DVD Picks: Frank Sinatra

by Terri Robar, Learning & Research Services

One hundred years ago, on December 12, 1915, “Ol’ Blue Eyes” was born. Most people remember Frank Sinatra as a singer but he was also an actor and appeared in more than 60 films. Below is a selection of some of his best work on the big screen. And don’t forget to visit the Frank Sinatra Centennial Exhibit at the Weeks Music Library!

The following films are a part of Richter Library’s DVD collection. In addition to the thousands of DVDs spanning comedy, drama, sci-fi, horror, documentary, and other genres, UM Libraries also houses film-related materials such as screenplays, soundtracks, musical scores, and original book titles. Search the catalog to browse music and print resources related to these films.

Two lovesick sailors on shore leave in Hollywood fall hard for the same beautiful singer. The race for Susie’s heart leads them both into a series of comical and musical adventures.

The story of two baseball pros who moonlight as a song-and-dance team in the off-season. They both lose their hearts to the new female manager.

Dave Hirsch, a writer and army veteran, returns to 1948 Parkton, Indiana, his hometown. There he must come to terms with his roots and his future.

Three sailors have a 24-hour shore leave to enjoy New York. Chip tries but can’t resist the advances of a cab driver, Ozzie becomes the object of interest of a gorgeous anthropologist who thinks he’s the perfect example of a “prehistoric man,” and Gabey finds the model who poses for the Miss Turnstiles advertisements, who isn’t quite the glamorous celebrity he envisioned.

The film powerfully dramatizes Israel’s heroic 1947-48 struggle for independence. It centers on the legendary David “Mickey” Marcus, an American Jew and World War II hero, who got involved by becoming a volunteer military adviser to the new state of Israel and the country’s first general in 2,000 years. Against the wishes of his wife, Mickey begins transforming a ragtag underground army into a first-class fighting machine. But as the threat of war looms, Mickey must also confront his growing attraction to beautiful activist Magda Simon.

A society wedding is being arranged in Newport, Rhode Island. The beautiful Tracy Samantha Lord is to marry George Kittredge. However, Tracy’s ex-husband, the songwriter C. K. Dexter-Haven, has never stopped loving her and has hopes of winning her back. A New York scandal sheet reporter and photographer arrive to cover the wedding and complicate the tangled romances.

Drama about life in the Army in the days prior to World War II. Shows the effect of Army discipline on an individualistic former boxing champion who defies the attempts of officers and men to break him when he refuses to fight on the company’s boxing team.

Tony Manetta, a small-time Miami Beach hotel operator barely able to make the payments on his own modest inn, dreams of one day opening a million dollar resort. In addition to bill collectors, Tony must contend with his beatnik girlfriend and his well-meaning but conservative brother and sister-in-law. Through thick and thin, however, one thing remains constant: the love between Tony and his young son who admires him even if he isn’t a big shot.

A U.S. Army platoon, captured in the Korean conflict, is whisked to Manchuria for three nightmarish days of experimental drug-and-hypnosis-induced conditioning that transforms the men into human time bombs. Returned to the United States as war heroes, one of them is used by his mother to promote her Joseph McCarthy-like husband’s political career.

Frankie Machine is a skilled card dealer and one-time heroin addict. When he returns home from jail, he struggles to find a new livelihood and to avoid slipping back into addiction.

Tony Rome, a tough Miami PI living on a houseboat, is hired by a local millionaire to find jewelry stolen from his daughter, and in the process has several encounters with local hoods as well as the Miami Beach PD.

Detective Tony Rome discovers that everyone he talks to about a case winds up dead.



Now On View at Weeks Library: Frank Sinatra Centennial Exhibit

Frank Sinatra cropped

The Weeks Music Library presents a selection of materials from its collections that highlight the profound, multifaceted cultural influence of the artist—perhaps best reflected in the assortment of nicknames including “Chairman of the Board,” “The Voice,” “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” and others by which he is still remembered. This exhibition spans his many memorable musical hits as well as his acting achievements, including his involvement in the Rat Pack, and other influential endeavors throughout his life.

Born December 12, 1915, Francis Albert Sinatra began his career performing as a big band crooner before finding fame as a popular singer and actor, culminating in his 1953 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for From Here to Eternity.

Though his popularity dwindled somewhat in later years, he stepped back into the spotlight with his 1980 cover of “(Theme from) New York, New York.” After a brief “retirement” in 1971, Sinatra continued performing and touring until his death in 1998.

Infamous for his membership in the “Rat Pack,” his alleged Mafia connections, and his ties to such political notables as John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, Sinatra remains a beloved and fascinating figure of American popular music and culture.