The Man With the Golden Arm Reviews

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May 20, 2020
Though tame by comparison to the vein-ripping dramas since populated by Aronofsky, Boyle, and Van Sant, The Man with the Golden Arm's outlawed aesthetic and spirit make it a tangible and lasting achievement.
July 6, 2015
An unflinchingly humane work of enormous importance.
May 2, 2013
The film's reputation hasn't endured like some other mid-century depictions of addiction, like The Lost Weekend. But it's a terrific look at descent and despair, the sort of movie that can end on a sour note but still seem hopeful.
January 23, 2013
The film is a pretty good picture show, as we used to say, but anyone who has read Nelson Algren's wonderfully poetic novel is likely to make invidious comparisons and be otherwise distracted.
April 1, 2011
As one Hollywood's first movies about drug addiction, Otto Preminger's drama starring Frank Sinatra, may be more significant historically than artistically.
June 19, 2008
Director Otto Preminger emphasizes the lurid whenever he can ... so that the movie plays like a blurry, bleary night-on-its-way-to-morning.
December 28, 2007
It's a film that had a monkey on its back.
October 23, 2007
Sinatra, by contrast, is superb, especially in a harrowing withdrawal scene. It's his movie...all the way.
October 23, 2007
A gripping, fascinating film, expertly produced and directed and performed with marked conviction by Frank Sinatra as the drug slave.
October 23, 2007
Frank Sinatra, as the drug-addicted poker dealer, plays a reasonably naturalistic character, but he's surrounded by a collection of bizarre archetypes.
October 23, 2007
More Damon Runyan than Irvine Welsh, but as entertaining as it is important.
October 23, 2007
Some of the scenes of cold turkey are still very effective, and Sinatra's performance is flawless.
Top Critic
June 24, 2006
There are some great scenes, though, notably Sinatra's audition for a make-or-break drumming job, and the later scene where he suffers cold turkey in Novak's apartment.
November 13, 2005
A brave and well-constructed piece of old-time movie-making, and the thing more than holds up today.
July 14, 2005
January 29, 2005
September 18, 2004
A terrific exposition of the perils of drug addiction
May 20, 2003
In short, for all the delicacy of the subject and for all the pathological shivers in a couple of scenes, there is nothing very surprising or exciting about The Man With the Golden Arm.
July 26, 2002
September 17, 2001
Proves that drug stories aren't exclusively the territory of hip, nihilistic '90s film-school wunderkinder.
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