'Sinatra - The Mini Series'
(Philip Casnoff, Annette Azcuy, Carol Barbee, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / (1992) 2008 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: The Emmy-winning telefilm about singer/actor Frank Sinatra's remarkable life with over two-dozen Sinatra standards and a remarkable cast headed by Philip Casnoff Olympia Dukakis and Marcia Gay Harden.
DVD Verdict: To the best of my movie watching; TV watching; book reading; music lovin' knowledge, this is the most detailed and accurate documentary of Frank Sinatra out there. Tina Sinatra, his daughter was a producer of this film so it is as close to the real thing as it gets. Philip Casnoff has the opportunity to be Frank, and does so very well. He is VERY believable. You can tell that he took time to study Frank very hard because he picked up his accent and body movements.
This film starts well, at the beginning! It shows the odds that were against him and his great desire to sing. He begins his career in the Hoboken 4, and sings "Shine" which becomes somewhat a hit. The 4 hour long movie goes through his life, depicting his rise to stardom as he sings with Harry James, and Tommy Dorsey. It also takes you through many loves and many movies that he filmed like On the Town, and Pal Joey. The film even portrays the acedemy award ceremony where he wins best oscar for From Here To Eternity.
I thought Gina Gershon was wonderful as the long-suffering Nancy Sinatra, Sr. The only complaint I would have is the girl who played Ava Gardner. Marcia Gay Harden is a very attractive woman in her own right. BUT, I did not think she was the best person to play Ava Gardner. She managed the whispery-sexy voice, but she didn't really look like Ava. She had that turned up nose, and Ava had a more classic, straight nose. But...maybe she did as good a job as anyone could have without being THE Ava Gardner herself.
When I watched this movie, I felt like I was really watching Frank's life being lived in front of me. You hear his music all throughout the film. After you watch Sinatra, check out a book and CD set called Frank Sinatra An American Legend. The CD contains most of the music that he sang in the movie as well as commericals and promotions that he did! If you have always wanted to know how Frank lived it, checks this 2-disc DVD set / movie out. It is as realistic as it gets. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but (amazingly and unfortunately) does not come with any Special Features.