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The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

aka The Man with the Golden Arm

Directed By: 
Details: 119 mins · English


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Small Frankie Machine
Small Molly
Small Zosch Machine
Small Sparrow
Small Louie
Small Schwiefka
Small Sam Markette
No_movie_poster Vi
Small Detective Bednar
No_movie_poster Williams
Small Dominiwski
No_movie_poster Drunky


Small Otto Preminger Director
No_movie_poster Sam Leavitt Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Louis R. Loeffler Editor
No_movie_poster Jack Solomon Sound Designer
No_movie_poster Ben Hecht Screenplay
No_movie_poster Elmer Bernstein Original Music Composer
Small Nelson Algren Author
No_movie_poster Walter Newman Screenplay
No_movie_poster Lewis Meltzer Screenplay
No_movie_poster Joseph C. Wright Production Design
No_movie_poster Darrell Silvera Set Decoration
No_movie_poster Mary Ann Nyberg Costume Design
No_movie_poster Jack McEdward Production Manager
No_movie_poster Leon Birnbaum Sound Designer
No_movie_poster Martha Crawford Stunt Double
No_movie_poster Helen Thurston Stunts
No_movie_poster Albert Myers Camera Operator
Small Otto Preminger Production
Small Nelson Algren Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Louis R. Loeffler Editing


Frankie Machine (Frank Sinatra) is released from prison with a set of drums and a new outlook on life. A heroin addict, Frankie became clean in prison. On the outside, he greets friends and acquaintances. Sparrow (Arnold Stang), who runs a con selling homeless dogs, clings to him like a young brother, but Schwiefka (Robert Strauss), whom Frankie used to deal for in his illegal card game, has more sinister reasons for welcoming him back, as does Louis (Darren McGavin), Machine's former heroin dealer.

Frankie sees his wife Zosh (Eleanor Parker), who is supposedly wheelchair-bound, but secretly fully recovered, after a car crash some years ago. Zosh smothers her husband and hinders his attempt to make something of himself. He thinks he has what it takes to play drums for a big band. While calling to make an appointment, he bumps into an old flame, Molly (Kim Novak).

Frankie soon gets himself a tryout and asks Sparrow to get him a new suit, but the suit is a stolen one and he ends up back in a cell. Schwiefka offers to pay the bail. Frankie refuses, but soon changes his mind when the sight of a drug addict on the edge becomes too much for him. Now, to repay the debt, he must deal for Schwiefka again. Louis is trying to hook him on heroin again, and with no job and Zosh to please, pressure is building from all directions.

Soon Frankie succumbs and is back on drugs and dealing marathon, all-night, card games for Schwiefka. He gets a tryout as a drummer, but spends 24 hours straight dealing a poker game. Desperately needing a fix, Frankie follows Louis home, attacks him, ransacks his house, but can't find his stash of heroin. At the audition, with withdrawal coming on, Frankie can't keep the beat and ruins his chance of landing the drumming job. When Louis goes to see Zosh to try to find him, Louis discovers that Zosh has been faking her paralysis and can walk. Zosh, scared of being found out, accidentally pushes him over the railing of the stairwell to his death, but things backfire when Frankie is sought for murder.

Initially not realizing he is a suspect in Louie's death, Frankie goes to Molly hoping to get money for a fix. After learning the police are looking for him, Molly convinces Frankie that he must go cold turkey if he is to stand a chance with the police. Frankie agrees and is locked in Molly's apartment where he goes through a grueling withdrawal to clear the drugs from his body. Finally clean again, he tells Zosh he is going to leave her, start anew and stand trial. In her desperation, Zosh once again gives herself away, standing up in front of Frankie and the police. She runs, but can get no farther than the outside balcony. Trapped, she blows the whistle and throws herself off the balcony to her death. An ambulance then arrives to take Zosh to the hospital and drives away while Frankie watches in dismay. He then walks away with Molly.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1955-12-14 : United States of America

Theatrical : 1955-12-15 : New York City

Theatrical : 1956-01-16 : Brazil

Theatrical : Norway

Theatrical : 1956-03-19 : Sweden

Theatrical : 1956-03-23 : West Germany

Theatrical : 1956-03-30 : Belgium

Theatrical : 1956-03-30 : Finland

Theatrical : Austria

Theatrical : 1956-05-03 : Japan

Theatrical : 1956-05-09 : Paris

Theatrical : 1956-07-04 : France

Theatrical : 1956-07-19 : Netherlands

Theatrical : 1956-08-11 : Italy

Theatrical : 1957-02-14 : Hong Kong

Theatrical : 1957-06-05 : Portugal

Theatrical : 1957-08-26 : Denmark

Theatrical : 1966-12-09 : German Democratic Republic

Theatrical : 1967-08-21 : Madrid

2003-08-09 : Switzerland

2012-08-07 : Switzerland