VenueWalter Reade Theater
Sinatra rebounded from a professional slump with his dramatic turn as Maggio, a cocky GI stationed at Pearl Harbor in the days preceding the invasion. When he read James Jones’s epic novel about the entwining destinies of soldiers and their lovers, he knew the role of the feisty, ill-fated private would restore his career to its former glory, offering to work for free (and nearly making good on his offer). The result was one of Hollywood’s greatest comebacks, earning him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, revitalizing his film and recording careers and ensuring his place on the A-list for the remainder of his life. Sinatra credited co-star Montgomery Clift with coaching him in his most challenging scenes. Fred Zinnemann’s sensitive direction and Donna Reed’s turn as an escort earned statuettes as well, and the film was named Best Picture by the Academy.