come work at Joey’s new place, “Chez Joey.” While the place is being remodeled ahead of the grand opening, Joey starts getting his show in place. When Vera sees that Linda has been given the love song to perform, she gives Joey an ultimatum: get rid of Linda, or Chez Joey will never open. Will Joey be able to give up on his dream of owning a nightclub for Linda, or will he give in to Vera’s demand?

The stage musical Pal Joey, based on a series of short stories by John O’Hara, made its Broadway debut in late 1940. This show was Gene Kelly’s first lead role on Broadway, and helped him on his rise towards Hollywood. He signed first with David O. Selznick, with his contract later being sold completely to MGM after his film debut, For Me And My Gal, turned out to be a success. While they tried to figure out what exactly to do with him, MGM loaned him out to Columbia Pictures for the 1944 film Cover Girl with Rita Hayworth. With his newfound freedom to choreograph his own routines, Gene Kelly helped make the film a hit. Harry Cohn, the head of Columbia Pictures, had bought the film rights to Pal Joey, intending to have Gene Kelly reprise his role for the big screen, but, now that he was a bigger star, MGM refused to loan him out (at least, not for a price that Columbia was willing to pay), so the idea fell by the wayside. The play’s revival in the early 1950s also brought renewed interest in producing a movie, but the censors were now just as much what was stopping production. After making a number of changes (including some necessitated by the casting of Frank Sinatra, who was a singer as opposed to a dancer like Gene Kelly), the censors allowed production to go forward (of course, by that time, the Hays Office was getting a bit more lax in what they let through, combined with audiences no longer being as in favor of censorship as they had been). The film turned out to be a big hit at the box office, and even received four Oscar nominations.

In the original Broadway production of Pal Joey, there were fourteen songs, but only eight managed to make it into the movie, with four songs originally written for other shows being added. Personally, I think that Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth had the best songs in the film. While it was one of the Rodgers and Hart songs added for the movie, Frank’s rendition of “The Lady Is A Tramp” is one of the most memorable moments in the movie, in between being a great song (and Frank certainly does it justice with his singing) as well as the added comedy from Frank’s Joey using it to insult Rita’s Vera (with Hank Henry’s Mike Miggins groaning at this turn of events in the background). Then there’s Rita Hayworth singing (and when I say “singing,” I mean she was dubbed by Jo Ann Greer) “Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered” and “Zip” (which she also dances to), both of which manage to be quite entertaining. I’ll admit, even with her singing dubbed by Trudy Stevens, Kim Novak’s musical numbers are rather forgettable. She’s not terrible, but the other two leads feel far more at home in a musical than she does. Still, she has her moments in this film, including when her character tricks Joey into buying the dog (thus calling his bluff on a childhood sob story he had told her). I do think another weak spot on this movie is the film’s final musical number, a dream sequence set to the songs “What Do I Care for a Dame,” “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” and “I Could Write a Book.” It starts out fine, with Sinatra and the two leading ladies dancing together. The problem is the way it just cuts out, almost as if part of the movie is missing. From what I’ve heard, there was supposed to be more, with choreographer Hermes Pan putting together a much bigger sequence, but Frank Sinatra decided against it and started having stuff cut. I think it works well enough in the movie with the immediate reaction coming out of it, but it still feels cut short. In spite of these complaints, though, this is a movie that I have come to enjoy seeing every now and then. Certainly one I would recommend!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Pal Joey (1957)

This movie has had at least three releases on Blu-ray. The first edition came from Twilight Time waaaay back on February 14, 2012. That was a limited edition (at 3,000 copies) which has since sold out completely. On November 17, 2020, it was made available again as part of the twelve film Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection from Mill Creek Entertainment. And for those who want this movie (but not any of the other Rita Hayworth films), on July 20, 2021, it was made available again individually by Sony Pictures Entertainment. I’ve seen both the Twilight Time and Mill Creek releases (but not the recent release from Sony), so the best I can say is that these appear to be the same transfer (which itself looks quite good), with the main differences being the disc encode. On that, the Twilight Time is better (but, again, it is out-of-print and very hard-to-find). Mill Creek releases tend to be done on the cheap (usually reflected in the pricing on their products and a poorer disc encode), so, unless you want any of the other films in the Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate Collection, I would sooner suggest the Sony release (but, again, it all boils down to what you are willing to pay for quality).

