Sinatra: All or Nothing at All (2015–…): Season 1, Episode 2 - Part 2 - full transcript

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He was an emotionally sensitive
man that night.

This was a big night for him.

It was a fabulous event.
The who's who of celebrities were there.

The night itself was exciting
and a lot of mixed emotions.

Ladies and gentlemen, Frank Sinatra.

They were talking about
the best pop singer who ever lived.

For his retirement concert,
Sinatra chose 11 songs

to represent the story of his life and career.

He used the songs to tell the story of himself,

and he tells us our story through his story.

This is what set him apart.

Thank you very much. I'm absolutely thrilled.

Frank Sinatra is, well, Frank Sinatra.

In 20 years, he has travelled from Hoboken
to Hollywood with stops in between.

The Voice has become
one of Hollywood's great stars.

Recently, after
a comparatively inactive period,

Variety credited him with
the greatest comeback in theatre history.

He is now one of
Hollywood's hottest properties.

I can't imagine.


In 1949, Frank Sinatra is still the crooner.

The romantic ideal of the young.

By the '50s, he is a different kind of a singer,

and he is a different kind
of screen personality.

He is a grown-up.

He is somebody
who sings convincingly of suffering,

and whom we assume has himself suffered.

Okay, let's make a record.

- Let's go.
-Right. Rolling.

I love recording.

I think making records is a great fun
of all times because it's current.

It's right there.
When you finish the recording,

you blink your eye or your ear,
so to speak, and boom.

When he gets to Capitol,
it is a total picture of adulthood, of maturity.

And the country responded immediately.

Women said,
"This is a man you could go to bed with."

And the men said, "I'd like to be this guy."

In the '50s, the phoenix emerged

from the ashes of a previous existence.

And the curly hair and the floppy bow ties

suddenly gave way to the Cavanagh hat
and long loosened tie.

And this was a change

that very, very few musical personalities
have been able to accomplish.

Did Sinatra and Sinatra only
select those songs,

or did he do it in collaboration with you
and with the producer?

Sinatra picked his own things.

So when you hear a Frank Sinatra album,
it's a product of Frank Sinatra's head.

You think about Only The Lonely,
Wee Small Hours Of The Morning, you know?

He invented concept albums.

What he would do is to find a mood,

and then figure out
what songs reflect that mood.

And then, when he walked into the studio,

he was prepared to follow
the arranger's orchestration.

- Listen, hello?
-Jack must be playing the viola.

If there are any popping of 'P's, let's stop.

Because there were too many of
the 'P's popping in the past dates we did.

Can you clear those up a little bit?

I may be one of the few people
who performs in the middle of the orchestra,

right in the studio.

And no headphones and not a booth,
a glassed-in booth,

'cause I need the drive of the orchestra.

A good arranger is terribly vital
because he is a recording secretary.

For instance, if you brought a song to me,
and I said, "it's very good,

"maybe we'll record it."

Then we'd bring in...
In those days, it was Axel,

and then we went to Billy May and Nelson,
and then Gordon Jenkins.

We would sit down
and we would pick the key.

And I would give him my thoughts on
what the background should be

from eight measures to eight measures,
and then I would say, "How wrong am I?"

He would conduct the orchestra sometimes.
That's a lot of fun.

But if not, say, comfortable with it,
I became accustomed to it.

Some of it was his need to assert himself.

That was part of his performance.
He was a showman.

Sinatra respected Nelson Riddle so much,
his musical talent.

They made something
in excess of 300 songs.

Three hundred separate arrangements
in the years that they worked together,

including the song called
I've Got You Under My Skin.

I stayed up at night
to write that arrangement.

I remember bringing it to the recording
and everybody was very impressed.

When they finished the first run-through, the
entire orchestra applauded for Nelson Riddle

and whistled because it was so gorgeous.

That was according to Frank's specifications,
he said, "I want a long crescendo."

Go, get 'em! Get 'em!

Thank you.

The first act was called The Daily Life
and this act is called Love and Marriage.

And since we're doing a little singing here
tonight, Mr Leader, if you please.

That period in America
was the greatest growth

of individual wealth
in the history of Western civilisation.

There was money,
there was money to buy records,

there was money for kids
to have their own subculture.

For large numbers of
white middle-class Americans,

they never had it so good as in the '50s.

But they also knew

the whole thing could go bust
if the bomb got dropped.

Let us face without panic,
the reality of our times.

The fact that atom bombs
may someday be dropped on our cities.

That is a very awkward,
uncomfortable set of oppositions,

and it shapes American culture
in the Eisenhower era.

There's a tremendous amount
of economic stability,

but it is accompanied
by a tremendous amount of ferment.

We continue our protest.

We are at war with
the communist half of the world.

A man is either loyal, or he is disloyal.

Are you a member, or have you
ever been a member of the Communist Party?

Mr McCarthy, do you believe, sir,

that at least 5,000 American soldiers
have been slaughtered by the Reds?

I shall go to Korea.

I called the head of the USO.

I said to him, "I'd like to get over there
and do some shows for these guys."

Because Hope had already been there,

and then they were sending over
vaudeville actors and that kind of stuff.

I said, "They need some names over there."

The next thing I know, he calls me and said,

"There seems to be a problem
in Washington, in intelligence

about your being involved with some youth
organisation and the Roosevelt campaign.

They're inclined to think that
you're a part of the Communist Party."

And I said, "What?
We're going to Washington."

I said, "I ain't going to let them off the hook."

So, I went in the Pentagon building.

I was brought in to a sumptuous room.
It looked like a jury when I walked in.

There were three or four grey-haired men, all
true military guys, and a plainclothesman.

He was from what was then the OSS
rather than CIA.

Nobody smiled.

One guy said to me,

"You belong to a youth organisation
that you joined."

I said, "I never joined a youth organisation."

Witch-hunting. That's what they were doing.
They were witch-hunting.

Because after that came the blacklist.
I started to get pissed off with these guys.

I said, "Look, gentlemen,
does anybody run a check on me?"

General Kastner explained
that over a period of years,

many items had appeared in the public press

which identified Mr Sinatra
with the communist line.

As a result, serious questions existed
as to Mr Sinatra's sympathies

with respect to communism, communists,
and fellow travellers.

He said this to Sinatra's face.

I said, "Gentlemen, if you feel that I'm a risk,

"then you can stick the Korean War
in your ass,

"and that goes for all of you," I said,
and I got up and I walked out.

Fuck you. You think I'm a risk to my nation?

Who the hell needs you?
I said, "I don't need you."

Frank Sinatra invited attention.

He always complained
that he was unfairly tagged as a commie.

To his credit, he deftly avoided
some of the more horrible things

that happened to entertainers in those days.

He was mentioned in the infamous

House on Un-American Activities
Committee hearings,

but never called to testify.

He was just a liberal, left-wing entertainer,

who was far ahead of his time
in the positions that he took.

One of which
was speaking out against racism

at a time when no one
was speaking out against racism,

let alone a white crooner
from Hoboken, New Jersey.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

Here's a couple of people
we've never done on TV before,

the first gentlemen, Mr Frank Sinatra.

People had helped Dad,
Dad would help other people,

you know, ascend. It wasn't easy.

It was most difficult for Sammy
for obvious reasons.

Sinatra, he did not like segregation.

He didn't like that black people
were treated as creatures of inferiority.

He always rebelled against that.

I really became conscious of segregation

when I got involved
in the entertainment business.

I found that going through
parts of the United States,

travelling constantly,
doing one-nighters with orchestras

that were comprised of Negro musicians,
there were a lot of problems.

