One of the most iconic American celebrities from Old Hollywood is Frank Sinatra. Not only was he a talented singer, but he was also an Oscar-winning actor of his time. He starred in several classic films and managed to form a successful film career alongside his singing career. While some may say his talent lied in music, you can’t deny that he put on a superb performance for every character that he played in a movie.
To pay homage to the late and great singer and actor, here are three of Frank Sinatra’s best movies that you should watch if you haven’t yet, or re-watch if you have.
On the Town (1949)
The classic musical that starred Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra alongside Jules Munshin featured the trio as a group of Navy sailors on a 24-hour shore leave having the time of their lives in New York City. Sinatra held up his own starring beside the famous dancer Gene Kelly in this film that beautifully displays his talents on-screen. The trio spent the day filled with adventures in this classic as they meet three women along the way (Vera-Ellen, Betty Garrett, and Ann Miller), leading to fun and adventure filled with lots of singing and dancing. What the film lacked in plot and character it made up for with incredible dance numbers and songs that is a can’t-miss in the film career of Frank Sinatra.
From Here to Eternity (1953)
The role that landed him the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and revived his career, From Here to Eternity is perhaps Sinatra’s best performance in any of his films. Starring alongside Burt Lancaster, Sinatra played Angelo Maggio, a wisecracking army private persecuted by a sadistic sergeant. Perhaps the reason for his Oscar-winning performance in this film was due to the fact that he had suffered greatly in his career for the past few years before the movie due to his affair with Ava Gardner and a vocal cord hemorrhage ruining his singing career. While myths suggest that he got the role due to his mafia ties, the role was actually awarded to him by studio chief Harry Cohn at his wife Joan’s insistence.
The Man With the Golden Arm (1955)
This drama about narcotics addiction starring Sinatra as Frankie Machine, a pundit card payer and heroin addict recently released from prison, is undoubtedly the actor’s best drama performance of his career. The film was dark and gritty and showed the realness of addiction, as Sinatra prepared for the role by spending time with real addicts at a rehabilitation clinic going through recovery to be as authentic as possible. His role led to yet another Oscar nomination for Best Actor, which he ultimately lost to Ernest Borgnine’s performance in Marty.
The harrowing film follows Sinatra as an addict struggling with recovery fresh out of prison but is deterred by his greedy wife who is faking her wheelchair-bound condition, which is later discovered by Sinatra,and she murders his drug dealer, framing Sinatra. It’s a great drama that deals with real issues that still face many p