Tony Rome

Tony Rome (1967)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Frank Sinatra, Jill St. John, Gena Rowlands, Richard Conte
Extras: Trailers

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has prepared a series of Frank Sinatra movies for release on DVD and among them is ’Tony Rome, ’ in which Sinatra plays a Miami former-cop-turned-private-investigator. The film was so successful that only a year later it was followed up with ’Lady In Cement’ another Tony Rome crime story, which is also available on DVD now.

Tony Rome gets pulled into a web of lies when he takes the job to chauffeur home the daughter of a wealthy businessman after she was found drunk and unconscious in a sleazy hotel room. The day after however, the real story begins to unravel when Tony learns that the lady has lost a valuable diamond pin and when thugs ransack Rome’s houseboat in hopes of finding it. Quickly things escalate and people die, and it is up to Tony Rome to find out what’s really going on.

’Tony Rome’ is an exciting crime thriller that has a good number of plot twists, keeping the story unpredictable for the most part. It is well-acted ad boasts a great cast, including a sizzling Jill St. John. The backdrop of Miami adds to the stylish flair of the movie as the action easily switches from upper class waterfront properties to Miami’s seediest corners imaginable.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has given the film a nice transfer and the presentation is mostly free of any defects or blemishes. There is a hint of grain here and there and maybe a tiny speckle on occasion giving away the film’s age, but for the most part this 2.35:1 widescreen transfer is clean and clear with a lot of detail. Colors are vibrant and rich but never oversaturated and always perfectly balanced to render Miami’s pastel colors. Black levels are solid and create deep shadows. Though they do occasionally lose a bit if detail – a result of the high contrast and deliberate overexposure in the film’s cinematography – the image is balanced and firmly rooted at all times.

A Dolby Stereo sound track complements the film and suits it well. It is clean and clear and without defects nicely bringing back the 60-pop score. Dialogues are clean and undistorted and with a decent frequency response, they never sound overly harsh either.

As extras the DVD contains the movie’s trailer as well as that for ’Lady In Cement.’ Also included are trailers for Fox’s line of Raquel Welch films, which may seem a bit funny at first, but given that she plays the lead next to Sinatra in the second Tony Rome film ’Lady In Cement’ it makes a bit more sense.

Both ’Tony Rome’ and ’Lady In Cement’ are great crime thrillers of the 60s. A bit outdated and less energetic that today’s fare, but with a lot more charm and personality in return, these films are fun to watch. Another highlight in ’Lady In Cement’ next to Raquel Welch is Dan Blocker in the part of a towering villain. Go grab both films and have a night of whodunit in style.