And not only in the South,
but in some quarters in the border states.

And I began to resent it.

I think it's vile.

I think it's the most indecent way to believe.

I think that we're all created equal.

It's wrong. It's just basically wrong.

Sinatra felt that important to his life
and to his art and to his whole style

was what he had learned
from black culture and black people.

He was very, very close
to the African American scene.

His closeness was never really
fully recognised historically

because he did that quietly
behind the scenes.

He opened up more doors
than any other individual,

black or white, in this business for me.
He set my motion picture salary,

he also was there for me,
on a personal basis when I needed him.

And without being asked,
he was always there for me.

Sammy is now only 29 years old,

but he has spent
most of his life in show business.

From Harlem to Hollywood,
with its attendant successes and crisis,

the worst, about a year ago.

He was coming back from Vegas
in the latter part of the night after his show

in order to get some sleep in LA
and do a title song for a picture at Universal.

He was coming around
a turn on the highway,

and two old gals
backed the car out of a driveway,

and in order not to hit them,
he went across the road, hit a tree.

The old Cadillac with the egg,
in the middle of the steering wheel.

You know, the thing used to look like
half of an egg.

It hit him right in here, and
his eye just popped right out of his head.

I never said goodbye to anybody.

I jumped in my car
and I drove to San Bernardino.

I flew down there.

And it's a coloured hospital.

And I found out later
that they drove around for 40 minutes...

- To get a hospital that would take him? get a hospital that would take him.

I went to his place in Palm Springs
and recuperated with friends, chums.

Sammy never learned to swim in his life,
deathly afraid of the water.

So, I taught him to swim.

And then I said to him,
"Sam, I'm not a physician,

"but the loss of your eye
is going to cause you to have an imbalance.

"I think you ought to teach me to time step."

And he was looking from behind the patch.

Toe, heel, toe, heel, toe, heel.

Next afternoon, I said to him,
"Okay, it's your turn."

And, you know,
we had trouble for about half hour

because he was trying to make a move
and he was tilting,

he was going and tilting the other way.

I took a guess, I didn't know,
what the hell did I know?

If your friends rally around you,

psychologically, there is a time
when that can happen,

and it picks you up
and gives you the strength you need

to take that second start.

The timing is everything and he knew that.

Frank, you do have a great presence,
there's no question about it.

You seem to be in command of yourself
and the situation.

Is that a facade? Do you feel in command?

Are you ever in a situation
where you feel inadequate?

I think that happens to me
about 10 times a day.

No matter where she might appear,

they all worshipped the face,
the fame, the figure,

of the world's most beautiful animal.

It wasn't much of a secret.
Frank had heard about it in New York.

He knew,
I was dating Luis Miguel Dominguin.

Luis Miguel was the most famous bull fighter
in the world.

He was still in love with Ava Gardner.

It was the first and only time
that someone else had done the leaving.

We were sort of reluctant to go.

I mean, he had been building
such a head of steam for this visit with Ava,

that it seemed sort of intrusive.

And she arrived with three or four men,
none of whom spoke English.

Dressed to the nines, she looked smashing.

And she and father disappeared
with much giggling and carrying on.

This was clearly
going to be a romantic night.

So, after due time, they re-joined us.
Dinner was wonderful.

And she left the table after the first course,
excused herself.

And her purse was there
and her gold cigarette box,

and I guess
I thought she was going to the powder room.

She didn't come back, she didn't come back,
she didn't come back.

So, someone went to check. Well, she'd left.

She just walked out.

And when he caught on, it was devastating.

I mean, devastating.

When his music
finally evolved into "after Ava,"

it's got a note of stoicism in it.

"All right, I've lost you.

"I got knocked on my ass.
I'm getting up now."

Why don't you wanna talk about Sinatra?

Well, I don't wanna talk about Sinatra
because Frank and I

have not had a relationship since 1959.

I think that's quite a while ago.

I can't really remember how it all began.

There must have always been
a special feeling alive

between Frank and me from earlier days.

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall

are among the better known husband
and wife acting teams in Hollywood.

Bogie always liked Frank.

He enjoyed his fighting windmills
and Frank made him laugh.

When Bogart passed away,
Dad was devastated.

He loved him so much.

He felt loss harder than anyone else I know.

And maybe, it made him
face his own mortality, you know?

Towards the very end of Bogie's illness,

Frank seemed instinctively to be there
at the key moments.

Having lived the better part of a year
in the atmosphere of illness,

I guess I not only began to depend
on his presence, but looked forward to it.

I wanted something to look forward to.
I hated feeling that my life was over at 32.

Certainly, he was then at his vocal peak
and was wildly attractive, electrifying.

In 1958,
he proposed marriage and she accepted.

They agreed to keep it a secret,
but word leaked out and it hit the headlines.

Clearly, he thought, I had given it away.

Foolishly, I was pleading to be forgiven
for something I'd had no part in.

He couldn't deal with the press,
they were driving him crazy.

His attitude, remote,

and under this circumstance,
the pressure was too great.

He felt trapped.

- Do you think your boiling point is low?
-Always. Always.

I've apologised a great many times in my life,
and I will continue to do so.

Obviously, because

the blow-ups are
just valves going off here and there.

I suppose they have to go off.
I suppose it's necessary.

Needless to say,

I mean, if I had ended up with Sinatra,
we would have lasted for about 20 minutes.

The Lady ls A Tramp he did,
as Nelson Riddle said,

with a particular kind of salaciousness

which fit the image
that he was wearing in 1957.

Frank was a womaniser.

He wanted to be in the sack with everybody.

I think the public is constantly putting itself
in the position of the performer.

They want to think about him as they believe
him to be, or they'd like to be.

You think the moral standards have dropped,
lowered considerably in this country?

Yes, I do.

Have you had any part to play,
do you think, in that, by any chance?

I don't believe so.

What I do with my private life,
having been divorced,

I don't think lent that much
to the demoralization of a nation.

Thank you.

Frank Sinatra was never a fan of rock music,
not at any time.

Rock 'n' roll was on the ascendancy
and, of course,

the kind of music that Frank was
identified with was on the decline.

He didn't like the songs,
he thought they were silly.

He didn't like the rhythms.

You don't see a danger then that
that little grey-haired couple in 1995

is going to grab hands
and weep a little tear when they play

You Ain't Nothin' But A Hound Dog,
and say, "That's our song."

No, I don't think so.

There is a market for that
and the kids like it fine.

My kids are the same way,
they buy all of the records.

Years later,
when I first brought him Yesterday,

he threw it on the floor.

The Beatles, you must be kidding,
you know?

So contemptuous, you couldn't believe it.

Mr Sinatra, over a period of time,
even from your very early days,

you still carry out this policy
of singing standards.

Have you found that this has paid off?

I know that by the sales of our albums,
it's really paid off. It's been marvellous.

He was such a big artist at Capitol.

And of course, that got him thinking
about maybe doing his own thing

and starting a record company.

He was very, very unhappy with the way
then existing labels treated their artists.

He wanted to create an environment
which would be creatively

and economically attractive to artists.

Frank, I understand that you are gonna

release a new record label out here.
Is that correct?

Reprise, yes. Reprise Records.

I met with Frank's manager,
and he asked me to head up Reprise.

But I also had to get approval from Frank.

Frank was doing The Devil At 4 O'clock
with Spencer Tracy.

And they took me out on the set
to meet him for the first time.

Well, you can imagine
how anxious and nervous I was.

And when I walked up on the set,

there was Frank engaged in
an enormous argument with the director.

