We’ve all seen people go from the Best that they can be to Rock Bottom Skid Row. And this is one of those tales. And the Acting is by far some if the Best. One you will want to watch-here is an exceptional Review-
Prohibition-era nightclub crooner Joe E. Lewis (Frank Sinatra) has his career and nearly his life cut short when his throat is slashed as payback for leaving the employ of Chicago mob boss Georgie Parker (Ted de Corsia). A broken alcoholic, Joe is brought back from the abyss by his faithful piano player, Austin Mack (Eddie Albert), who helps turn the former singer into a successful stand-up comedian. But Joe’s demons plague his romantic life even as he reaches new heights of success.
The Joker Is Wild opened to mostly favorable reviews.
Los Angeles Times reviewer Phillip K. Scheuer: “Sinatra “catches the bitter inner restlessness almost too well…When Lewis, highball in hand, is reciting them [the drunk monologues] his natural clown’s grin takes the curse off their cynicism; from Sinatra the gags come out bitter and barbed.”
Films and Filming reviewer Gordon Gow: “One consolation in the glossy gloom of this downbeat drama is that Frank Sinatra has sufficient talent and taste to break through the wall of embarrassment that is bound to arise between an audience and the film case-history of an unanonymous alcoholic.”
Variety commented on the “major job Sinatra does… alternately sympathetic and pathetic, funny and sad.”
This movie won the 1957 Academy Award for Best Original Song, for “All the Way” by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn. When the film was re-released some years later, the title was changed for a period to All the Way due to the immense popularity of the film’s theme song, which peaked at No. 2 on Billboard.
Sinatra actually became friends with the real Lewis, who commented that “You (Sinatra) had more fun playing my life than I had living it.”
So, now you’ve read what the Critics had to say. But when I find a Movie that I want to share, then I do. And this is one I’ve passed over on numerous times, but I’m glad I finally got to watch it. It’s well worth the Watch. So Pop some Popcorn and Enjoy!