Frank Sinatra would be 100 this year and to celebrate, over the weekend of August 21-23, 11 of Sinatra’s most iconic roles will be screened at the Vogue Theater in San Frencisco. This carefully curated selection of movies demonstrate Sinatra’s range, from singing and dancing to comedy and serious dramatic roles. He showed early on his capacity to make people forget they were watching a singing idol and believe in his onscreen characters.
What better way to kick off ‘Sinatra’s 11’ then with Ocean’s 11, a sophisticated comedy caper in which Sinatra stars with Rat Pack buddies Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. (Friday, 7 p.m.).
An opening night reception starting at 5:30 that day should get everybody in a ring-a-ding-ding mood. Sponsor Jack Daniel’s will pour its Sinatra Select Tennessee Whiskey at a pop-up whisky bar at the Vogue, accompanied by assorted nibble food.
A film series’ highlight is the participation of Amanda Erlinger, Sinatra’s granddaughter and Nancy’s daughter. Erlinger will talk about visiting her grandfather at his studio in Rancho Mirage to watch him paint — a hobby he took up with a vengeance in his later years. Inspired by his example, she has become a noted artist and photographer. She also will speak about her grandpa’s movies.
Both films for which Sinatra scored Oscar nominations are to be spotlighted. He won for From Here to Eternity (Friday, 9:15 p.m.), but some critics believe he gave the performance of his life in The Man With the Golden Arm, an early movie to deal with heroin addiction (Sunday, 4 p.m.).
Saturday will be devoted to Sinatra’s musicals. Pal Joey (noon), Guys and Dolls (2:15 p.m.), Anchors Aweigh (5 p.m.) and On the Town (7:30 p.m.) are sure to get audiences humming.
Of particular interest to film devotees are a couple of little known Sinatra roles. In The Joker is Wild (Saturday, 9:30 p.m.), he plays 1920s nightclub performer Joe E. Lewis who runs into Mafia interference. In Suddenly (Sunday, 9 p.m.) he appears as a psychopath hired to assassinate a president of the United States. Horrified to learn Lee Harvey Oswald had watched Suddenly before Kennedy’s assassination, Sinatra asked the film be pulled from distribution, which is why it isn’t better known.
Also screening will be Come Blow Your Horn (Sunday, 1:30 p.m.) and The Manchurian Candidate (Sunday, 6:30 p.m.)
”The Movies of Frank Sinatra” will be held at the historic Vogue Theater, one of the oldest movie theaters in the U.S..
Individual tickets and festival passes are available at the Vogue and through www.cinemasf.com/vogue. Senior rates are available. There’s parking at the JCC on California and Presidio at the garage’s regular fee.