Come Blow Your Horn (1963): Starring Sinatra

Bud Yorkin’s mildly amusing version of of Neil Simon’s first Broadway hit was adapted to the screen by Norman Lear.

Though Frank Sinatra was too old to play the brother Tony Bill as brothers, he was so popular at the time (as actor and singer) that the casting made commercial sense.

Sinatra plays Alan, a typical role, that of a swinging single, who uses his New York apartment as a site for his many women.
Bill, wishing to break loose from his protective parents (Lee J. Cobb and Molly Picon), moves in with his Alan, hoping to emulate his older sibling in courtship and sex.

As role model, Alan teaches Bill the tricks of the trade, and the younger brother is a fast learner, dating and taking away from his older brother the likes of Jill St. John and Barbara Rush.

Soon, Alan becomes sort of a surrogate father, determined to steer Bill on the in the right direction.

The secondary cast includes Dan Blocker and Dean Martin, ina jokey cameo appearance. Singer Phyllis McGuire is heard offscreen.

Bud Yorkin is not a particularly skillful director and his film still feels like a stage play.

By today’s standards, the tale’s sexual politics is dubious—some critics consider it to be downright sexist. The film was made just before the women’s liberation movement began to make its influence.

Released in June 1963, the movie was the ninth top-grossing picture of the year.

Oscar Nominations:

Art Direction-Set Decoration (Color): Hal Pereira and Roland Anderson; Sam Comer and James Payne

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:
The Art Direction Oscar went to “Cleopatra.”

Credits

Running time: 115 Minutes.
Directed by Bud Yorkin
Written by Norman Lear
Released: June 6, 1963

Cast

Frank Sinatra as Alan
Lee J Cobb as Mr. Baker
Molly Picon as Mrs. Baker
Barbara Rush as Connie
Jill St. John as Peggy
Tony Bill as Buddy