What do Jane Russell and Eleanor Roosevelt have in common?  Read on.

FRANK SINATRA turns 100 on Dec. 15, 2015.  To commemorate the event UNLV has already presented the first of two lec-dems in April of some videos of him from Las Vegas and events around the world compiled by Prof. Arnold Jay Smith.

The first lecture in April 2015 was filled with videos reflecting his time with and love for the Big Bands of Harry James, Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, Quincy Jones, Nelson Riddle, Billy May and Don Costa.  This time we make one stop only, from the Chairman of the Board’s Hollywood movie and television career.

From the forties to almost the day he left us in the eighties Sinatra was acting and singing before the cameras with the likes of Gene Kelly, Jimmy Durante, Debbie Reynolds, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Jane Russell, Groucho Marx, Cary Grant, Shirley McLaine, Sophia Loren, Peter Faulk, Liza Minelli, Maurice Chevalier, Ethel Merman, old enough to be his mother, at least, even a cannon.  And all the Rat Pack in “Oceans Eleven.”

As for “Guys and Dolls” he never left his trailer nor even spoke to Marlon Brando in the role of Sky Masterson which Sinatra coveted, but denied him by Samuel Goldwyn.  Prof. Smith has the song, “Luck Be A Lady,” as sung with Minelli and Davis live.

There are the two Academy Awards : “The House I Live In” short and the all star cast in “From Here To Eternity.”  Sinatra recorded the title tune thereafter as a single.

He bought the negative of the positively awful western called “Johnny Concho.”

For a longtime after the Kennedy assassination he refused to let “The Manchurian Candidate” be seen anywhere.  There’s a scene on a train (where else!) smoking with a smokingly luscious Janet Leigh which should not be missed.  (Music by David Amram)

Remember the remake of Cole Porter’s “Can Can” with his then fiancée Juliet Prowse?  How about Rodgers and Hart’s “Pal Joey” (“The Lady Is A Tramp” which was added to the film.)? with two more luscious numbers: Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak, their second pairing after “The Man With The Golden Arm.”  (Music by Elmer Bernstein, arrangements by Pete Rugolo featuring drummer Shelly Manne.)  Another title tune post-release recording.

In their only movie appearance together Bing Crosby and FS duet on”Well Did You Evah” culled from that fave attic piece of furniture, Porter’s trunk.  It was to be the latter’s last film.

But why stop there?  There were those television specials with, yes, Mrs. Roosevelt where FS serenaded her with “High Hopes,” the JFK campaign version.  JFK brother-in-law Peter Lawford was aboard for legitimacy.

Prof. Smith will present some of the other television specials in which he duets with guests stars such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Shore, Elvis Presley (in tuxes), the Fifth Dimension (in frilled shirts) and making a guest appearance for his pal Garland hoping to save her career and life.

Prof. Smith will squeeze in as many as possible in the allotted time.

© July 2015 by arnold jay smith

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