In the movie Frank and Ava, it’s 1949 and Sinatra, the former king of swoon who once enchanted millions of “bobby soxers”, is at the downturn of his career as the once golden “Voice” is now compromised by a hemorrhage to his vocal cords while his reputation is lambasted by the press who parade his alleged Mafia connections, liberal sympathies, and extramarital affairs. In the midst of his despair, he falls hard and fast for Gardner, MGM’s sultry starlet with whom he shares proclivities for passion, whiskey, obstinace, and sexual infidelities. Equal to his desire to maintain the interest of the mercurial Gardner, is his almost sacred infatuation aimed at attaining the role of Private Angelo Maggio in Columbia Picture’s From Here to Eternity, the sole ray of hope in salvaging his career.
An acknowledged long shot due to his questionable acting chops and heretofore box office bombs, Sinatra actively campaigns for the role while divorcing his wife, Nancy, and entering a sexually charged, but suspicion-filled marriage with Gardner that is marked by infidelities, Ava’s abortions and Frank’s suicide attempts as their hapless romance is parodied by the press who play them off each other. From Here to Eternity is an ultimate success that will extricate Frank from professional obscurity with his legendary Academy Award win, capping one of the greatest comebacks in Hollywood history, however this attainment is bittersweet.
Check out photos from Frank and Ava: