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Being Frank

sinatra2_crop.jpgfrom LIFE

Frank Sinatra has been an icon of pre-counterculture masculinity for upwards of half a century now, but as anyone who’s heard “It Was a Very Good Year” can tell you, there’s more to him than the old playboy routine.

One example is Watertown, his 1970 sendoff dedicated to the isolation and despair that comes in the wake of a divorce, but Lincoln Center has dug up another paean to Frank’s softer side. It’s called Some Came Running, and it might be the most honestly emotional work he ever did…on film, at least.

The film is Sinatra’s take on 50s melodrama, in the style of All that Heaven Allows or The Hustler. He plays a weary veteran bouncing from woman to woman—this is still Frank, after all—and fighting the stifling influence of small-town America. Based on a novel by James Jones, the film gave Sinatra real drama to chew through as an actor, and a chance to dive fully into the dark, rebellious sentiments that were always in the background of his recorded work.

If you’re curious (and happen to be in New York), the movie’s screening tonight at Lincoln Center with an introduction from Film London’s resident Sinatra-file, Adrian Wootton. If nothing else, you’ll come out knowing a lot more about one of our favorite icons.