MIAMI – Florida has always had a noir side; each decade it looks different. The 1960s version can be seen in the classic 1967 Frank Sinatra film Tony Rome. In the movie, Sinatra is private eye named Tony Rome, a gambling guy who is loved by the ladies but keeps his eye on the case.
The movie is gorgeous, with Jill St. John, Sinatra in great suits and Gena Rowlands as the rich wife of Rudolph Kosterman, played by Simon Oakland. It is as stylish as the actors with Lee Hazlewood’s “Tony Rome” and “This Town” sung by Nancy Sinatra and jazzy riffs throughout. Boxer Rocky Marciano also appears, as Rome is a boxer.
Based on the Marvin Albert book series, it had a sequel. Rome is an essential moral man trying to sort out a crazy universe with a sense of humor and a belief in order. After he learns about a drug dealer, he beats him up just because.
Filming sites include the Villa Vizcaya, which stands in for the Kosterman mansion, the Fontainebleau, the Four Ambassadors on Brickell (under construction at the time of filming as the Sheraton Four Ambassadors), and other street locations amply detailed at the site for seeing Florida filming locations. Even the Mt. Sinai hospital looks stylish. Strangely, IMDB lists the Ca d’Zan in Sarasota as a filming location but it doesn’t look like it at all.
Some assorted lines:
- Brandy and ginger ale.
- Whats the matter baby can’t you afford a full dress?
- I got needle fever.
- You better get at this. You got a lot of edge on.
- He was a nice guy. He wanted to get the hang of it before he got married.
- I do it every night in front of 300 men. How is he any different.
- People don’t shoot at other people just for the hell of it.
- Another nice hobby for women is men.
- Lose a few pounds and shut up.
- I’d never leave you holding the greasy end of the stick.
- If it was a dead archbishop, I could understand all the fuss.
- This stinkpot town.
- “Two beers Smitty,” reply “Thanks for the choice.”
- Why don’t you try the Burns Agency. They specialize in pussy that don’t smile.