I mean, Frank in a tantrum
displaying all of his anger

is scary.

And I then went on to Frank's dressing room
and waited for him.

And he came in,
and he did, like, a 180-degree turnaround.

He was up, he was positive,
he was charming.

He could not have been more excited
about the prospect of the record company.

And then I went around,
and I began to talk to all my churns,

suddenly we had a stable of names this long.
It was crazy.

Each person who came along with me
had an option to buy their own masters.

We have on the label
Sammy Davis and Mort Sahl,

Joe E. Lewis,
the nightclub comic in the States.

We started Reprise primarily
with a lot of Frank's friends.

People who were out of the big band era,

who did the same kind of music
that Frank did.

Frank forbade us
to sign any rock 'n' roll artists.

And so, we were struggling
because we weren't being competitive.

And finally, I said to him,
"Frank, unless we end up signing artists

"from the rock 'n' roll scene,

"we are not gonna compete,
and I don't think we will be able to survive."

And to his credit,
even though he hated that kind of music,

he had good enough business instincts
to recognise

that what I was saying had some validity.

Elvis, right in the thick of his
up and coming fame was put into the army,

and that was the welcome back show 1960.

Elvis, I'll tell you something, that was great.

It was great and I'm glad to see the army
hasn't changed you. Wasn't it great?

That was the first time I've ever heard
a woman screaming at a male singer.

Don't you remember me there, Charlie?

Excuse me, sir, Mr Presley,

but would you think it presumptuous
of Frank if he joined you in a duet?

Well, yeah, that would be great.

And it was a great coup

to put the heart-throb of the new generation

and the heart-throb of the current generation
on television together.

You do Witchcraft, okay?
And I'll do one of the other ones, okay?


We work in the same way,
only in different areas.

Man, that's pretty.

We have this notion,

that when Elvis Presley came along,
the world changed.

But Sinatra had a really good run
in the early '60s.

Las Vegas, Nev.

You know why I fly up there so often?
I go to look at money.

And here is living proof.

The place, the Sands, the time,
in the wee small hours of.

Frank put a flavour to that town
and practically made Vegas.

And because he went, others went.

They'd say,
"Hey, let's go to Vegas, Frank's there."

There's Frank, there's Dean, Bing Crosby,

and somebody... Yeah, me.

We have Frank Sinatra and Ernie Kovacs,

Eddie Fisher, Sammy Davis, Jr.
and Tony Curtis.

Every celebrity in the world
and VIP was there.

They were in Las Vegas on opening night
with their friends on home ground.

And it's what

"The Rat Pack," or "The Clan"
as Sinatra called it, was all about.

There was a Rat Pack prior to
the Sinatra Rat Pack.

Humphrey Bogart and his cronies,
including Sinatra,

had been in Las Vegas
for a debauched weekend.

And Lauren Bacall walked in on them after
they had been partying for a few days,

and said, "Jeez, you all look like a rat pack."

After Bogart's death,

Sinatra drew on that energy
and put together his own coterie of friends.

Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin,
Sammy Davis, Jr.,

Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.

It was dizzying, the glamour of it all.

Ladies and gentlemen...

When they started to perform,
they were masters of the universe.

They sucked the air out of the room.

Sing it again! I didn't hear it!

How many more
do you think he is gonna do, Sam?

I don't know, but he sure sings good
for a white fella, don't he?

Frank doted on Dean.

Thought he was
the funniest guy in the world.

Dean was like water running downhill.
Cool and relaxed, no ego.

This is only a gag, I don't drink any more.
I freeze it now and I eat it like a Popsicle.

You know I wanted to say one thing
in all seriousness.

I feel sorry for you people that don't drink.

I mean it,
'cause when you wake up in the morning,

that's as good as you're gonna feel all day.

Not only we were on stage,

while we were on stage, such notables as

Rickles, Red Skelton, Milton Berle
all came and got up on stage with us.

- The crowd must have gone wild.
-They went crazy.

And people, comics from all sorts came to
see what we were doing.

We never had a writer.

We didn't have any jokes written for us.

It all came together.

We always had the room to ad-lib on stage.

But for instance,
Dean picking me up, saying...

- I'd like to thank the NAACP for this wonder...
-Put me down!

Well, that was an ad-lib.

That night when we came off,
we all turned to each other, I said,

"Dynamite." Frank said, "Lock it in."

So, that's how we found the material.

Since our minds were fertile at that time
and everybody was thinking,

"What can I do," this, that and the other,

"What can we do to break them up?"

If you speak to old timers in Vegas,

they all credit the Rat Pack
with saving the town.

In the mid '50s,
Vegas became built up very quickly,

but the tourism
wasn't matching the construction.

And suddenly, there was this big
tourist attraction in Las Vegas, the Rat Pack.

And these guys
would walk around the casino...

The idea you could go to Las Vegas
and maybe

Sammy would show up at the Riviera
and get on stage with the lounge act,

drew a lot of people to the city.

It was also, on a serious basis,

it was the very first time

that we saw the decline of racism in Vegas.

At the beginning, you just were
not permitted to play there. Period.

And then eventually,
when the star power became so inordinate,

they knew that they had to begin
to invite black stars to participate

because the revenue was not to be ignored.

But they laid out very strict rules.

Lena Horne and Fats Domino
had to eat in the kitchen,

they couldn't go in the casino.

They had to live across town
because it was racist as hell.

Frank wasn't having that, so he was
assigning one goombah to each guy.

He said, "if anybody looks at them funny,
break both of their legs."

When I found that all of the black performers
were living on the other side of the town,

I began to make noise about it.

A few threats like,
"I'll walk, I'll go back to LA."

I think a few other entertainers began to
pick up on that, too, and they hollered.

But l guess
I was allowed the biggest mouth in the town.

When I asked about it, he said,
"Any of my Negro friends

"have a right to live where they want and
especially if they are bringing in the pokey,

"why shouldn't they live there?"

Frank was always there
to give a boost to our cause.

He stepped to the table
and not only gave money

for the civil rights movement.

Well, he went to the Mob
and they gave money because he said so,

that was no secret to anybody.

Even the KGB knew
about the Mob and the Rat Pack.

They boasted about it.

What he said to me was,
"Look, did I know these guys?

"Of course I knew these guys.
I worked in saloons in the '30s and '40s.

"They were the old bootleggers,

"who were now doing legitimately
what used to be illegitimate."

He kept knowing them because of Las Vegas.

I don't think Sinatra is the kind of guy

who would have loved
hanging around with a dope peddler.

But that old bootlegger, I think he liked them.

What were the qualities about him
that you liked, Frank?

Strange kind of warped sense of humour,
with funny jokes and...

And a nice guy.
Generous, generous son of a bitch.

You like it? Boom! He'd give you
the ring off his finger, with a sapphire in it.

- They were all like that, all those guys.

We were all individually
as big as we were to ever get.

And when we did the summit meetings
while we were working on Ocean's 11,

it created something
that the town still takes bows for.

Peter owned Ocean's 11.

He found it, brought it to Frank,
Frank bought it.

You know, that kind of thing.

They knew each other
under contract at MGM.

MGM, they were friends.

Sergeant Ocean?

This is our objective. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mission, to liberate millions of dollars.

The movies were very disciplined.

These guys came on the set,
nobody blew a line.

The energy was a teenage energy.

It was, "Let's have fun."

And then in the evening,
after they did their shows,

they stayed up gambling and playing,
and making the casino guys go crazy,

and never ever sleeping.

All these girls would walk up to us
and give us their room key.

God, it was good.

