The Joker Is Wild... Frank Sinatra As Joe E. Lewis

by Steve Horowitz

30 March 2011

 

Everybody knows Frank Sinatra was one of the best singers in the world, but his talent as an actor should not be forgotten. Sure, there was his Oscar winning performance as Best Supporting Actor in From Here to Eternity, but his credentials go much further than that. He was Frankie Machine in The Man With the Golden Arm, Det. Sgt. Joe Leland in The Detective, and Major Bennett Marco in The Manchurian Candidate, not to mention his lighter roles as Danny Wilson in Meet Danny Wilson and Danny Ocean in Ocean’s 11. The list of Sinatra’s theatrical achievements could go on and on, but his best role was as Joe E. Lewis in the bio pic The Joker Is Wild. This story about a man who gets his throat cut by the Mob for singing at the wrong night club allows Sinatra to convey a wide range of emotions, not to mention croon “All the Way”—the Oscar winning Best Song of 1957. This clip shows the man making peace with himself as he pursues a new career as a comedian. Sinatra comes off as natural as any guy who talks to his reflection in store windows, and despite the corniness of the scene, he is cool. Hey, it’s Sinatra, was he ever anything else!

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