Film Length: 1 hour, 49 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Fire Down Below (1957) – Rita Hayworth – They Came To Cordura (1959)

High Society (1956)Frank SinatraKings Go Forth (1958)

Phffft (1954) – Kim Novak – The Notorious Landlady (1962)

Fire Down Below (1957)Rita Hayworth: The Ultimate CollectionThey Came To Cordura (1959)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2021) with… The Tender Trap (1955)

We’re back for more fun, and today’s movie is none other than the 1955 romantic comedy The Tender Trap, starring Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, David Wayne and Celeste Holm!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Bouncing Babies (1929)

(available on Blu-ray as part of The Little Rascals: The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 1 (1929-1930) from ClassicFlix)

(Length: 20 minutes, 45 seconds)

Wheezer (Bobby Hutchins) is sore because his baby brother is getting all the attention, and wants to send the baby “back to heaven.” While Wheezer’s complaints about being overlooked might run a little too long, this one was a fun short. Some memorable moments were Wheezer’s attempts to make pancakes using plaster ingredients, getting dressed with Petey’s help, and being chased by the rest of the gang in their Halloween costumes. The previous short was better overall, but this one was still fun, and I continue to look forward to watching more of the series!

And Now For The Main Feature…

New York-based theatrical agent Charlie Reader (Frank Sinatra) is given a surprise visit by his old childhood friend, Joe McCall (David Wayne). The married Joe confesses to Charlie that he is currently taking a “vacation” from his wife, and is shocked at the parade of women who come to visit Charlie, including his date for that night, violinist Sylvia Crewes (Celeste Holm). The next day, Charlie goes to see an audition for a new client of his, Julie Gillis (Debbie Reynolds). She gets the part, and he invites her to join Joe, Sylvia and himself for coffee. While there, she tells them all about her big plans to get married and raise a family (even though she hasn’t met the right man yet). Charlie, who is infatuated with her, invites her out for dinner, but she turns him down, as she doesn’t think he’s “husband material.” Her life plans cause trouble for Charlie, as she refuses to sign a run of the play contract (mainly because she has a set date she plans to get married, even though she is still single) and she also misses rehearsals once to go to a homemaking show as she tries to continue making her future plans (and Charlie has to chase her down). When Charlie sits in a chair for her at the homemaking show, and later, when he shows her a better way to sing her song in the play, she starts considering going out with him. In the process, Joe starts going out with Sylvia (since, in going out with Julie, Charlie stood Sylvia up for a date that first night). One night, Julie complains about the fact that they always do what Charlie wants, and never what she wants to do. When he calls her bluff and asks her what she wants to do, she decides to go along with what he had previously planned. Later that evening, when he learns that her folks aren’t home, he decides to take her there for some privacy. Julie tries to resist his charms, but slowly starts to give in to him. She stops only when she finds a bulge in his pocket. No, it’s not what you think (so get your mind out of the gutter!), as what she finds is a stack of messages from all his girlfriends that he had hastily picked up (when she arrived at his apartment earlier to pick him up). Furious, she demands he give up all his other girlfriends, since she feels that he is the one she wants to marry. When Charlie states his lack of interest in getting married, Julie kicks him out. Returning to his own apartment, Charlie tries to ask some of his other girlfriends out, but they all turn him down, stating that they are going out with somebody else. An amused Joe is happy to see Charlie getting his comeuppance, and tells him off for how he has treated Sylvia. Later, when Sylvia comes by, Charlie shocks everybody by proposing to her (and she says yes). While there is a feeling of impending disaster in the room, Charlie decides to celebrate their engagement by throwing a party for their friends. While everybody else goes to get some supplies for the party, Charlie, realizing his mistake, tries to go see Julie and apologize. He doesn’t have to go far, as she quickly shows up in a cab, and the two of them make up (and decide to get married). When Charlie sees some of his friends coming, he sends Julie home (under the pretext of her having early rehearsals the next day) and joins his friends at the party. The next morning is filled with hangovers and a messy apartment to be cleaned. What’s worse, both Julie and Sylvia show up and learn about each other’s “engagement” to Charlie. This results in Julie leaving Charlie, and Sylvia deciding not to “settle” for Charlie. With Joe now planning to return home to his wife and family, Charlie finds himself alone. Can he repair his relationship with Julie, or is he going to stay alone?