When the movie was cut together,
he enjoyed it.

He would screen it at his house
over and over again for all his friends.

And he really loved it because this was
the first film that was kind of his production.

I think that's why it was so close to him.

It really did depict America at the time.

Pretty happy, pretty optimistic about,

perhaps a young, beautiful new president.

When he started running for president,
Jack Kennedy came to Las Vegas

to do some fund raising, but ended up
hanging out with Sinatra at the Sands.

His grandfather was mayor of Boston.
His father was ambassador to London.

Studied at Harvard, football star,
Navy skipper, newspaper reporter, senator,

married to a most attractive bride.

I met the then Senator Kennedy,

and of course, I'd known Pat Lawford,
Mrs Lawford, a good many years.

From early on, Sinatra was
introduced to Kennedy by Peter Lawford

who was a Kennedy in-law.
This is in the late 1950s.

And eventually,
I got to know the rest of the family,

and Mr Kennedy, Senior,
we became rather close friends.

Consequently, I did what I could
for the election of Kennedy.

The Kennedy motorcade was preceded
by a sound truck playing

Frank's revised recording of his hit,
High Hopes.

This particular year, you've taken
a very strong stand in favour of Kennedy.

Don't you run a career risk
in taking a political side?

I don't think so, Paul.
Every individual has a right

to say what he thinks and to speak up
for the candidate of his choice.

Dad gets a phone call
from the old man, Joe Kennedy.

He said, "I need a favour,
I'm gonna ask you to give me some help

"in Illinois and West Virginia."

They needed those two states and he said,

"I want you to talk to the guys that you know,
the Mob,

"to get the unions in both states
to vote for John Kennedy."

Dad got it and he went off
and called Sam Giancana.

As a boss, no one promoted Giancana
because they liked his blue eyes,

or his personality, or anything like that.

It was because
he had simply killed enough people

that he moved up through the Mob
and eventually got to the top.

He was, in almost every respect, a savage.

The mobster liked to hang out with Sinatra
because he was famous.

And Sinatra liked to hang out with mobsters
because he was a bad boy.

Giancana had a vested interest
in courting Sinatra,

because he wanted to get the FBI to back off
its crackdown in the Mob.

All of the goons around Giancana,

were all concerned
about pressure from the FBI.

The agents were around there all the time
and were surveilling him night and day.

Sinatra offered a way for them
to get friendly with Kennedy

when he started running for president.

Sinatra liked power
whether it was legitimate or illegitimate.

And Kennedy and Sinatra both liked sex.

It was Sinatra who introduced John Kennedy
to a former girlfriend of his, Judith Campbell,

who we now know became his mistress.

Judy, she was an extremely
beautiful young woman.

There's no question,
she was in the Liz Taylor class.

Among his peers, Jack Kennedy was like,
"Oh my God!"

I mean,
Marilyn Monroe would come in to see him.

He was so magnetic, he could get anybody.

It also turns out,
that Judith Campbell was dating

a guy named Sam Giancana.

Once you start hanging out with mobsters,
you are inviting attention to yourself.

And once you start hanging out with
mobsters and the man who is to become

President of the United States
simultaneously, this is a problem.

Of course, I called Jack right away.
He would always say,

"Don't worry about it,
you have nothing to be afraid of.

"You've never done anything
wrong in your life.

"And you know Sam works for us."

Giancana dispatched an associate

to get local sheriffs and powerful
coal miners' unions to deliver votes

and the election to Kennedy.

January 20th, 1961 saw Washington crowded
with hundreds of thousands of visitors,

here to see Mr Kennedy
take the oath of office

administered by the Chief Justice
of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren.

Then the new President is congratulated
by Vice President Johnson,

and the man he defeated, Richard Nixon.

When the time came
for the inaugural celebration,

no better person could have been chosen

to mount it and to orchestrate it than Sinatra.

It was very classy.

The Kennedys had a very specific way
of thinking and doing things.

And at one point, Dad's friendship,

with Sammy Davis, Jr.,
who was soon to marry May Britt,

became a political rub for them.

She was a beautiful white, blonde actress.

And they didn't like
the idea of the interracial marriage.

This is the Kennedys.
You would have thought the reverse of them.

Dad got a phone call.

And he was asked to disinvite
Sammy Davis to the inaugural gala.

And he actually had to do it.

I know we're all indebted to a great friend,
Frank Sinatra.

Long before he could sing,

he used to poll a Democratic precinct
back in New Jersey.

That precinct has grown to cover a country.

But long after he has ceased to sing,

he is going to be standing up
and speaking for the Democratic Party,

and I thank him
on behalf of all of you tonight.

The son of an immigrant,
Dad had risen from the streets of Hoboken

to become the biggest
and most powerful star in show business.

It was a moment to savour for a lifetime.

Word got out that the election was fixed.

Republicans were screaming
for an investigation.

Joe Kennedy tells Jack
to appoint Bobby as Attorney General.

He said, "Who do you think we are?
We don't fix elections.

"We don't do that kind of stuff."

After the election,

the Mob expected Frank Sinatra
to get the Kennedys to go easy on them.

Instead, President Kennedy
appointed his brother,

who was an anti-Mob crusader
from way back,

as Attorney General,
and the crackdown only intensified.

Would you tell us whether,
if you have opposition from anybody,

that you dispose of them
by having them stuffed in a trunk.

Is that what you do, Mr Giancana?

I decline to answer because I honestly
believe my answer might incriminate...

Can you tell us anything
about any of your operations,

or do you just giggle
every time I ask you a question?

Decline to answer because I honestly believe

my answer might tend to incriminate me.

I thought only
little girls giggled, Mr Giancana.

In the Chicago gangster world, everybody
was just bashing Giancana for this,

that he didn't put it all together properly.
He should have had a guarantee,

they weren't gonna appoint
somebody like Bobby Kennedy in there.

Sam Giancana and his associates
can be heard on tape

just fuming that Sinatra hadn't made good
on his promise to get the FBI to back off.

Later, these underworld figures
are fantasising

about assassinating Sinatra,
maybe his friend Dean Martin.

At one point, they talk about poking
Sammy Davis, Jr.'s other eye out.

And one mobster actually fantasises about

throwing a bomb
in the face of Bobby Kennedy,

and says he'd gladly go to jail
for the rest of his life

if he had a chance to do that.

Judith Campbell was associating
with Sam Giancana,

so the FBI started watching her.

Then they noticed that not only was she
talking to Sam Giancana and Frank Sinatra,

at the same time that she was on a
fairly regular basis, calling the White House.

J. Edgar Hoover wrote a memo
to Robert Kennedy

that started a chain of events that
caused Robert Kennedy

to finally confront his brother
about, basically,

his relationship with both Sinatra
and Judith Campbell.

And as a result of that,
President Kennedy backed off Sinatra.

There was some reaction among those who...

Apparently, a small group
that's in the anti-Sinatra area,

criticism that perhaps
this was going to hurt Kennedy.

- Did you get any of that?
-No, I must say that...

That sounds rather ridiculous actually,

because nobody imposed themselves
anywhere that I can remember.

I've never been a witness to anything

either visually or audibly.

I've never been aware of anything like that.

What was ridiculously called "The Clan"

were several people
who had only goodness in their hearts

wanting to help if they could, and they did

whenever they were asked to,
which was many times.

And that's about the extent of what we did.

At one point in March of 1962,

Sinatra was supposed to host Kennedy
at his home in Palm Springs.

Sinatra actually built
a separate structure for him.

He used to call it "The Little White House."
I saw it.

