Several big band singers from the 1930s and 40s became movie stars. The two most successful who made the transition were Frank Sinatra and Doris Day. They’re pictured above in their only film together, Young at Heart, a Warner Brothers’ remake of their hit Four Daughters.
The film is missable. By the way Doris got top billing over Frank. His career was in a slump at the time and Warners WAS her home studio.
Both stars made scores of movies. We’re just going to mention their “Must See Movies.”
For Sinatra that’d be MGM’s Anchors Away and On The Town, both with Gene Kelly. They give you an idea of the young crooner and you’ll be surprised at what a great dancer he was, able to more than hold his own with Kelly.
For his dramatic roles one must see, of course, his award winning performance in From Here to Eternity. Then catch him in Man With the Golden Arm and The Manchurian Candidate. No one can deny he was a great actor (when he put his mind to it.) You might also watch Pal Joey, to see the sophisticated “saloon” singer phase of his career.
Day’s “Must See” films are her debut in Romance on the High Seas, the two Gordon McCrae co-starring features, On Moonlight Bay and By the Light of the Silvery Moon –charming period pieces, her breakout movie, Love Me or Leave Me, and of course, her Academy Award nominated role in Pillow Talk.
Sinatra and Day not only sang with Big Bands, (there were many stars as we’ll note later who did this)– they had legitimate careers, and hit records, as Big Band singers.
They only other actor who shares that distinction is Dick Haymes, who like Sinatra, sang with both The Harry James Orchestra and The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, had hit records and made the transition to movies.
Haymes’ film career was moderately successful, but brief. He is in no “Must See” films, but you might enjoy State Fair, and One Touch of Venus.