Around the time he made the film musical On The Town for MGM, Frank’s career was on a downturn. His next two films after On The Town were both made for different studios, and both failed to make a mark at the box office. Then, he got himself into From Here To Eternity, winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and reviving his film career. After continuing to make a few big films for other studios, Frank returned to MGM for the first time in six years to make The Tender Trap. This movie (which was based on a 1954 play of the same name by Max Shulman and Robert Paul Smith) provided him with the Oscar-nominated song “(Love Is) The Tender Trap,” which would become one of his big hits.

I’ve had the opportunity to see this film several times, and it’s one I’ve enjoyed every time that I’ve seen it. Given his past popularity with the likes of the bobbysoxers, Frank (as Charlie) being a ladies’ man is certainly a fitting role, and he handles it quite well. Debbie Reynolds’ character isn’t exactly a wonderful person, not with her plans being set in stone and only needing to find a man to make them “complete,” but she handles the limitations of the role as well as one could hope. David Wayne is fun as Charlie’s buddy Joe, who is a little more grounded and realizes what Charlie’s womanizing is doing to the gals he is going with. It’s hard not to be amused along with him when Charlie’s “relationships” come crashing down around him. As Sylvia, Celeste Holm certainly gains our sympathies, as she feels herself getting too old to be noticed by anybody, which is why she’s going with Charlie, and yet, Joe helps her realize her own worth. This is not necessarily the best movie ever made, but it provides a nice, enjoyable diversion every now and then. I know I get a few good laughs out of it, and the title tune is indeed a fun song! I would say that this one is worth recommending for some simple fun!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Archive Collection. The Blu-ray uses an HD Master sourced from a 4k scan of the original camera negative. As usual for Warner Archive releases, this movie looks quite good, with the colors looking right, and the detail showing up well. The picture has been cleaned up of all dirt and debris, and, as usual, this is the best way to see this movie!

Film Length: 1 hour, 51 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Guys And Dolls (1955)Frank SinatraHigh Society (1956)

Hit The Deck (1955) – Debbie Reynolds – Tammy And The Bachelor (1957)

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“Star Of The Month (January 2021)” Featuring Doris Day in… Young At Heart (1954)

As I continue on in celebrating actress and singer Doris Day as my Star Of The Month, I will now be looking at her 1954 film Young At Heart, which also stars Frank Sinatra. But, before we get to the movie, we have a few theatrical shorts to get through!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Tops In The Big Top (1945)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 1 from Warner Archive Collection)

Disclaimer: On the disc case, it is noted that the set is intended for the adult collector, which is because these shorts were made at a time when a lot of racist and sexist stereotypes were prevalent. All I’m trying to say is, parents, be careful about just sticking these on for your kids.

(Length: 6 minutes, 26 seconds)

Circus ringmaster Bluto tries to sabotage star attraction Popeye to get the attentions of Popeye’s assistant Olive. At best, a decent Popeye cartoon, with the usual stuff going on. This one is a lot more fun to see the visuals, with a lot of nice color (especially with this short restored). An improvement over the previous cartoon, but still debatable about its actual worth in seeing more than once.

Coming Up Shorts! with… Pink Ice (1965)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 1 (1964-1966) from Kino Lorber)

(Length: 6 minutes, 17 seconds)

