Tony Rome

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Tony Rome
original one-sheet poster
Directed by Gordon Douglas
Produced by Aaron Rosenberg
Written by Marvin H. Albert (novel)
Richard L. Breen
Starring Frank Sinatra
Jill St. John
Richard Conte
Sue Lyon
Music by Lee Hazlewood (title song)
Billy May
Cinematography Joseph F. Biroc
Edited by Robert L. Simpson
Arcola Pictures
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Release dates
  • November 10, 1967 (1967-11-10)
Running time
110 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3,480,000[1]
Box office $4,000,000 (US/ Canada)[2]

Tony Rome is a 1967 detective film starring Frank Sinatra and directed by Gordon Douglas, adapted from Marvin H. Albert's novel Miami Mayhem.

The story follows the adventures of Miami private investigator Tony Rome (Sinatra) in his quest to locate a missing diamond pin that belongs to a wealthy heiress.

A sequel, Lady In Cement, was made in 1968, again featuring Sinatra as Tony Rome, and co-starring Raquel Welch and Dan Blocker. Appearing in both films was Richard Conte as a Miami police lieutenant.

Both films are examples of a late-sixties neo-noir trend which revived and updated the hardboiled detective and police dramas of the 1940s.

Sinatra had originally been considered for the lead role as the tough private eye in Harper (1966), but lost out to Paul Newman.

Other films in this genre include The Detective (1968), which also starred Sinatra, as well as Point Blank (1967), Bullitt (1968), Madigan (1968), and Marlowe (1969).

Tony Rome, The Detective, and Lady in Cement were all directed by Gordon Douglas.

The three films were packaged together in a DVD box-set by 20th Century Fox in 2005. Douglas also directed Sinatra in Young at Heart (1954) and Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964).


Tony Rome is an ex-cop turned private investigator, who lives on a powerboat in Miami.

He is asked by his former partner, Ralph Turpin (Robert J. Wilke), to take home a young woman who had been left unconscious in a hotel room.

The woman, Diana (née Kosterman) Pines (Sue Lyon), is the daughter of rich construction magnate Rudolph Kosterman (Simon Oakland), who subsequently hires Rome to find out why his daughter is acting so irrationally.

After regaining consciousness, Diana discovers a diamond brooch, which she had been wearing the night before, has gone missing.

Diana and her stepmother Rita (Gena Rowlands) also hire Rome, in this instance, to find the lost brooch.

Rome is chloroformed and beaten by a pair of thugs, and Turpin is found murdered in Rome's office. Lt. Dave Santini (Richard Conte) of the Miami police investigates the crime scene and demands information from Rome, who's an old friend.

Preferring to work on his own, Rome gets help from a seductive divorcee, Ann Archer (Jill St. John).

An attempt is made on Kosterman's wife, and a jeweler is found murdered.

Rome discovers that Diana has been selling her stepmother's jewels and giving the money to Lorna, her real mother.

The trail leads to Rita's ex-husband, Adam Boyd, a doctor, who ordered the killings.

The case solved, Rome invites Ann for a romantic getaway on his boat, but, she has decided to go back to her husband.

Critical reception[edit]

Tony Rome was met with good reviews upon release, although not quite the best notice Sinatra had in his career.

Nevertheless, it was thought by many[by whom?] that he eased well into the kind of role in which his late friend Humphrey Bogart specialized.[citation needed]

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 stars.[3]


Filming took place on location in Miami, Florida, with some scenes being shot during the day at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, where Sinatra was performing in the evenings.[4]

It was partially filmed on the property which novelist Douglas Fairbairn was renting at the time.[5]


Nancy Sinatra, daughter of Frank, sang the film's eponymous title track which then appeared on her album, Nancy Sinatra, The Hit Years (Rhino Records).



  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p255
  2. ^ "All-Time B.O. Champs", Variety, 3 January 1968 p 25. Please note these figures refer to rentals accruing to the distributors.
  3. ^ "Tony Rome". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  4. ^ Scott Allen Nollen (2003), The Cinema of Sinatra, Luminary Press, ISBN 1-887664-51-3 
  5. ^ Fairbairn, Douglas (1973), A Squirrel Forever, Simon and Schuster, p. 83,109, ISBN 978-0-671-21587-3 

External links[edit]