Tag: frank sinatra

MOVIE REVIEW | On the Town (1949)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It’s the kind of thing that I can only describe as good clean fun, before immediately hating myself for using the phrase ‘good clean fun’ with zero sarcasm.”

Town 1.jpg
“You know, somewhere in the world there’s a right girl for every boy.”

There are movies I definitely had to age into.  As a young kid, I assumed black and white meant boring.  As a teenager I discovered the awesomeness of the 70s, but was still a decade or so away from the realisation that embracing older movies, from Hollywood’s golden age and earlier, just meant I had more great ones to discover.  Even then, I was still opposed to the idea of classic musicals.  There was a corniness factor I just couldn’t get past. Until I saw Singin’ the Rain.  It really was the watershed moment where I realised that the corny campness, when done well, was exactly what made old school musicals so entertaining.  And it was exactly that kind of corny camp that I was hoping for with On the Town.

Gabey (Gene Kelly), Chip (Frank Sinatra) and Ozzie (Jules Munshin) are three sailors on 24 hours leave from the navy when their ship docks in New York City.  Singing and dancing their way across a few familiar landmarks, these small town boys are fascinated by the big city.  But one sight in particular grabs the eye of Gabey, a Subway poster for Miss Turnstyle (Vera-Allen as Ivy), a local beauty contest winner.  When he coincidentally meets her in person leaving the subway station, he is officially smitten.  As she rushes away, Gabey decides the only way to make the most of his short leave is to spend it with her. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Frank Sinatra – The Whee Small Hours (1955)

The king of the crooners, every single silky voiced singer in a suit and hat in the last 60 odd years has been compared to Frank Sinatra.  He so completely defined an entire genre of music, from its sound to its look to its evolution long after his death, Frank Sinatra is one of those people whose name is shorthand for an entire genre.

Sharing its title with that of the album, the opening track and Mood Indigo prove just how perfect the moniker of The Whee Small Hours really is.  We might be able to listen to these songs any time of day, but they sound like they could only ever be written and recorded sometime between 2 and 4am.  You can hear cigarette smoke swirling around the studio, you can smell the tumbler of whiskey in Frank’s hand.   This is the slow, soulful sound of regret.  And it’s richly gorgeous. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***REMAKE WEEK*** The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

ManchurianCandidate (1964)

“Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.”

Hollywood sure lost something when the Cold War ended.  It provided such fertile ground for stories of paranoia, intrigue and espionage.  Sure, they can still tell these stories with period pieces taking varied nostalgic of hindsight aided views of the period.  But I have to assume that these stories hit harder and played better when the audience was (or at least, thought they were) under the threat of the Red Menace in real life.  Watching a movie like The Manchurian Candidate is good in 2015, but I have to imagine it was amazingly effective in 1962.

It’s the height of the Cold War, and America’s bravest are fighting in Korea.  When soldier Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) saves all but two of his platoon from a deadly conflict, he returns home to a hero’s welcome and Congressional Medal of Honor at the recommendation of his commanding officer, Major Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra). (more…)