The Panther is operating a diamond mine, but a pair of rival miners steal his diamonds. One of the rare few Pink Panther cartoons in which the character actually talks. Whether you like that or not, it’s still a fun cartoon, with the two rival miners trying to set traps to stop him from taking back his diamonds, and then the traps work against them. Every now and then, this one can be fun to watch!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Music professor Gregory Tuttle (Robert Keith) lives with his three musically inclined daughters and his sister, Jessie (Ethel Barrymore). His oldest daughter, Fran (Dorothy Malone), has just gotten engaged to Robert Neary (Alan Hale Jr.). The plumber Ernest Nichols (Lonny Chapman) is interested in middle daughter Amy (Elisabeth Fraser), but she is kind of indifferent about his affections. Youngest daughter Laurie (Doris Day) is single, and makes a pact with sister Amy that they will either have a double wedding, or stay spinsters together for the rest of their lives. Things change up when Laurie meets composer Alex Burke (Gig Young), the son of a friend of their father. He manages to charm his way into boarding at their house while he works on the score for a Broadway musical. He catches the eyes of all three daughters, but he finds himself falling for Laurie in particular. Eventually, things go well enough on his show that Alex recruits his friend Barney Sloan (Frank Sinatra), an arranger, to help him work on the music. When Laurie meets Barney, she finds him to be quite cynical, as he believes that the “fates” (or “they,” as he refers to them) have it out for him. Laurie is unwilling to let him get away with that attitude, and tries to help him past it by pushing him to finish writing a song he had been working on. Right around her father’s birthday celebration, Alex asks Laurie to marry him, which she accepts, much to the dismay of Barney and her sister Amy. When Barney points out to her how much her sister Amy liked Alex right before the wedding, she decides to elope with Barney to New York City. In all the commotion from the family learning about her eloping, Ernest takes charge in trying to let the wedding guests know, which changes Amy’s opinion about him (for the better). In New York City, Barney and Laurie struggle through together. In spite of all their troubles, Laurie has indeed come to fall in love with him, but the cynic in Barney refuses to believe that she prefers him over Alex. When they manage to return to the Tuttle home for Christmas, they also find a successful Alex there, and Barney’s doubts come to a head.

Young At Heart was based on the short story “Sister Act” by Fannie Hurst. Warner Brothers had already brought the story to the big screen in 1938 as the movie Four Daughters. In the mid-1950s, Frank Sinatra was in the midst of a big career comeback after winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for From Here To Eternity. The producers wanted him for the movie, but he would only do it on the condition that they change the original sad ending of the story and give his character a happy one (which they did). The movie itself remained without a title until Frank’s recording of the song Young At Heart became a big hit. So, they made that the title of the movie, and had him sing it over the opening and closing credits.

I will readily admit that I have mixed feelings about this movie. I do like it overall, with Doris Day and Frank Sinatra in particular giving good performances in this movie (and the rest of the cast is right up there with them). The story itself is fun (I will have to admit that I have not seen the earlier Four Daughters or any of its sequels yet, so I can’t really compare it to them). Some of the music is fun and enjoyable to listen to. That being said, I do feel the movie has several problems. One of the most glaring, to my mind, is the film’s ending. It just feels too rushed, and makes me wish that Sinatra hadn’t forced them to change it from the original ending (which is what I thought the movie was leading up to). Had they had a better transition at the end, I might have been okay with it. Another problem (and this is purely my taste in music and singers) is that very little of the music is exactly memorable here. I know that Frank sings the song “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road),” which was one of his big hits, but I just don’t like his version of the song (I much prefer listening to Fed Astaire’s version of it from The Sky’s The Limit, as anybody else singing it, other than any of my close friends, just feels like nails on a chalkboard to me). Also, in spite of the promotional material making a big deal of Doris Day and Frank Sinatra working together here, they really don’t sing together outside of part of the film’s final song (and it makes you wish they had had more songs to sing together in this one, or at least more films together). Still, it’s not a completely terrible film, and one I do enjoy seeing every now and then. So I would recommend giving it a try, if given the opportunity to see it.

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Olive Films.

Film Length: 1 hour, 58 minutes

My Rating: 6/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Calamity Jane (1953)Doris DayLove Me Or Leave Me (1955)

On The Town (1949)Frank SinatraGuys And Dolls (1955)

As an Amazon Affiliate, this site gets a small percentage for every purchase made upon using one of the Amazon links, even if it’s not the movie I linked to (and it’s at no extra cost to you). If you like what I’m doing with the blog, please consider using them so that I can continue to do more!

What's Old Is A New Release Again (2019) with… None But The Brave (1965)

Next up, we have the 1965 war movie None But The Brave.

