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The Joker Is Wild Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Frank Sinatra stars as legendary nightclub comic Joe E. Lewis in this dramatic screen biography. In the 1920s, Lewis was a popular singer in Chicago who could fill any nightclub he chose to play. This doesn't go unnoticed by the mobsters who control many of the city's venues; when they ask Lewis to leave his steady gig and come work for them, he politely but firmly refuses. This does not make Al Capone and his men happy, and they respond by brutally attacking Lewis, cutting his throat and damaging his vocal cords so severely that he can never sing again. Lewis sinks into a deep depression and develops a highly caustic sense of humor, but his friend Austin Mack (Eddie Albert) suggests that he could put his sharp wit to work as a comedian. With little to lose, Lewis tries his hand at comedy, and with the encouragement of famous entertainer Sophie Tucker, Lewis once again rises to stardom as his salty material makes him the talk of late-night spots and burlesque houses everywhere. Along the way, he becomes involved with chorus girl Martha Stewart (Mitzi Gaynor) and wealthy socialite Letty Page (Jeanne Crain); while he marries Martha, he's not able to get Letty out of his thoughts for long. Lewis' romantic conflicts and the pressures of success fan the flames of his already potent taste for alcohol, and soon Lewis becomes a bitter drunk whose addiction to the bottle threatens to send his career (and his life) back into the gutter. The classic Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen number "All the Way" was introduced in The Joker Is Wild, and it won a 1957 Academy Award for Best Song; the film was later re-released as All the Way. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jimmy Van Heusen Best Song 1957 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sammy Cahn Best Song 1957 Winner

Cast

Frank Sinatra
as Joe E. Lewis
Mitzi Gaynor
as Martha Stewart
Jeanne Crain
as Letty Page
Eddie Albert
as Austin Mack
Beverly Garland
as Cassie Mack
Jackie Coogan
as Swifty Morgan
Barry Kelley
as Captain Hugh McCarthy
Ted de Corsia
as George Parker
Leonard Graves
as Tim Coogan
Hank Henry
as Burlesque Comedian
Eric Alden
as Doorman at Copacabana
Bill Baldwin
Don Beddoe
Russ Bender
Billie Bird
Wally Brown
as Heckler
Paul Bryar
Joe Dante
Dick Elliott
as Man Shaving
Ned Glass
as Johnson
Kit Guard
as Doorman of the Valencia
Harold Huber
as Harry Bliss
Walter Woolf King
as Dr. Pierson
Lucy Knoch
as Girl
Oliver McGowan
as Judge
Dennis McMullen
as Photographer
Sid Melton
as Runner
Frank Mills
as Florist Truck Driver
Ralph Montgomery
as Men in Hotel Suite
Paul Salata
as Mugs
Billy Snyder
Mary Treen
as Heckler
Eric Wilton
as Butler
Paula Hill
as Burlesque Girl
Paul Salata
as Mugs
Ralph Montgomery
as Men in Hotel Suite
Mary Treen
as Heckler
Oliver McGowan
as Judge
Lucy Knoch
as Girl
Harold Huber
as Harry Bliss
Frank Mills
as Florist Truck Driver
Ned Glass
as Johnson
Wally Brown
as Heckler
Sid Melton
as Runner
Kit Guard
as Doorman of the Valencia
Eric Wilton
as Butler
Eric Alden
as Doorman at Copacabana
Walter Woolf King
as Dr. Pierson
Dennis McMullen
as Photographer
Dick Elliott
as Man Shaving

Crew

Charles Vidor
Director
Art Cohn
Book Author
Oscar Saul
Screenwriter
Daniel L. Fapp
Cinematographer
Jimmy Van Heusen
Composer (Music Score)
Walter Scharf
Composer (Music Score)
Walter Scharf
Musical Direction/Supervision
Everett Douglas
Editor
Hal Pereira
Art Director
Roland Anderson
Art Director
Sam Comer
Set Designer
Grace Gregory
Set Designer
Edith Head
Costume Designer
John P. Fulton
Special Effects
Josephine Earl
Choreography
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