12 July 2016 | louie-bergquist
Entertaining enough, I suppose
To distill the entire expansive saga of the 83 years Old Blue Eyes shared this earth into four hours would be an impossible task without offending some corners of his latter-day devotees by virtue of omission. That said, despite being executive-produced by youngest daughter Tina Sinatra, the miniseries does a fairly comprehensive job covering many of the salacious highlights of his romantic life. I can't think of too many areas touched on in Kitty Kelley's infamous unauthorized tabloid biography that were missed by this production.
One notable inaccuracy is the over-emphasis on Sinatra's relationship with Ava Gardner. In the film, they remain together well into the presidency of John F. Kennedy; in truth, they were only married until 1957. (As an aside, I was also disappointed they did not mention the couple's drunken episode, circa 1945, when the two shot up the town of Indio, California with some pistols Sinatra happened to be carrying around.) His 22-year marriage to Barbara Marx, by far his longest-lasting of four, is not even touched on.
Personally, I would like to see a film that deals with the stories behind some of Frank's more under-appreciated works. In particular, I'd like to see a dramatization of the making of his ill-fated CBS TV show as well as some of the radio work he did during his early-50's career slump. Sinatra had a turn at DJ-ing a weekly show called "To Be Perfectly Frank" as well as starring in the mystery series "Rocky Fortune", which followed "Dragnet." Both were on NBC around 1953, between shooting and the release of his great comeback vehicle "From Here to Eternity." Also, his rescue from drowning by one-time friend Brad Dexter and the ensuing tension which doomed the production of 1967's "The Naked Runner" would make for good screen drama. Sammy Davis's expulsion from the Rat Pack due to his cocaine use in the 1970's would have been fun to watch as well. But, perhaps such anecdotes are too obtuse for a miniseries that clearly plays to the back of the house, albeit as well as one could hope.