What a great movie! Didn't know that back in the '50s it was allowed to represent drug addiction in a way so rough and explicit. The narration moves in circles, slowly increasing the tension from the first to the last scene: it hooked me. Preminger moves the camera with exquisite smoothness, and the jazzy soundtrack is just perfect. I read some cold ratings around here: maybe you're understimating this a bit, fellas.
To many people's surprise, Sinatra and Novak especially, came out with acting honours in this film. Rough, with a noir approach in its cinematography, the uneasiness is further enhanced by Elmer Bernstein's score. Novak, gives human presence to her role as a low-life saloon girl, opposite Sinatra's drug addict jazz drummer.
It starts off a little too cliche and, quite frankly, boring, but it builds up into a powerhouse Sinatra lead performance. Tension and the inevitability of Frankie Machine's continued downfall begin to pile up, gaining steam toward the finish. A very, very good Preminger film - not quite his best, but close to that level.
Probably Sinatra's best role, the film itself deals with addiction a little better than The Lost Weekend, but both are products of their time and have aged a bit badly. I do, however, think this ranks up their with some of Premingers best work. See Laura and Anatomy of a Murder for better. Solid 4 stars
Just because that meal was great last week doesn't mean the leftovers are edible today... Once a game changer; now just another pretty noir full of tired moralism. Still, very watchable, and not just because of the luminous Ms. Novak. Plenty of fascinating aspects: That this relatively tepid portrayal of addiction was once so taboo, for one. Or that no one, back then, found the score hilarious. 2.5
Preminger's take on drug addiction is a performance film of the first order featuring a career best turn by Sinatra, and great support from Novak, McGavin and Eleanor Parker as the mentally disturbed wife. Script by Newman and Meltzer has a gritty authenticity, for the time period, and a memorable score from Bernstein along with strong production values that make up for a convenient ending and obvious back lot locale
Kim Novak est sublime d'élégance, de justesse et de beauté, Sinatra criant de vérité, la mise en scène est parfaite, et voilà le chef d'oeuvre d'un cinéma américain qui savait dépeindre le monde dans sa misère et sa déchéance, je veux dire son propre monde celui d'une Amérique des ratés, des accros, des petits et des perdus. C'est poignant et bouleversant. Great movie , yes Mister Preminger