Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tony Rome

I stumbled across a blog the other week that has weekly film pairings (among other interesting posts). A couple Fridays ago, the post was about a trio of detective movies starring Frank Sinatra. They sounded interesting so I gave them a shot.

The first is Tony Rome (1967), starring Sinatra, Richard Conte, and Jill St. John in a bikini. The movie is a solid PI flick featuring a wealthy family whose members are all keeping secrets from one another. Ross Macdonald would have a field day with these folks. At one point, Sinatra is hired by the daughter to find her missing pin, the father to find out what his daughter is keeping from him (he doesn't know about the pin), and the mother so Sinatra will tell her what he finds out before he tells her husband. Like any good PI story, as soon as Sinatra thinks he's making headway, another lead turns up dead.  At one point I almost laughed out loud at how many bodies there were.

Speaking of laughing out loud, a sequel called The Lady in Cement was released a year later.  This picture again stars Sinatra as Tony Rome, Richard Conte as his homicide detective friend, and this time has Raquel Welch as the woman in the bikini.  Oh, and Dan Blocker (of Bonanza) fame.  This movie starts out with Sinatra finding the body of a woman while he was diving off the cost of Florida.  He works to find out who she was and who killed her.  This time around, the crime doesn't seem as important.  It's just big, goofy fun with more quips, wisecracks, and Rat Pack-era charm.  Not a bad flick, but I enjoyed the first one a lot more.

Give them both a shot, but if you can only watch one, watch Tony Rome.

Trailer for Tony Romehere
Trailer for The Lady in Cement:  here

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