© 1955 Otto Preminger Films

The Man With The Golden Arm (1955)

This is a movie I have known about for ages, but always avoided for a simple reason: I have never been able to stand Frank Sinatra. Something about smug cockiness always made my stomach turn, and I have studiously avoided both his music and his movies. But after finally seeing Anatomy of a Murder for the first time recently, I am on a mission to see every Otto Preminger film that I can get my hands on, so I finally gave in and watched it. To my great surprise, I actually thought that Frankie was OK as a drug fiend who is trying to turn his life around. And of course the presence of Kim Novak meant a connection to one of my favorite films, Vertigo. Preminger does not shy away from showing the horrors of drug use, but also ends the film with an indication that someone who had fallen into a life of drugs and crime can redeem themselves, which was a film taboo at the time, and Preminger cleverly skirts around the film production code.

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“You come in here with a skull full of mush and you leave thinking like a lawyer.”
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from The Paper Chase