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The Man with the Golden Arm

125 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Oct 18, 2005)
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50th Anniversary Edition
$8.63 $4.78
(May 13, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

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This powerful drama, which broached the subject of drug addiction in a stark and realistic manner, may be mild by today's standards, but was a groundbreaking and edgy film in its day. The legendary Frank Sinatra plays addict, Frankie Machine, with Eleanor Parker playing his disabled wife. Based on the novel by Nelson Algren. MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM received three Academy Award Nominations, including Best Actor for Frank Sinatra.

Special Features

  • New featurette: Shoot Up/Shoot Out: The Story Behind The Man with the Golden Arm
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker, Arnold Stang, Darren McGavin
  • Directors: Otto Preminger
  • Format: Black & White, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 13, 2008
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00143XE00
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,316 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Man with the Golden Arm" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 4, 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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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By D. Mataconis on September 17, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Frank Sinatra received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for this performance, and its easy to see why. Playing a role that could have easily drifted into campish over-acting, Sinatra perfectly captures the desparation and hope that Frankie Machine felt as he was trying to get over an addiction that was obviously destroying him, physically and mentally.
Hollywood lore says that Sinatra visited a rehab clinic while preparing for this film in order to see what a herion addict going through withdrawal really looked (and acted) like. If true, it certainly must have given him an insight into a world that its impossible for most people to understand.
Judged against Sinatra's other film performances, this certainly has to rank as the best; the only other film roles that come close are Maggio in "From Here to Eternity" and "The Manchurian Candidate". Its this performance, however, and the despiration of a man who wants to take control of his life, but can't, that has to be at the top of the list.
In the end, Sinatra didn't win that Best Actor Oscar, losing out to Ernest Borgnine for his role in "Marty". After watching this movie, one wonders what more Frank could've done. As far as I'm concerned, he should'a won it.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By M. FISHER on September 27, 2008
Format: DVD
As other reviews have focused on this fine ***** star movie, I'd like to just make a comment about THIS version. It's been a long time coming to finally get this pristine version on DVD. Not since the final days of LaserDisc when Warner's finally released a near perfect transfer of this movie, have I been waiting for them to do the same on DVD - and they did not disappoint (I tink it's actually the same transfer except this DVD is 1.85:1 and anamorphic wide screen - the original was academy ratio). This movie is actually in 'The Public Domain', that is, it is free to distribute and copy legally. So there are many versions of this movie floating around, often at the bargain bin of $5- or so... However this Warner's transfer is THE copy to get. If you want to experience the beautiful B&W photography of Sam Leavitt in chrystal clarity or the remastered sound with Elmer Bernstein's Jazz score, then do yourself a favor and purchase immediately, it will not disappoint!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Nyman on October 9, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This has got to be one of the best movies ever made which has depicted the heroin addict and his predicament. Frank Sinatra, in one of his earlier roles, plays the part of an ex-convict/drug addict who returns back to the "old neighborhood," and wants to "come clean," and pursue a career as a big band drummer, but he unfortunately comes face to face with the "dealer" (Darren McGavin) and things cook from there. McGavin is a wonderful portrayal of the neighborhood supplier who keeps baiting Sinatra and baiting him until the he cannot say no any longer. Coupled with his own domestic situation, which I dare not give away, but only to tell you that the ensemble cast which makes up this movie is outstanding. The soundtrack is pulsating and keeps your adrenaline moving upward, and that is one of the most unnerving parts of the film, and one which keeps you on the edge of your seat, as the saying goes. This could be classified as a family movie, as there is no sex, nudity, profanity, but only the theme of drug addiction, and a family could watch this film and discuss these issues in an enlightened way. Sinatra once said he thought he should've gotten an Oscar for this movie, and I agree. Highly recommended!!!
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Topic From this Discussion
Has Warner's remastered/restored the print?
Your query caused me to hurriedly spot check my new edition of this DVD. I too have been disappointed by previous releases. This new version looks fine. It is anamorphic widescreen. I have not viewed the entire film, but skipped from chapter to chapter and found every shot that I saw to be... Read More
May 20, 2008 by David A. Greene |  See all 4 posts
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