Man With The Golden Arm, The

1945. THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (1955-usA). With FRANK SINATRA, ELEANOR PARKER, KIM NOVAK, DARREN McGAVIN, ARNOLD STANG, ROBERT STRAUSS. Music by ELMER BERNSTEIN, Jazz sequences feature SHORTY ROGERS, SHELLY MANNE. Directed by OTTO PREMINGER. A bold, controversial drama, based on the best-selling novel by NELSON ALGREN. The story focuses on a subject which sadly remains a sour element of contemporary American life: the ravages and human loll of drug abuse. Frank Sinatra earned a well-deserved Academy Award nom nation as Frankie Machine, a heroin addict. Upon completing a six-month hitch in a hospital, whether he supposedly was cured of his dependence, Frankie returns to his sordid Chicago environs: a neighborhood of beer joints and pool halls, populated by assorted deadbeats, users and abusers. At first he attempts to stay straight, but good fortune is not in his corner (beginning with his inability to obtain employment as a jazz drummer). The pressures on Frankie are certain to mount; how long will it be before he reverts back to his old, self-destructive ways? There are some first-rate performances here Eleanor Parker as Zosh, Frankie’s manipulative psychologically dependent wife; Arnold Stang a Sparrow, his simple-minded sidekick; and Darren McGavin as Louie, a bullying drug pusher. Plus Kim Novak is an eyeful as the sultry Molly, who Incomes Frankie’s confidante and, ultimately, best friend. However, the film is at its best when it chronicles, in vivid detail, the anguish and desperation experienced by the drug addict; especially harrowing is the sequence in which Frankie attempts to go cold turkey. This film may be tame by today’s standards, but it still retains an undeniable, raw power. Back in 1955, no film had ever depicted the trials of a drug addict SD vividly. 119 minutes. Drama