And was so proud, you know.

Suddenly, Jack got cold feet about Frank,

and he ended up staying with Bing Crosby
in Palm Springs, who was a Republican!

They said it was due to security factors.

It was some lame excuse.

And Dad knew it was Bobby and said so.

And it was pretty clear
that Bobby was looking to sever any ties

with the very people
that helped get his brother in office.

And it was a very low point in my dad's life.

He felt very hurt, very let down,
very disappointed.

He never blamed Jack for it.

But I think
he thought that there was a betrayal.

It was Joseph P. Kennedy
who was calling the shots.

And he could not depend on
John. F. Kennedy to be the hatchet man.

On the other hand, his third son,
Bobby Kennedy,

was perfectly willing to smile at you

and stick a knife in your stomach
at the same time.

It bothered Jack, too,
because that was a retreat.

The President always had great fun there
because there was a pool.

There were always girls.

If he wanted to smoke a joint,
he could do it there.

It was a real haven for him.

The thing about Kennedy that's so important,

his love affair was never with women.

It was always with men. Men loved him.

He was being excluded
from the aristocracy of success.

He was frozen out of power.

The very thing that success
is meant to access.

What other contradictions, like that?

On the one hand, emptiness.
On the other hand, adoration.

He was as all great stars are.
Incredibly charming.

He was also incredibly wild.
He was incredibly generous.

He was also incredibly dismissive
and tyrannical.


That period of the '60s,

it was certainly the beginning
of his entrepreneurial business life.

And he loved it.

What are your interests today?

Well, aside from having
an independent picture corporation,

we have a recording company,

we have
several music publishing companies.

We've gone into a
titanium manufacturing business.

We've recently put together
an aeroplane charter service.

One of the things that define Sinatra
is his inability to stop moving.

He was always on the move.
He was so restless.

12:00, he was bored. "Let's get on the plane."

His plane would fly to Las Vegas.
"We'll do something there."

I just completed my world tour
on behalf of underprivileged children.

And back home in Hollywood,
I've gone over the films we took on this trip.

Tokyo, Hong Kong, Athens...
it's all very exciting.

In 1962, Sinatra visited many countries

and raised millions
and millions of dollars for charity.

He called himself an "over-privileged adult."

And he decided it was time
to put something back.

I went to all of the hospitals
for which I've performed.

I went to see the kids.
And that's the biggest...

Actually, that's the biggest kick
of doing this kind of thing.

In all of the nations,
to go to see the children themselves.

International tours happen all the time
and the singers make a lot of money on it.

He didn't make a nickel.
He paid for everything.

There was no scheduled airline that would
take Sinatra to the unlikely places he goes

at the unlikely times he wants to go there.

One of the unlikely places
Sinatra wanted to get to recently

was Lorton penitentiary
near Washington, D.C.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

We played that prison.
It's was a black prison in Washington, D.C.

Frank just wanted to let the White House
know he was in town and didn't say "hello."

And they were so upset, you know?

You ought to say "hello" to my man here.

The Count Basie,
and his wonderful orchestra.

And Mr Quincy Jones. Thank you.

And the musicians loved Frank.
They just loved him.

Because he was like
a jazz musician, you know?

Back then, the only singers
that anybody considered a real singer

was the ones that knew how to sing
like a jazz saxophone player played.

You know,
he used to trick me on that all the time.

Sort of see if he could sing it faster
than I could hit those backgrounds.

You know? He'd test me out every time.


I watched him through the years
as he became

more deeply involved with black music.
Certainly with Jazz.

And all of the things
that he did in relationship to race

and progressive social agenda.

He did a huge benefit at Carnegie Hall,

and an evening with Lena Horne.

Sinatra at the time,
was filming in Los Angeles.

They wanted him to appear to raise money
for the NAACP.

He finally got himself away from the film,
got on an aeroplane and flew to New York.

And from the airport, he went on the stage,
no warm up,

and he sang OI' Man River.

I was up in the balcony
and I recognised Dr King sitting there.

And he was very moved by this.

Now, you would've considered

they would have had
one of the black operatic stars do it.

But here is Frank Sinatra singing this song

and Martin Luther King, he wept.

This concert that they did
was a huge success.

And he declared himself for Dr King,
and for our movement.

With this faith, we will be able to transform
the jangling discords of our nation

into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

With this faith,
we will be able to work together,

to pray together, to struggle together,
to go to jail together,

to stand up for freedom together,
knowing that we will be free one day.

- Hey, why don't you have a little snack?
-What is it?

We'll have a look at things here.

All right folks, put on your sheets,
and we'll start the meeting.

Come on!

Go bore a few holes in that
and be somebody.

Then there came a time when,
for reasons that we never quite understood,

Sinatra and Joey Bishop and Dean Martin
began to do these outrageously racist jokes

with Sammy Davis, Jr. as the brunt.

He's just, you'll excuse the expression,
"a carbon copy."

Sammy Davis, Jr. tap-danced his away
through it and played second banana,

and went into a period of buffoonery.

And the rest of us
were very critical of Sammy

for not resisting and behaving in a manner
that we considered more dignified.

I thought since we're all
on the same label, Reprise, we might...

Zelda, Zelda?

Hey, hey, Zelda, look.
I'll go out and I'll drink with you.

I'll go pick cotton with you.
I'll eat oranges with you.

I'll go to schul with you, but don't touch me.

It was out of step.

But you have to understand that humour,
as offensive as it may have been,

it didn't disturb all of America.
it disturbed the black segment of America.

The rest of white America had its dynamic
with racist behaviour and opinions.

So, it was a country divided.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I give you the next
President of the United States.

Here is a bulletin from CBS News.

From Dallas, Texas,
the flash, apparently official,

President Kennedy died
at 1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.

2:00, Eastern Standard Time,
some 38 minutes ago.

Vice President Lyndon Johnson
has left the hospital...

Dad went to Palm Springs after that
and virtually disappeared.

Even I couldn't reach him.

For three days, while the Kennedys
and the nation publicly mourned,

my father grieved alone,
locked away in his bedroom.

Afterward, he said of John F. Kennedy,

"For a brief moment,
he was the brightest star in our lives."

This is the North Lodge of Harrah's Club,
straddling the California-Nevada border.

From this building, nearly 48 hours ago,
Frank Sinatra, Jr. was kidnapped.

Approximately 9:00, or a few minutes before,
there was a knock on the door.

Frank said, "Come in."

The fellow entered wearing a hooded parka.

Said he had a package for Mr Sinatra.

As he straightened up,
he had a revolver in his hand.

The kidnapping
happened on a Sunday night,

the second week of December.
It was dark and cold and...

My mother came running down
our hallway yelling,

"Your brother's been kidnapped."

So, I said, "What do we do?"
She said, "I don't know.

"Your father's just called
and he's on his way to Reno."

I get the chills when I think about it.

I was a basket case.

I get a call the next morning
from Edgar Hoover,

-"Yes, Sir. Mr Director, how are you?"

He said, "I'm fine." He said,

"But I'm pissed off
about these little rat clown bastards."

He said, "We'll get them, Frank.
Don't worry about it."

An hour later, I get a call
from Bobby Kennedy saying to me,

"Frank, everything's being done.
Just want you to know that."

He said, "We'll get your son back."
He said, "Don't worry about it,

"don't have any cares.
We're gonna get him back."

For such a traumatic moment,

did it bring Frank
and Frank, Jr. closer together?

Their relationship was actually
always very warm and loving.

They were never not close.

But there was something
about the nature of their lifestyles

that kind of kept them apart.

