The Chairman of the Board. Ol' Blue Eyes. The Voice. The Man Who Was Almost Dirty Harry. He Who Fathered Sufficiently Less-Talented Offspring. Whatever you call him, there was only one Frank Sinatra. And let's face it: who could possibly even hope to measure up to Frankie's still-alluring charm, tenor, and screen presence? The answer, of course — no matter how hard some of today's clowns may try (and they do) — is a very heartfelt and sincere "no one." There will, undoubtedly, be those who will attempt to do so; and though my first piece of advice would most assuredly be "You're a loon," my second suggestion would be to watch an assortment of Mr. Sinatra's motion pictures.
Serendipitously enough, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's two-volume release of The Frank Sinatra Film Collection — which covers the legendary icon's filmic career from 1957 to 1968 — is that which you should seek: it not only contains some of The Chairman's greatest works (often performing his own stunts, because Frankie was cool like that), but it also features some of his not-so-glorious moments — just so you can see for yourself that not everyone has a line of business wherein everything they touch turns to gold. To better elucidate what I mean by these somewhat shameful endeavors, I need only point to the film housed on Disc One of Volume 1 in The Frank Sinatra Film Collection, 1957's The Pride and the Passion.
In the 2004 gay romantic comedy Touch of Pink, Kyle MacLachlan portrayed the Spirit of Cary Grant. Doing his best impersonation of the late actor's inimitable voice, the performer opened the film saying "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome. I'm Cary Grant. Now, I know what you're thinking: 'But he's been dead for 20-odd years.' Actually, longer — I first died when I made The Pride and the Passion in '59" to wit he shudders jestingly. OK, sure, the writers got the date wrong, but the sentiment is correct: this is one of those movies wherein a bit of everyone died — from those involved in the making of the film, to the ones who have had the misfortune of sitting through it.
Essentially, The Pride and the Passion is a prime example of how bloated and preposterous Hollywood's historical epics from the '50s and '60s usually wound up being. Directed by Stanley Kramer, the man who would later bring us The Defiant Ones and On the Beach, this windy adaptation of The Gun by C.S. Forester features one miscast lead after another, with British officer Cary Grant attempting to reclaim possession of a huge cannon from his country's neighboring Spaniards in the early 19th Century. Alas, such a task proves to be a complicated one — as the leader of a Spanish rebellion (Sinatra, complete with ridiculous hair and accompanying accent) wants to first transport the big gun 1,000km away to use against the invading French.