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  • Laci Barry Post

And the Oscar Goes To…Frank Sinatra!

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Last year, I tackled two massive books that I have always wanted to read. Frank Sinatra inspired me to read one of them! It is the World War II novel turned feature film he won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for in 1954. And the book is….From Here to Eternity by James Jones.

The movie adaptation of the famous book also won Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Donna Reed), Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Best Writing – Screenplay (Daniel Taradash), Best Cinematography – Black and White (Burnett Guffey), Best Sound – Recording (John P. Livadary), and Best Film Editing (William A. Lyon). In addition, Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr were both nominated for the Best Actor and Best Actress in a Leading Role categories but did not win. Needless to say, it was the movie of the year!

Frank Sinatra played the part of Private Angelo Maggio, who to me was the only truly lovable character in the book. The role played into Frank’s own personality well, as Angelo is a feisty, outspoken, humorous Italian from New York. Unfortunately, a series of outlandish decisions remove him from the story much earlier than I would have liked.

After I read the book, my husband and I had a movie night and watched the film. This may be one of the only instances when I can say I liked the movie better than the book. Perhaps, part of that reason was the blue-eyed songster himself.

Now to the book! If you love World War II history, I recommend it, as it was written by a real-life World War II veteran, was published in 1951, and won the 1952 National Book Award. It did give me a new and somewhat disturbing perspective on what life was like for soldiers in training and stationed in Hawaii at the onset of World War II. My grandfather was stationed in Hawaii for a time during the war. I sure hope his experiences were nothing like this book! I also don’t want to believe that the men and women stationed there were that crass, selfish, alcoholic, and misunderstood. I had a hard time connecting with or just liking any of the characters, but in the end, I am glad I finished it, and I am even happier that I watched the movie in which Frank Sinatra won the Oscar!


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