Coming Up Shorts! with… All’s Fair At The Fair (1947)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 2 from Warner Archive Collection)

Disclaimer: On the disc case, it is noted that the set is intended for the adult collector, which is because these shorts were made at a time when a lot of racist and sexist stereotypes were prevalent. All I’m trying to say is, parents, be careful about just sticking these on for your kids.

(Length: 7 minutes, 19 seconds)

At a carnival with Popeye, Olive catches the eye of hot air balloonist Bluto, who tries to get her away from Popeye. As usual, Bluto makes Popeye look bad, until he gets Olive alone and loses his charm. The overall Bluto vs. Popeye idea may not be new here, but I had some fun, especially since I have a stronger recollection of seeing this one when I was younger. Another fun cartoon making this set feel well worth it!

And Now For The Main Feature…

During World War II, Lieutenant Kuroki (Tatsuya Mihashi) and his men are staunchly defending the island they have been stationed on, but at this point they have essentially been cut off from the rest of the Japanese army. One day, a plane of marines crashes on the island after being shot down by a Japanese zero. The marines, led by their pilot Captain Dennis Bourke (Clint Walker), make themselves at home while they try to fix the radio and make contact again. The two groups are aware of each other, and fighting breaks out when the marines try to get at the fresh water supply and then unsuccessfully attempt to take a boat the Japanese had been putting together. A truce is called when Lieutenant Kuroki asks for help from Chief Pharmacist Mate Maloney (Frank Sinatra) in amputating one of his men’s legs in exchange for access to the fresh water and some food. An uneasy peace is brokered, with each group promising only to resume the fighting if either group reconnects with their respective armies to become part of the war again. However, the peace is only really held together when they all have to band together to save the water supply during a monsoon. But will the peace hold, even if either group is brought back into the war?

None But The Brave is mainly known for being the only movie directed by Frank Sinatra. At the time, the executives at Warner Brothers were wary of giving him this chance, but his business partner Howard Koch was able to convince them to let him direct. The movie was the first American-Japanese co-production shot in the U.S., done on location at the island of Kauai. The movie wasn’t a big hit, and reviews were mixed to favorable about it. However, it was the last time Frank Sinatra directed, for whatever reasons he had.

I very much enjoyed this movie. Up to this point, I have seen four of Frank Sinatra’s war films (if he made any more, I haven’t learned of them yet), and I would rank this second of the four (trailing only Von Ryan’s Express). For me, it was fun seeing Clint Walker, whom I mainly know as Cheyenne Bodie from the classic Warner Brothers TV western Cheyenne, in one of the leading roles, as he works well as the leader of the marines. Of course, Sinatra has a few good moments here, but it’s nice seeing him take a bit of a backseat to the leaders of the two sides. But I definitely like seeing how both sides are humanized here, as we get to know the Japanese men too, and done way before Clint Eastwood would do something similar with his two films Flags Of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. Admittedly, there’s not much character work here beyond the leaders on either side, but it’s still nice to see the two groups trying to get along, and it’s heartbreaking when they feel they have to go back to fighting. As I said, the movie is far from perfect, but I liked it, and find it worth recommending!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Archive Collection. As usual with these Warner Archive releases, the movie looks fantastic in high-definition, with everything looking as crisp and colorful as I could hope to see. Easily a release worth recommending with this transfer!

Film Length: 1 hour, 45 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Robin And The 7 Hoods (1964)Frank Sinatra

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Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2019) on… Robin And The 7 Hoods (1964)

“Oh gee, I’m a hood! I’m a hood! Ho!” – Allen A. Dale (Bing Crosby)

“That’s a hood?” – Six Seconds (Hank Henry)

We now have another take on the Robin Hood legend. This time, the story has been transplanted to late 1920s/1930s Chicago in musical form (with music provided by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen), and features Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Bing Crosby in Robin And The 7 Hoods.

