Frank Sinatra’s life and legacy are examined in the highly anticipated HBO Documentary “Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All.”
In celebration of Sinatra’s would-be 100th birthday executive producer Frank Marshall teamed up with director Alex Gibney to honor the occasion with an all new documentary. Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All features never-before-seen footage of concert performances and music archives. The documentary reveals Sinatra’s difficult journey to fame, the height of his career and explores his marriage with Ava Gardner. Sinatra is touched millions of lives with his voice. Read what the team behind the film had to say about the project:
Can you talk about the inception of this movie and how you got involved?
I first met with the family, the Sinatra estate, little over five years ago because I knew that they were interested in doing a documentary to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. We started talking and it turns out we had a lot in common and I had met Sinatra back in 85 and since I was a boy I’ve been growing up on his music so we kind of had this connection that we all felt connected. We got excited, but I said haven’t we heard everything there is to hear about him by now? They said no we’ve got some special treats. The big one was that Nancy had up in her bedroom all of these boxes of film of a concert that was shot in 1971 and 10 songs that he had put together which we thought were sort of the archive of his career up to that point and I said well that’s enough for me and we found a bunch of other ones when we went into the archives so that’s how it all started. Then I went and got Alex and we went on this adventure together.
Is the documentary everything you had hoped it would be?
Yeah, but I wish it could have been longer. Theres a lot more to tell, but it’s absolutely everything I had hoped it would be.
What drew you to the topic of Frank Sinatra?
Frank Marshall drew me to the topic of Frank Sinatra, he was the guy who convinced me that there was a powerful story here, that maybe I hadn’t paid enough attention and he was absolutely right. His story is an epic story and a story of America so I dug in and learned a lot that I didn’t know and Frank was absolutely right.
Was the process difficult in any way?
It’s always hard and one of the decisions we made was that we weren’t gonna shoot on camera any interviews, we’re gonna use only audio tapes and try to stay kind of in the moment and it’s difficult to find the right mixture of materials to be able to do that, but I think ultimately thanks to my extraordinary team we were able to do that.
What are some of your personal favorite Frank Sinatra songs?
Maybe my favorite is “I’m a Fool to Want You,” it’s dark and it’s one of the few songs that he wrote, but I think I loved that and the other I like even though everybody knows it’s kind of corny, I find it brash, it’s kind of like the anthem of ambition and that’s “New York New York.”
What’s your favorite memory of your father?
I’d have to say most of all I miss his humor, he’d call every day around dinner time all our lives and it never ended. I miss his energy in my life.
Obviously he had this amazing voice, but there’s lots of singers from that period that had fantastic voices, what is it about Frank Sinatra that made him Sinatra?
I think it was his entire being, I often say he was a force of nature and he put all of that into his singing and his music is what sustains, that is the legacy. He was one of kind. They might not like him as much as I do, but he was definitely unique and very good at what he did and it’s what he wanted to do with his life and he did it.
The film will air in two parts on Sunday, April 5 and Monday, April 6 on HBO at 8 p.m.