Because he was doing his thing
all the time I was growing up.

And then, when I became an adult,
I was doing my thing.

We do a Sinatra song in every show,
ladies and gentlemen.

I come from a very unusual family, you see?

Did he come to see
your first singing engagement?


I was singing with
the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra at that time.

I had to sing the same songs
that he had made famous.

I was singing I'll Never Smile Again.

I was singing There Are Such Things.

Night And Day.
Stuff he did with Tommy Dorsey.

Thank you, sir.

The father-son thing can be difficult at best.

But primarily, as a boy, every one of us,
we need our father.

Dad had been joined in Reno
by his lawyer Mickey Rudin,

Jack Entratter of the Sands Hotel,

and Dean Elson, special agent
in-charge of the FBI in Nevada.

I had two questions for him.

One was,
"Would Frank, Jr. do this for the publicity?"

"No, Dean," he says.

"Not because of me, but because
he would never do that to his mother."

The other question was,

"ls there any connection or reason
that the Mob would want to kidnap him

"to get even with you or anything like that?"

And he said, "No. There's nothing."

A Mob connection made sense,
but the truth was much crazier.

Sane people don't wake up one day
and decide they're gonna raise money

to start a business by kidnapping the son
of the most famous entertainer in the world.

But that's what happened.

The kidnapper's name was Barry Keenan.

He grew up in Southern California

and went to high school
with the children of movie stars.

But after some brief business success,
he started drinking heavily,

and got hooked on Percodan
and other pain killers.

After losing all of his money
and most of his mind,

he panicked and hatched a kidnapping plot.

He looked in his old high school year book
for wealthy people he knew.

He spotted Nancy Sinatra
and then settled on her brother.

Frank Sinatra would offer $1 million
to get his son back.

But Keenan would only ask
for exactly $240,000.

In his fevered mind, Keenan imagined
it was a loan he would ultimately pay back.

At 9:26 p.m. on the 10th,

Dad was instructed to go to a gas station
in Beverly Hills.

There, another phone call ordered him
to have a courier bring the money

to a phone booth in
Los Angeles International Airport at 11 p.m.

We get out there.

We got there long before
I was supposed to be there.

And finally he said,
"Go back to your wife's house."

He said, "And we'll call you at some time,"
I don't know, a half hour, an hour and a half.

He said,
"We'll tell you where you'll bring the money."

When the phone would ring,
everybody would freeze.

Dad would answer all the phones.

Dad listened. He was... Didn't speak much.
He asked to talk to his son.

"I want my son. I wanna talk to my son."

It was surreal.
it was unbelievably weird and surreal.

I remember hours fleeting by.
None of us slept. Mom never slept.

I remember the satchel of money coming in.

In the pre-dawn hours of this morning,

a courier dropped $240,000
in small bills at a service station

on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, here.

At the same time,
a car stopped on the San Diego Freeway

up here near Mulholland Drive,

and blind-folded Frank Sinatra
was set free after 48 hours as a captive,

most of that time
spent in the trunk of his kidnapper's car.

Frank, Jr. was released
not too far from his home.

Each time a car came by,
he would duck in behind a hedge.

Finally, he saw a patrol car that
covered the neighbourhood of Bel Air.

He hailed him down
and told him who he was.

The officer put him in the trunk
and drove to the house.

So, when the door opened, two men,
apparently FBI, opened the door.

And about that time, Mr Sinatra
came walking from the living room.

I said to Mr Sinatra,
"Frankie's out in the trunk of the car."

And I said, "He's okay."

And he just looked and he just...
I mean, he was real serious.

And he said, "Well, let's get that trunk open."

And he jumped out of the trunk
and they embraced.

And my mother... I don't know.
She let out a sound I'd never heard before.

Actually, his first words when he saw me
was, "I'm sorry". That's exactly what he said.

Which threw me down on the ground.

I was scared.
I was a little bit nervous, naturally,

but the only thing I could do
was hope for the best.

Mrs Sinatra, when did you first know
he was safe?

I never knew that he was safe until I saw him.

How do you feel now?
How do you feel now, Mrs Sinatra?

Just beautiful, thank you.
And may we be excused?

When will you get back to work, Frank?

We don't know that.
We're keeping him home for a while.

Sorry, sir.
I'm not at liberty to release that information.

Mrs Sinatra...

Fellas, do you mind if we go now
because I wanna feed him.


Young Frank was...

For the first time, it seemed to me,
he was just so struck by

the efforts that had been involved
in getting his release.

He was trying to thank his father
in his own way.

And that awkward thing that I think
fathers and sons sometimes have,

Frank not quite knowing how to reply, but...

"You know, well, son, you know.

"What else would I do, you know.
I mean, you are my son."

More often than not,
you refer to your dad as "Frank Sinatra"

rather than "my father" or "Dad."

He's two people.

The professional is Sinatra
as everyone knows him.

The personal, the side at home is "father."

And this, I believe, shows a respect.

This is the continuing story of Peyton Place.

Starring Mia Farrow as Allison MacKenzie.


- Hello.

- Mia?
-it's Mia, yes.

So, tell me... Describe if you would,
the first time you met Frank.

I was at Fox Studios and
I was making a TV series, Peyton Place.

I was, I think I was on roller skates
when I noticed a big set was opened.

And I saw a train.

And somebody tapped me on the shoulder

and said, "Do you wanna come
and say hello to Frank Sinatra?"

And I went up, and he was sitting
on a chair and he was very sweet,

and he got up and I dropped my purse.

Everything went rolling every which way.

My retainer on his shoe, tampons.
I mean, just mortifying.

And I was scrambling to grab everything.

And he asked if I wanted to go
to a movie with him the following night.

It was a movie that he himself had directed

called None But the Brave.

And I don't remember much about the movie.

What I remember was that at some point,
he held my hand.

I didn't know what to do
because I immediately started sweating.

It was such a quandary, that I mentally
amputated from the wrist down.

And when the lights went on, he said,
"Did you like the movie?"

And I'm like, "Yes, I loved it."

And he said
did I wanna come to Palm Springs?

And I heard myself saying,

"I don't have my pyjamas or my toothbrush
and I have this cat."

He just started laughing and he said,
"How about this?

"I will send the plane for you tomorrow,
you can bring your cat."

Mia had gone to my high school
two years earlier.

I liked her very much.
Dad liked her very much.

Dad was looking at 50 and not loving it.

Mia was looking for the father she never had.
It's really kind of textbook, you know.

At the time of their first meetings,
I think they were very private.

I found him irresistible.

Those weekends that we were together,
I would be working,

and I would come to Palm Springs.

We had these wonderful weekends
where we took walks

on the desert roads where his house was.

The way I saw it,
there was this person that was so shy.

You can see it in pictures sometimes
when you see him looking at me.

We were both shy people.

When I look back, the best of times,

because I was sort of a secret,
except to a very few people in his life.

So, there was this Frank
and then there was another version.

In LA, there was the older crowd.

You know Rosalind Russell
and there was Claudette Colbert.

And it was very respected members
of the LA artistic community.

In Las Vegas,
these people who would show up,

I didn't know them from anywhere else.

And they came
and they called women "broads."

They only related to each other, the men.

They told jokes,
and they drank and they gambled.

And I did meet Mafia people.

If the evening went on late enough,
he might just say, "Let's go to London."

And he would call his pilot,
and next thing, we'd be in an aeroplane.

I learned to bring my passport to dinner.

Before he made a record
or before he opened in Las Vegas,

he would stop smoking for six weeks.

And he wouldn't drink, he wouldn't smoke.

