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The Man With the Golden Arm [DVD]

20 customer reviews

Price: £4.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
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£4.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Actors: Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Parker, Kim Novak, Arnold Stang, Darren McGavin
  • Directors: Otto Preminger
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Pickwick
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Aug. 2003
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000CAPX4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,293 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Professional poker dealer Frankie Machine (Frank Sinatra) returns to Chicago after a spell in prison for possession of heroin, determined to be a reformed character and make it as a jazz drummer. The odds are stacked against him, however, for with a neurotic and invalid wife and the presence of his old drug pushing friends it is not long before he gives in to temptation and is back on drugs. Based on Nelson Agren s novel, this adaptation was considered ground-breaking at the time of its original release in 1955, not least because drugs were a subject matter that Hollywood had previously steered well clear of. Sinatra s preparation for the role was thorough, visiting drug rehabilitation clinics, and he gives one of his best performances. Combine this with Elmer Bernstein s excellent jazz score and Preminger s superb direction and the result is one of the most important releases in American cinematic history.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Gooch on 13 Jan. 2010
Format: DVD
This is a great film with, probably, Sinatra's finest film performance in what was for its day a realistic story of a drug addict trying against all the odds to make good. However, the DVD is very poor. The transfer is very low quality and there are no extras - not even chapter selection. Buy the film for sure, but not this DVD.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon on 4 Nov. 2004
Format: DVD
Viewing this film is like lifting a rock to see what has been existing under its dark weight, and from the stylish Saul Bass titles and jazzy Elmer Bernstein score, it is a riveting film, with a brilliant, intense Sinatra performance.
As an ex-con trying to beat a heroin addiction, "Frankie" (Sinatra) slips back into his old habits and friends upon release from prison, and is chained to a guilt-based relationship with Eleanor Parker, who is excellent as "Zosch", a woman who manipulates from her wheelchair, blaming "Frankie" for her fate, and resenting his friendship with "Molly", beautifully played by the gorgeous Kim Novak, who exudes vulnerability and a soft, sweet soul.
Well written from the Nelson Algren novel, and visually interesting with superb b&w cinematography by Sam Leavitt, the details of the costuming are also worth noting...I love Molly's old threadbare chenille bathrobe...and like much of the clothes in the film, looking like it was bought in a thrift shop.
I don't find this 1955 film dated at all; its themes and "types" are timeless and occur in every class and level of society, and the characters can be found in the Bowery or Beverly Hills.
The film was nominated in three Oscar categories: Best Actor (losing to Ernest Borgnine in another gritty film, "Marty"), Best Art Direction/Set Decoration ("The Rose Tattoo"), and Best Score (losing to the romantic "Love is a Many Splendored Thing").
Total running time is 119 minutes, and this film has been released under many labels in many grades, including some "cheapies" that are less than perfect in clarity and audio, but present a good value for the price.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A. I. Newell on 29 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD
I agree with the other reviewers as to the artistic merits of the film.
However this is an unacceptably poor quality DVD (I have had a similar bad experiences with another "Elstree Hill" product)- worse than my off-air VHS copy - do not buy it! It is a disgrace to Amazon!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Sept. 2005
Format: DVD
"The Man with the Golden Arm" is Frankie Machine (Frank Sinatra), just out of jail and back home in skid row. He beat his heroin habit while in jail and vows to get a good job and stay clean. He returns to his clingy wife (Eleanor Parker), although he still carries a torch for his old girlfriend (Kim Novak). Lack of money and hope soon send Frankie back to dealing cards for the neighbourhood boss (Darren McGavin) and to his old drug habit.

This was the first major film to deal with the subject of addiction and was considered rather shocking in 1955. Compared to current films it is quite sanitized - the word "heroin" is never mentioned, Frankie beats his addiction in just a few hours, and street scenes are obviously filmed in a studio. But this is a terrific movie, thanks to the touching performance of Frank Sinatra; he is simply wonderful in the role and earned an Oscar nomination. The lovely Kim Novak is also memorable, giving her floozy character real depth with a heart and soul. This is a must-see for Sinatra fans; he gives one of his best screen performances.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jazzisticus on 19 Aug. 2005
Format: DVD
This DVD is awfull. Fistly it is not PAL, but NTSC. It was made from an horrendous VHS, That has a green tint. No subtitles not even American closed captions.
If you watch it with a PC with Power DVD 6.0 on an LCD screen, lots of colours appear. The guy tht mastered this should be shot.. On a Pioneer Plasma is less bad, grut still greenish. You need to buy a Black & white 1960's TV probably...
I'm cannot comment on the film, since I could not see it entirely after 3 attemps. I think I will burn it....
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By lucas on 18 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Poor quality of images. Amazon reviews team has the bad habit of putting reviews about different products together so I ordered three different copies, found out that they were all of poor quality, and returned them all for a full refund. I also ordered a French copy, with has one extra feature. My thought was that if they cared about adding an extra feature then they would also care about the quality of the copy but theirs is as bad if not worse than the British copies.

The dvds I checked and had poor quality of images were from the following studios, according to Amazon descriptions: Slam Dunk Media, Quantum Leap. The third one has no studio name on Amazon description. It has the saying "the movie that broke the drug taboo" on the cover and a photo of a black arm against a white background. Lancaster is the name of the studio, according to Amazon description, of the French copy.
I tried to write one review about each specific studio but Amazon didn't let me do it, saying that I've already reviewed the product. It is a sign of staggering stupidity to consider two copies manufactured by different studios to be the same product. One of the dvds, Quantum if I remember right, has better images than the other three but the quality is still poor and the audio of Quantum is very low, problem that is not present in the copies of other studios.

Two options: Try the dvd from Warner. It might be the only decent copy of this film on dvd but here I am guessing as I don't have the Warner dvd.
Get the Spanish copy of this film on blu ray. The quality of image is really good. It's not remastered but it's certainly far better than four different dvd copies that I checked. The Spanish blu ray has the option for audio in English with no subtitles.
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