When gangster Big Jim (an uncredited Edward G. Robinson) is gunned down by all the gangsters in town, Guy Gisborne (Peter Falk) takes over, charging everyone for “protection” provided by the sheriff. Robbo (Frank Sinatra) and his men don’t want to go along with that. In their feud, the two groups end up destroying each other’s nightclubs. Meanwhile, a young lady named Marian (Barbara Rush) (who turns out to be Big Jim’s daughter) wants Big Jim’s murder avenged by Robbo (who doesn’t want to do it). When Guy offs the sheriff for not preventing the destruction of his own nightclub, Marian tries to pay Robbo. Wanting nothing to do with the money, he orders it to be given away. It ends up going to an orphanage, and the resulting publicity, started by Allen A. Dale (Bing Crosby), who worked at the orphanage, turns Robbo into a popular celebrity in Chicago. This makes Guy mad, and he tries (and fails) to take Robbo down.

For me personally, this movie has always felt like it had two halves. The first half mainly features the feud between Robbo and Guy. While it certainly has comedic elements to it, they mostly take a back seat to the action. Then, a little before the halfway point, Bing Crosby shows up as Allen A. Dale and the comedy aspects come to the forefront. Personally, I have always enjoyed the second half more because of Bing Crosby, as I think he got some of the movie’s better songs (even if Frank did come out of this movie with the song “My Kind Of Town,” which seems to be the film’s big hit).

One of those songs that I like is the song “Style.” Apparently, Bing Crosby was colorblind, and was generally known for wearing some loud outfits because of that. With this song (or rather, the stuff they are doing while singing it), it seems like they are poking a little fun at Bing for that. But the real fun here is getting to hear Bing, Frank and Dean Martin singing together (and, of course, the song itself is fun and catchy, too)!

Next up is the song “Mr. Booze.” For one scene, Guy, out of frustration, wants to destroy Robbo’s newly rebuilt club, this time through an official police raid. However, Robbo made sure the new architect made preparations for such an event, and they turn the club into a room for a “revival” meeting. With Bing’s Allen A. Dale “acting” as the reverend leading the meeting, they end up going into the song “Mr. Booze.” It’s just a hilarious song (and I can’t help but laugh when they show some of the raiding policemen really getting into the meeting)!

The last song I want to mention is “Don’t Be A Do-Badder.” This song seems to be the theme for the character Allen A. Dale, as it seems to accompany him in the background for some of his appearances. When it is done as a full musical number, it is done with him and all the kids in the orphanage. Apparently, they were going for a similar staging to the Oscar-winning song “Swingin’ On A Star” from the Bing Crosby movie Going My Way. While it wasn’t quite that effective, I still think it was fun!

These were the three main songs that I enjoyed in this movie (although I believe it has many more wonderful moments)! I think one half is better than the other, but I like the whole movie and would easily recommend it! This movie is available individually on Blu-ray and DVD, and as part of the five film Frank Sinatra Collection from Warner Home Video.

“Take it from me, don’t be a do-badder…”

Film Length: 2 hours, 3 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

The Road To Hong Kong (1962)Frank SinatraNone But The Brave (1965)

The Road To Hong Kong (1962) – Dean Martin

Pocketful Of Miracles (1961) – Peter Falk – Murder By Death (1976)

The Road To Hong Kong (1962)Bing CrosbyStagecoach (1966)

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Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2019) on… Ocean’s 11 (1960)

Now we have one of the movies that featured the “Rat Pack,” the classic Ocean’s 11, starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Angie Dickinson.

Spyros Acebos (Akim Tamiroff) wants to rob the Las Vegas casinos, but, due to his criminal record, he can’t get in without raising suspicion. So he hires Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra) to do the job. Danny recruits some of his buddies from the 82nd Airborne unit of paratroopers to pull it off. After getting the men together, they make plans to pull the job at midnight on New Year’s Eve. By New Year’s Eve, they are ready and in position to pull off the heist. Everything goes as planned, but after the job is done, one of the men suffers a fatal heart attack. Then a few other problems start to crop up.

I will admit, this is one of those “Is it or is it not a holiday movie” types. Particularly in starting off the movie, we do get a sense that the Christmas season is upon them, and it maintains a presence, at least in the background, for a good deal of the movie. Then, of course, the heist itself takes place on New Year’s Eve. Personally, I have a hard time wanting to classify this movie as a Christmas film, just due to the main concept. However, I do feel like it at least fits in as a New Year’s movie, since they do more solidly celebrate it, not to mention some of the unforeseen events that occur within the new year.