We would fly up to Vegas, we never drove.

Then he would go in the bathroom
and hang his tux on the shower curtain

and turn the bath on hot,

so the steam would come up and
take any wrinkles out of his tuxedo.

And then, before the show,
he would breathe over the sink

with steaming water
and a towel over the back of his head

just to clear himself up.

A lot of the songs he sang in Vegas
were the standards.

You know, Chicago,
the kind of swinging songs.

But I liked the ballads best by far.

And I know every time he sang them,
he was 100% present.

I remember him telling me that

he would never sing songs
that were popular at that time.

What Kind Of Fool Am I?
And he said, "I would never sing that song."

He said,
"Because I can't sing what I can't feel."

He thought it would be fun
to go on a cruise along the Cape.

And the next thing you know,
all around this ship,

were all these dinghies
and everybody with cameras.

I was fairly prepared for that.

People saying, "Well, come up on deck,
we wanna take your picture."

Fine, I got up and I let them take my picture
and spoke to people.

But then it got way out of hand.

It became a scandalous thing
because he was this swinger.

And I was in a TV series,

playing this very young
high school kid, like, 15-16.

Could I rip off my philosopher's beard
and put on my battered grey fedora

with the press credentials in the band

and ask you,
are you going to marry Mia Farrow?

Well, I can't answer that to begin with,

and I don't think
we're gonna use this anyway.

But I really can't answer it.

And we got married in the Sands Hotel.

And we cut the cake and Frank said,
"Let's go outside. There's press out there."

And he said, "We give them a picture
and then they'll leave us alone."

And honestly, we never were left alone again.

My problem only arose when they married
without telling us, the children.

It shouldn't have been a shock.

It should have been
something we were a part of

whether we agreed with it,
or believed in it or not.

The truth is none of us really did,
and I don't think Dad thought so for long.

I think Mia, who was younger,
but very strong and career-driven

had faith that everything would work out.

I think it was pretty obvious pretty quickly
that it was not going to work out.

When I met Frank,
girls were in miniskirts and hair was high.

Eye makeup was heavy and...

That was one part of the '60s.
The middle part.

And obviously,
that wasn't my mode of being or dressing.

And then there was the Vietnam War.

It's no small thing,
the impact it had on people my age.

And there came the hippie garb
and a different way of being.

Which was a huge wave
that changed the youth of the nation.

Frank felt himself very distanced from

their ideology, their attire, the whole thing.

My dad did not approve of looking divided.

You've gotta support the soldiers.
You must support the veterans.

He didn't want the war.

But if you're in it,
then we gotta do what we gotta do.

Fundamental World War I and ll philosophy.
And he'd lived through both.

Clearly, he did not embrace the change.

It was way different
when girls looked like dolls.

That, he could be comfortable with.

But when girls looked like Janis Joplin,

he seemed uncomfortable with that.

This was anathema to him.

Perhaps, he thought, it would destroy
the fabric of the country he loved.

We just came up against walls.

Just inability to communicate
after a certain point.

Yes, doctor.

- Mrs Wood house?

Thank you, thank you for calling me.

So, when Rosemary's Baby came,
I gave him that script.

And he was reading it and I said,
"What do you think?"

And he said, "I can't see you in that part."

...unusual kinds of drinks and capsules.

The baby's due on Tuesday.
Remember you told me June 28th?

- Well, I want you to deliver it.
-Mrs Woodhouse...

But he said, "if you wanna do it,
it's just a little horror movie."

He said,
"You know, you gotta be in The Detective.

"We're gonna be doing this big movie at Fox
with Lee Remick and him."

And so, that was what was gonna happen.

The director Roman Polanski,
he would do his set-ups.

If you look at that movie, they're truly
masterful and they're not off the cuff.

He didn't just do your, you know,

group shot, two-shot, over-shoulder
and close-up.

It took longer than Frank wanted it to take
and The Detective was moving ahead.

And I had this horrifying feeling.
I was in every shot and what would I do?

And he said, "You show up when you're
supposed to show up for The Detective."

"And if you don't," he said,
"I don't think we have a relationship."

Did it all come to a head
when she was doing Rosemary's Baby?

That had nothing to do with
what we were doing.

No, my beef there was with Bobby Evans.

My secretary comes in
with an urgent message.

"Frank Sinatra's on the horn.
He must speak with you."

So, I put him on the speaker phone.
He wasn't crooning.

"Evans, is that you?" "Yeah, Frank."

"Pick the fucking phone up.
I don't like being on no speaker."

I picked the phone up.

"I'm pulling Mia
from your fucking picture, Evans,

"if she ain't finished by November 14th.

"She's starting in my picture on the 17th,
got it straight?"

"Frank, you don't understand something.

"We're not gonna be finished
till mid-February."

"Then she's quitting. Got it clear, Evans?
Don't fuck around with me.

"We go back too far. She's my old lady.
She'll do as I tell her."

Before I can say anything,
he hangs the phone up.

And then, one day,
his lawyer appeared on the set

with an envelope, a big envelope,
brown envelope full of papers.

And he said,
"Mia, I've the papers for you to sign."

I'm like, "What papers?"
And he said, "The divorce papers."

And that's how I found out.

And I signed every single paper
without reading it.

And I just was crying so, so hard.

I don't know how I finished the day.
I don't know how I did.

I was in such emotional pain
and I just wanted to climb out of that.

So, I went to India.

That's Life was a title that...
He was very good about it.

He sang it a lot.

He didn't always want to,
but the public demanded it.

One day, there was some dinner
where they were giving an award

to Sinatra about something.

And one of the speakers that night was
a marvellous actor named Charlton Heston.

And Chuck Heston got up on the stage,

and he said, "Every song this man sings
in essence is a four-minute movie."

Did you get any on you?

Nobody stays hip forever.

Introducing The 6th Dimension.

There had been the most radical
kind of sea change in the culture.

Nobody in popular music
was able to make that kind of transition.

You either accepted that you were older...

How'd you like it, ladies?

Or you could embarrass yourself.

The ensemble is English modern.

The ruffle is French traditional,
and the face is Italian provincial.

They told me if I do good,
I get to keep the suit.

And away we go.

Frank Sinatra recorded songs to which
he could not possibly have had

any kind of emotional relationship.

'Cause he was trying to find
a way to stay afloat.

I'm sure he thought,
"I can find a way to get on top of this.

"I can find a way of relating to it."

Sinatra was no longer and could not possibly
be the hippest person in the room.

Suddenly, he's not at the centre
of the culture.

Thank you, group.

And don't look now, Francis Albert,
but your generation gap is showing.

On January 24, 1969,

the man I called "Dad"
had lost the man he called "Dad."

Like many Americans,
my father had been silently strong

through the assassinations
of JFK and Bobby

and then Martin Luther King.

But when his father died,
something snapped.

I never knew my father had that many friends.

Boy, he had a lot of friends.

- Jesus!
-You kept saying that.

They came from miles around.
I couldn't believe it.

Knowing that he was such an introvert,
I guess people got to love him,

and then they remained
as close as they could to him all the time.

My father loved me, if possible,
more than my mother.

But he never showed it.

He never wanted to open up with me.
He was a terrible introvert.

For instance, I went to the firehouse
when I appeared at the Paramount.

I said, "My Dad around?"

They said, "We think he's upstairs."

When I came up, he was standing
in front of the door of the locker, shaving.

As I approached him, he apparently saw me
and slammed the door.

But I had already seen in the mirror.

This thing was full of clippings
that he had been saving,

or have guys find them
and cut out of magazines.

