Tony Mastroianni Review Collection
Cleveland Press 1967
The private-eye dramas of the '40's were the James Bond films of their day and "Tony Rome" harks back to the time when Humphrey Bogart, Dick Powell and a few others were being tough in stories by Dashiel & Hammett and Raymond Chandler.
Though Frank Sinatra comes over well as the tough private eye who wisecracks his way through an involved plot, other resemblances to those older and superior films is superficial.
THIS is the familiar one about the detective who finds himself mixed up with a wealthy family, pretty girls, jewel thefts and murder in a plot that grows increasingly complicated as one reel of film succeeds another.
Along the way the detective is punched, slugged, kicked and shot at by a variety of hoodlums. There also are a number of females around, most of whom are trying to seduce him. Among the fillies is the drinking daughter of a wealthy family, a divorcee on the make, the one-time hat-check girl who has married wealthy and a stripper who prefers a lesbian friend.
Like most films of the '60's this one puts more emphasis on sex than those older ones did, offers dialog which is euphemistically referred to as mature but which simply ranges from blue and vulgar to outright trashy.
IT ISN'T simply risque because that implies wit. Most of this is just embarrassingly corny.
The movie has been expensively mounted in its Miami Beach locale and Gordon Douglas has directed the whole affair briskly enough to keep it moving well.
Acting is adequate throughout. Jill St. John seems to be making a career out of playing predatory females. Richard Conte is strong as the tough, honest cop who is always one step back of the private eye.
Most of the dialog has been adapted to the Sinatra style and the script is more a showcase for him than it is an attempt to put together a good mystery.
Back to the late show everyone.