June 19, 2008

A scene from Pal Joey

There's a great scene early on in Pal Joey (1957) in which Frank Sinatra (as Joey Evans) does an impromptu audition for the owner of a nightclub. Sinatra begins crooning "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" (and it sounds like he's singing live on the soundstage, accompanying his own pre-recorded part). Then, sensing the nightclub owner's disenchantment with his performance, Sinatra signals the conductor, and the band starts to swing. That beat is Nelson Riddle's "heartbeat rhythm" -- the tempo he and Sinatra implemented so effectively on classic albums such as Songs for Swingin' Lovers (1956), A Swingin' Affair! (1957), and more(!!!). Riddle was the musical director for the film, so it only makes sense. That scene:

As you can see by the embedded video screen cap, that's Robert Reed in his first, albeit uncredited, movie role. When you begin your acting career in a scene in which Frank Sinatra sings directly to you, there's probably nowhere to go but down.
It's the "Dere's sumpin' wrong wit his troat" guy from Robin and the 7 Hoods! He must have been a Sinatra pally, because his IMDb entry is brief, with appearances primarily in Sinatra vehicles.


Josh Sirten said...

Hey Chris!
I was just hoping for a new Sinatra-post! Thanks for making my Sunday!


Chris said...

My pleasure, Josh!

Dr. Ding said...

I need to get over here more often. Your Sinatra compendium is as impeccable as it is impressive, sir.

Chris said...

Nice words, Doc! I need to make my way over to you more often, as well.