They cut them out of magazines
and saved them for him.

downbeat and Metronome
and newspaper clippings.

I could have wept when I saw it.

He loved my success,
but he never mentioned it.

He would never talk about it.

I believe in the two-party system.

There come times
when the issues are of philosophical nature,

and people cross party lines.

I think perhaps this is such a time.
I'm sure of it.

Democrats for Reagan.
I think it was a huge success.

And again, it was Dad's pleasure
to believe in a candidate,

and work hard and hit the road and stump.

I think that his relationship
with Ronnie Reagan and Nancy,

he was moving in those circles more.

When I came out for Reagan,
a lot of my friends didn't even talk to me.

They were angry with me.
And I said to a few of them, "Wait a minute."

I said, "I have a right
to choose the man I wanna vote for.

"I don't tell you how to vote."

They were wrong, really.
You know, they were really wrong about it.

Are you a long-time friend of the Reagans?

Yes, Ronnie and I go back a long, long way.

We've been friends a long time,
since 1943 or '44.

- Did you switch parties?
-it's not a matter of switching parties.

I'm a registered Democrat.
I never changed my registration.

If I think the Republican
is a better man than the Democrat,

I will vote for the Republican.

If it had to be,
I'd rather be called an independent.

One night, I called my father.
Notice now it's "my father."

This is not the professional person,
not Sinatra, this is Father.

I called him at his home in Palm Springs.

He said, "Look, do me a favour,"
on the telephone.

"Talk fast, will you?
I got Nixon sitting here at dinner."

I'm delighted to see and to witness the fact

that millions
and millions of American voters,

today and this evening,

have chosen to re-elect the President
and the Vice President for another term.

I can't explain what he saw in Richard Nixon.
I can't.

We fought about it.

After Kennedy,

each successive president
has some association with Sinatra.

He became very friendly with Richard Nixon.
He was especially friendly with Spiro Agnew.

He encouraged Spiro Agnew not to resign.

I think within a week
before he actually resigned.

Agnew had left office in disgrace.

And although
Sinatra didn't like Richard Nixon,

he really had affection for Agnew.

It was a huge loss
that Sinatra went to the other side.

And we've never recovered from it, really.

I don't think
he went out of political philosophy

to the Republican side of the agenda.

Sinatra really needed to hurt the Kennedys.

And the way to do that
was to go after them politically.

He did it 'cause he was Frank from Hoboken,
and that's the way you do it.


We had made an album in August of '69

called A Man Alone.

And the words and music
were by Rod McKuen.

It was not well regarded, poorly reviewed,

and certainly had no commercial success.

And then, he got it into his head
to make another concept album.

And he made Watertown.

It sold 30,000 copies. Frank Sinatra.

It was the worst-selling record
in the history of Sinatra's career.

And so, he felt his career was waning.

He decided at that point, that he would retire.

The people
who were in attendance that night,

the Vice President and his wife,

the Governor of California,
Governor Reagan and his wife...

I sat next to Henry Kissinger that night,

and Princess Grace of Monaco.

I remember being terrified that
I was gonna get hit by a sniper's bullet,

'cause I was sitting directly
behind Ted Agnew.

Terrible thing to say, but it crossed my mind.

Thank you.

Dad knew exactly what he was going to do
and how he was going to do it.

He was going to make a grand exit.
Quite a night.

Do you think he really intended to retire?

I believe he was burned out.

He was just overloaded.

Too much, for too much a period of time.

The entire room was in tears.

Many of us knew
what the last line of that song would be.

The retirement concert was meant to be
Sinatra's life in song.

But whatever motivated Sinatra
to stop singing, it didn't last long.

Only two years, and he had to get back.

Madison Square Garden, October 13, 1974.

Jam-packed with 20,000 people plus!

Just people, people from all walks of life,

people who are young
and people who are old,

here to see, here, pay homage
to a man who has bridged four generations

and somehow never found a gap...

My secretary came and she said,
"Frank Sinatra's on the phone."

I said, "Hello."

He said, "Jerry,
I want you to take me out of retirement."

...this event, live,
with the King of Entertainment

carries with it,
the breathless excitement and anticipation

of a heavyweight championship fight.

Celebrities are here and...

I said, "We're gonna do it in a boxing ring."

He said, "Why? Why?"

I said, "Because you're the champ.
You're the heavyweight champ of the world."

He starts to spend more and more time
performing in public.

And not just in ordinary settings,
but in stadium settings,

performing for vast crowds of people,

because he means the world to them.

Thank you.

I'm delighted to be back in New York
and be able to work here.

I've had some of my greatest fights here.

What happened?

Passion still defines Sinatra's life
in his later years.

He married once more to Barbara Marx.

A marriage
that would last until the end of his life.

He was honoured for his music
all over the world.

He raised more money for charity.

And he piled up awards
from powerful friends.

Singer, humanitarian, patron of art,
mentor of artists,

Francis Albert Sinatra and his impact on
America's popular culture are without peer.

But some friendships didn't end so well.

"You think that some people are smart,"
he said, "and they turn out dumb.

"You think they're straight,
and they turn out crooked."

"Maybe," he told Pete Hamill,
"you get older and you know less."

The bad moments of those years...

The outbursts of anger
that have blotted his career,

reflect his slackening grasp on the culture.

Frank Sinatra gets upset with newsmen
continually hounding him.

Can we speak to you, Mr Sinatra?

Not around the corner, no, ma'am.

What do you think about
any press in the world?

I say they're bums
and they're always gonna be bums.

They're pimps, they're just crazy.

They're hookers. The broads who work
in the press are the hookers of the press.

Need I explain that to you?

Let's make a record.

At this point, his voice was beginning to age.

He starts to record less, to spend gradually,
less and less time in the studio.

When you're ready.

I think, arguably,
that was his last great day in the studio.

You see a very, very happy man.

It was one of those
wonderfully memorable moments,

to have the two greatest artists
of their generations in the same room.

You could see immediately,
that there was no generation gap here,

just two legendary performers
grooving on each other.

Terry, in his retirement concert,

Sinatra sings the songs of his life
up to that point,

songs that dominated the culture.

Did he ever find that again?

Yes. One last time,
he turns a song into a standard.

What is touching about it is,

this is a man who, in his youth,

looked across the river and saw his dreams,

and now, in his late middle age,
in his old age,

he sings a song about
having achieved those dreams.

I was present at the very first moment
that he sang it publicly.

It was during the
Yankee-Dodger World Series of '78.

And he was playing Radio City,
opening night.

He turns to the conductor and says,
"What's the first line?"

He said, "Start spreading the news."

And I remember now,
a night I spent with him in 1974,

driving around New York in a limousine,
just talking.

"When I first came across that river,

"this was the greatest city
in the whole goddamn world.

"It was like a big, beautiful lady."

I liked the man who talked that way
on a chilly night in New York.

I liked his doubt, his uncertainty.

He had enriched my life with his music
since I was a boy.

He had confronted bigotry,

and changed the way many people thought
about the children of immigrants.

He had made many of us wiser about love
and human loneliness.

And he was still trying to understand
what it was all about.

His imperfections were upsetting.

But Frank Sinatra was a genuine artist,

and his work will endure
as long as men and women

can hear and ponder and feel.

In the end, that's all that truly matters.

Back in the days when I was young and eager
and had enough vitamins to be on television,

I used to close my show with a theme

that's been with me
for a long, long, long time.

I still have a case on this tune.

And a lot of your letters tell me
you'd like to hear it again, too.

And so would I.

Thank you.

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.