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The Frank Sinatra Show with Ella Fitzgerald
The Frank Sinatra Show with Ella Fitzgerald
Actors: Frank Sinatra, Nelson Riddle, Nancy Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2004     0hr 30min

This show as taped on December 10, 1959, a rare rainy day in Palm Strings, California, hence the improvised sets and the cast ribbing Sinatra about his grand idea of filming in "sunny" Palm Springs. At the time Sinatra wa...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Frank Sinatra, Nelson Riddle, Nancy Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin
Creators: Noble Moore, Wally Stanard, Henry W. Sanicola, Murdo MacKenzie
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Presley, Elvis, Jazz, Classic Rock, Classical
Studio: Quantum Leap
Format: DVD - Black and White - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/16/2004
Original Release Date: 10/18/1957
Theatrical Release Date: 10/18/1957
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 0hr 30min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

From the "original broadcast tape," my foot.
Jmdocs | Chicago, IL | 12/17/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Five stars for the show itself--Sinatra & Fitzgerald are great, even Peter Lawford's tolerable, and it's amazing that they pulled this thing together in a short time after getting rained out. But don't believe for a second that this was remastered from the original tape, or even remastered. Instead, it was taken from a somewhat dirty kinescope, transferred to what looks like a beat-up 3/4" cassette master. Which is all the more tragic since the original 2" tape master exists, a rarity in this period (see "Sinatra Duets" for clips from the show in this format, looking and sounding great. So for the non-technically minded, in a nutshell: you'll enjoy the content, but the box copy is basically a lie."
Ella is perfect and the show is an interesting slice of 50's
S. Farias | Austin, TX USA | 07/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Ella is technically and artistically perfect in "There's a Lull in My Life." She makes a difficult and brilliant execution look easy. I must have replayed it 20 times! Ol Blue Eyes is his old charming self and poignantly sings Rainy Day. The Timex commercials are interesting and fun to watch, which describes the rest of the show as well, albeit there are no other jaw-dropping performances besides There's a Lull...""
Priceless, though admittedly not for all tastes (and generat
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 07/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After the first several minutes I was prepared to call off the show--the audio is, at best, "limited" and the clarity of the video is, frankly, quite wretched. But soon none of these mere technicalities mattered in comparison to the experience of reliving a "live" event. Many serious collectors would agree that the century's most distinguished musical pairing of Sinatra and Riddle never sounded better together (for evidence, simply pick up any of 20 or more of their Capitol "Concept Albums" from the 1950s), and the addition of the Hi Los plus the First Lady of Song (she starts out with Harold Arlen's "There's a Lull in My Life" and later puts on a demonstration of scat singing at its best) ensures that, out of the hundreds of thousands of hours of television programming, this is one of the few that might be considered essential. Sinatra himself swings up a storm (backed by a jazz combo led by Red Norvo) and matches Ella's Arlen ballad with a richly nuanced reading of Van Heusen's classic ballad "Here's That Rainy Day." But the highlight is without a doubt Frank and Ella dueting on "Can't We Be Friends" (with Ella impersonating Pearl Bailey, Dinah Washington, and Della Reese).

It's practically taken as a "given" that television was not Sinatra's medium--he just didn't have the "comfortable" look of Bing or Perry or the ability to wear a fuzzy wool cardigan But Sinatra's "edginess," while proving too big for the small screen, worked well on these Timex specials, bringing significance to the hour. And the producers of the show have to be given high marks for their creative use of "space"--employing the full depth as well as width of the stage while getting even Hermione Gingold (along with Juliette Prowse) in on the dancing.

And not to be missed is the moment when Ole Blue looks directly at the camera and speaks to--Cole Porter! He emphasizes the composer's greatness and acknowledges the songwriter's ill-health, before wishing him a full recovery (if only that had been possible).

Fifty years later and the viewer's alternatives to a network television show like this are too numerous to count. By why bother looking? None of them is likely to include anything remotely as good as this."