Sinatra (1992)

 

 

 

Director:     James Steven Sadwith.

Starring:     Philip Casnoff (Frank), Olympia Dukakis (Frank's mother), Joe Santos (Frank's father), Gina Gershon (Nancy Barbato Sinatra), Marcia Gay Harden (Ava Gardner).

A made-for-television mini-series following the life and times of Frank Sinatra, one of America's most popular singers of the 20th century.  His daughter Tina Sinatra developed the project and it was approved by Frank himself.

 

 

A very good film that follows Frank's rise to the top from singing in the bar in his hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey, to burlesque, to the orchestras of Harry James and then Tommy Dorsey before heading out on his own.  Frank's father always criticized him as a dreamer and a bum and Frank seems to be one hell of a driven man, who ignores his wife and family to get to the top in his singing and acting career. He goes into a slum to be rescued by the movie "From Here to Eternity."  He continues to become an American icon.  The music is also great. 

 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.


Historical Background:

1915  --  born Francis Albert Sinatra, in Hoboken, New Jersey, the only child of Dolly and Anthony Sinatra.

Frank works at various jobs: unloading trucks for the Jersey Observer newspaper; copy boy; and sports reporter.

He appears on the radio program Major Bowes Amateur Hour with three other fellows to sing “Shine.” After the program, the “Hoboken Four” go on tour for Major Bowes.

1938  -- sings and performs other duties at The Rustic Cabin, a country roadhouse in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

1939  --  marries his childhood sweetheart Nancy Barbato.

1939 -- gets discovered by swing band leader Harry James and goes on tour.

1940 -1942  --  lead singer with Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra.  Starts his recording career.

1940 --  birth of his daughter Nancy Sandra; he is not present for the birth.

1943 --  goes out on his own; emcee for radio program The Lucky Strike Hit Parade.

1944  --  birth of his son Franklin Wayne Emmanuel (Frank Jr.).

1943-1952  -- records many records for Columbia Records.

1944  --  Frank is such a hit with the teen girls that they go crazy over him and create the famous "bobby-soxer” riot at New York’s Paramount Theater.

1948  -- birth of his second daughter Christina (Tina).

1949  -- a very bad year: gets fired from his radio show; his New York concerts flopp; he is in the process of divorcing his wife; his affair with beautiful film star Ava Gardner becomes public; and Columbia Records wants him out.

1950  --  MGM gets rid of him. Even his own agent drops him.

1951  -- marries Ava Gardner (only to separated in a few years).

1953  --  now records for Capitol Records. Makes a dramatic come-back with the role of Maggio in "From Here to Eternity", earning him an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor.

1950s  --  forms the “Rat Pack” with Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford, performing together in Las Vegas.

1955  --  "The Man With the Golden Arm."

1957  -- Ava and Frank divorce.

1960 --  co-founds Reprise Records. "Ocean’s Eleven" with the Rat Pack. Marilyn Monroe has affair with Sinatra and Chicago mobster Sam Giancana.  The connection between Hollywood and the  underworld came with the terrain. Marilyn, Frank and Sam also came to be known by Jack and Bobby Kennedy. The Rat Packs sings to raise money for John F. Kennedy's successful presidential bid. 

1962  --  "The Manchurian Candidate." "Sergeants Three" with the Rat Pack.

1963  --  now records exclusively for Reprise Records. Loses his Nevada gambling license in after Chicago Mafia leader, Sam Giancana, seen in the Cal-Neva Lodge gambling casino in which Sinatra then held a major interest.  

1964  --  "Robin and the Seven Hoods" with the Rat Pack.

1966  --  at the age of 51, he marries 21 year old actress Mia Farrow.

1967  -- Mia and Frank divorce.

1968  --  "The Detective."

1971  --  announces his retirement but keeps on doing various performances.

1976  -- marries the former wife of Zeppo Marx, Barbara Marx.

1980 -- has a hit with “New York, New York” making him the only singer in history to have hit records in five consecutive decades.

1988-89  --  multi-city tour with Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin.

1994  -- at age 78, he gives his last performance.

1998  -- dies of a heart attack at age 82.

 

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