I will say, this is a movie that I have come to enjoy.  My first viewing didn’t leave me feeling that impressed, but after some time between, I enjoyed it more the second time around.  For me, the cast makes it work, with so many familiar faces.  Admittedly, the “not quite a musical but wants to go in that direction” aspect of the movie still bothers me (especially since Frank doesn’t even do any singing), but for a movie set in Las Vegas, I can live with it. But like I say, I like the cast here, which makes it more fun (just don’t expect me to try the remake or the franchise it started). So, yes, I do recommend this movie!

This movie is available individually on Blu-ray and DVD and on Blu-ray as part of the five-film Frank Sinatra Collection from Warner Home Video.

Film Length: 2 hours, 8 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Never So Few (1959)Frank SinatraThe Road To Hong Kong (1962)

Some Came Running (1958) – Dean Martin – The Road To Hong Kong (1962)

Never So Few (1959) – Peter Lawford

Susan Slept Here (1954) – Red Skelton

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Thoughts From The Music(al) Man (2019) on… Never So Few (1959)

We’re off to the jungles of Burma for the 1959 war movie Never So Few, starring Frank Sinatra and Gina Lollobrigida.

Captain Tom Reynolds (Frank Sinatra) leads a force of American and Kachin fighters in Burma during the second World War. After losing his aid in a skirmish with the Japanese, Tom sends a message to headquarters to request a meeting with his commander. In Calcutta, he demands medicine and a doctor to help deal with his wounded soldiers. Tom and British Captain Danny De Mortimer (Richard Johnson) are forced to take two weeks leave. They are invited to stay with a wealthy merchant named Nikko Regas (Paul Henreid). Tom immediately falls for Nikko’s mistress, Carla Vesari (Gina Lollobrigida), but she rejects him at first. Tom and Danny return to their troops in time for Christmas, but during the holiday celebrations, they are attacked by the Japanese. They are able to repel the attack, but Tom is wounded and sent to the air base hospital. When he recovers, he is given orders to attack an airfield, with support from a supply convoy. When the convoy doesn’t come, they go on ahead to the airfield. Their attack is successful, but they lose quite a few men in the process. On the return trip, they run across what remains of the supply convoy, which was apparently attacked by a group of rogue Chinese, and so they cross the border of China to go after them, which has political consequences.

Originally, this movie was apparently intended to feature three members of the “Rat Pack:” Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford and Sammy Davis, Jr. However, an argument between Frank and Sammy over some of Sammy’s recent comments resulted in him being fired. So then-newcomer Steve McQueen (who at that time was mainly known for the western TV series Wanted: Dead Or Alive) was cast in his place. Between the director, John Sturges, and Frank’s urging, Steve McQueen was given a relatively prominent role, which gave him his big chance in the movies. Several years later, McQueen would work with the director again in the classic The Great Escape.

Honestly, my main problem with this movie is the romance between Frank’s Captain Reynolds and Gina’s Carla Vesari. It just feels off, and because of that, it takes up a little too much of the movie’s two hours and five minutes runtime. If there could have been less of that, and a little more time spent with the men under Captain Reynolds’ command, including a young Dean Jones (before he started doing live action movies for Disney) and Charles Bronson, the movie would have been much better. I think the war scenes work quite well (although anybody expecting lots of blood and gore would come away disappointed, as I think the censors still had enough power at the time to minimize that). So, while it has its problems, I do like this movie and would recommend giving it a shot!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2018) with… Never So Few (1959)

Previously available on DVD from Warner Home Video, Never So Few has been given a Blu-ray upgrade by Warner Archive Collection. As the Blu-ray is my first time seeing the movie, I can’t really speak to any earlier releases/transfers, but I think that Warner Archive has given this the transfer it deserves (or better, depending on your opinion of the movie). I have no complaints on the picture quality, which allows the action and the scenery to shine through!

Film Length: 2 hours, 5 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Some Came Running (1958)Frank SinatraOcean’s 11 (1960)

Easter Parade (1948) – Peter Lawford – Ocean’s 11 (1960)

Deep In My Heart (1954) – Paul Henreid

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