THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM
1955, Preminger Films, 119 min, USA, Dir: Otto Preminger

Director Otto Preminger defied the Production Code for the second time with this first American film about drug addiction. Frank Sinatra, in the performance of his career, plays a junkie jazz drummer and card sharp torn between love for his girlfriend (Kim Novak), a sad-eyed cashier in a strip club, and loyalty to his crippled wife (Eleanor Parker). Darren McGavin (“The Night Stalker”) is the villainous heroin pusher. Shooting in the studio rather than on location, Preminger creates a richly atmospheric, lower-depths milieu. Elmer Bernstein’s moody, compelling jazz score and Saul Bass’ seductive opening titles are memorable.


CAT BALLOU
1965, Sony Repertory, 97 min, USA, Dir: Elliot Silverstein

Jane Fonda plays the title role in this comedic hit, named by the AFI as one of the top 10 Westerns of all time. Schoolteacher Catherine Ballou must resort to desperate measures when her father and his Wyoming ranch are targeted by the Wolf City Development Corporation, but the man she hires as a gunfighter turns out to be a drunk. For his dual role as inebriated Kid Shelleen and his assassin brother, Lee Marvin won a Best Actor Oscar. Among the memorable supporting performers are Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye, who provide running musical commentary.


Syndicate content