Not the best of the Reprise Series...but damn fun~
Anthony Paul | 12/05/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"ALthough there are better Sinatra TV specials from the 60's, this entry featuring Diahann Carroll and The Fifth Dimension is rather fun and entertaining. Sinatra joins the Fifth on one of their numbers and while it wouldn't be considered high musical art, it is entertaining. Don't start your collection with this one, but don't leave it out; it's worthwhile."
Watch this one last. . . .
M. R. corwin | 01/14/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Having seen majority of all the 'Reprise' Sinatra collection, I finally watched the infamous 1968 Tv-Special, "Francis Albert Sinatra Does His Thing." Infamous for Sinatra walking out after doing the Dress Rehearsal, because the Dress Rehersal was "good enough." Only people who really knew him can assume what he meant by that.If you've seen the first three Frank Sinatra Tv-Specials, from 1965-1967, then you know most of them were great. The best of the bunch being a tie of the first 'A Man and His Music' and "Ella + Jobim" and the special with Nancy being a very close second. If you've seen the specials like "Sinatra 69," "Royal Festival Hall," "Ole' Blue Eyes Is Back," "The Man and his Music," "The Concert for the Americas," "Sinatra In Japan," or even the ill-advised "The Main Event" then this little 1968 special might shock you. The 1967 special was wild, but he really tried to stay within his style. In 1968, Sintra tries to change with the times. Sintra tries to be 'hip' when he does a 'pop' version of "Hello Young Lovers," gets sillier with "Baudles, Bangles and Beads." This special does introduce "Cycles," and luckily Sinatra sings that one straight.In 1967, Sinatra had two great guests. In 1968, he had Diahann Carrol for starters, who is a great singer, but nothing she sang here interested me. Sinatra and Diahann do melody in honor of "Black and White Americans getting together," but Diahann doesn't look to comfortable during the non-singing parts. I guess she was saving it all for the FINAL RECORDING that never happened.The melody is actually pretty good, and one wonders why couldn't they'd used Carrol like they used Ella the year before.Sinatra then does one of his infamous Saloon/Hotel melodies, but it just didn't seem to fit into this already silly special. It worked in 65 and 66, but here, it just seemed out of place. I might have to watch this part alone again to see if its any good.Sintra then introduces the hot group (for the time), The Fifth Dimension, who do a good job, but then it gets sillier.The Dimension introduce their new SIXTH member, who is Sinatra. I guess Farrow left her bag of grass behind, when she walked out on Frank. Sinatra looks so silly here. Was he doing all of this for laughs? It just didn't fit his style to be doing this stuff. I know all about trying to show "Racial Unity" as was the par for 1968 was, but this was going too far, because Sintra tried too hard to go with 'their style,' instead of doing a nice mixture. Sintra does a good song with the Dimension called "Sweet Blindness," but still too silly.Sinatra then admits he needs to dress like him again, and proceeds to put on a white beatnick type of jacket and love-beads. Does the silliness never cease? I have a hard time keeping a straight face when he does "Nice and Easy" here. Its bettet than the 1981 version, but Sinatra wearing love beads and trying to be "cool, man" is just not working for me.We try to come back to earth for "Lost In The Stars," as Sinatra is back in the black suit/bow-tie, but it is just a little bit too late now. Good song, however.Then Warner Reprise has the nerve to take Sinatra's traditonal 30-second blip of "Angel Eyes" and claim its the full version on the back of the box. Sinatra did the "Angle Eyes" blip in his first four specials to close the show, this one being the last. I was shocked that the only full version of "Angel Eyes" comes from "The Main Event," which is very inferior to what the song should sound like. (There is another version on the "Frank Sinatra Sings at his best DVD, but thats in B&W.) So after he does the blip, its introduce Carrol and the Dimension, Carrol looks very nervous or uncomforable again. Then Frank finishes off with the usual "Put Your Dreams Away." Never was I more glad to see a show end, not withstanding the 1994 Japanese 'Final Concert' that will NEVER get on DVD. So in the end, what did we have? We had a show that had some good songs and melodies, but everybody just looked forced. Sinatra did walk out before the FINAL SHOW in black-tie audience could be shot, but who could blame him. Great artists, but the entire feel for the show was just wrong. Maybe Sinatra was trying to play it for comedy, but I didn't feel that vibe due to what 1968 meant for some people. Check this show out for "Cycles," the Melody with Dee-Han, the Hotel Melody, and "Nice and Easy." Otherwise, if you want a similar special watch the 1967 with Ella + Jobim instead. It is more fun, and those two just fit in Sinatra's world. Sinatra just tried too hard to fit with "Does His Thing." This show wasn't seen until 1991, due to Sinatra walking out in 68, but fear not, as fans next experience of Sinatra was "Sinatra-69" a much superior special that featured Frank -- alone."
An interesting Sinatra highlight
M. R. corwin | Studio City, CA USA | 02/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was at the taping of this show at NBC Burbank, CA. Studio 4. Mr. Sinatra came into the studio to do the dress rehearsal. I remember how touching his rendition of "Cycles" was. After the dress, he left the studio and did not do the actual show for an invited black-tie Budweiser audience. We later found out that he had just broken up with Mia Farrow. Cycles had so much more meaning after I found out."
A bit forced but great at times
Stephan Mayer | sacramento, ca United States | 01/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This special remains one of Sinatra's weaker ones only because he gets too silly at times trying to be contemporary (e.g. wearing love beads). However, it is a fun show and in some way reflects the uproar and uncertainty of 1968.....Sinatra also includes classics from the past - the NICE'N EASY & HOW LITTLE WE KNOW medley is great and uses the original Riddle charts. You can see Frank being backed up by about 40 musicians - a lot of fun.But the highlight has to be the saloon song medley especially HERE'S THAT RAINY DAY with a DON COSTA chart which is much more modern than the one by Gordon Jenkins but equally as moving and a bit more reflective perhaps. I remember watching this saloon medley about 2 days after Frank had died......it was touching.So to me the classic tunes mentioned are worth the whole special!"
R. Thompson | VA United States | 11/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I brought this mainly to hear Diahann Carroll sing the Barbra Streisand standard "The Music That Makes Me Dance." It's a great reindition that stands up to the original perfectly."