Meet Danny Wilson


1h 26m 1952

Brief Synopsis

Danny Wilson and partner Mike make a meager living singing in dives and hustling pool. One night they meet entertainer Joy Carroll, who gets them a job at racketeer Nick Driscoll's posh nightclub. But Nick wants a high price: half of Danny's future income. Danny's career skyrockets, but his position at the top of the heap, and his one-sided romance with Joy, prove extremely unstable.

Film Details

Release Date
Feb 1952
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 7 Feb 1952; San Francisco opening: 8 Feb 1952
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Los Angeles--Wrigley Field, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Singer Danny Wilson and his partner, pianist Michael Francis Ryan, struggle to make a name for themselves but are thwarted by low-paying gigs and Danny's penchant for starting fights, which Mike has to finish. After being kicked out of yet another club for fighting, they meet Joy Carroll, a lovely singer, and agree to escort her to a bar so she can get drunk without being bothered by other men. A drunken Danny soon hits a policeman, and he and Mike land in jail. The next morning someone posts bail and leaves them a note to visit mobster Nick Driscoll at his nightclub. There, Nick is duly impressed by Danny's singing talent and offers them a job. Although Mike is concerned when Nick insists on fifty percent of all of Danny's future earnings, Danny convinces him that a bad deal is better than no deal at all, and they start work that night. When Joy stops by before the show, they realize that she is a singer at the club and has arranged both their bail and their job to thank them for helping her. Danny, who is quickly falling in love with Joy, refuses to believe Mike's warning that Nick also loves her. Nick, however, comprehends Danny's feelings immediately, and when the two singers go out after the show, Nick calls Joy's house obsessively until she returns. Over the next year, Danny's star rises, but even after he acquires a recording contract and a show on Broadway, Nick still unfailingly collects half of all of Danny's profits. One day, Mike, Danny and Joy learn that Nick is wanted for a gangland murder and has gone into hiding. Danny wants to use the opportunity to welsh on their deal, but Mike refuses to go back on his word to Nick. Danny, who has become spoiled by his sudden fame, picks a fight with street thugs, which Mike has to join. As Joy tends to Mike's wounds, she reveals that she loves him, not Danny. Although Mike admits he loves her too, he explains that he could never steal her away from his best friend, causing Joy to storm out. Weeks later, while Danny is acting in a Hollywood movie, Joy refuses to answer his phone calls. Seeing Danny grow more desperate, Mike calls Joy and convinces her to visit for his sake. That night, when she attends a party in Danny's honor, he announces to the crowd that they are engaged, without securing a response from her. She leaves over his objections but returns later that night to Mike's hotel room. She informs Mike that she cannot stay with them unless he returns her love, but just as he embraces her, Danny enters the room. He bitterly denounces them and spends the next days in drunken stupor, at one point appearing at a benefit show too intoxicated to sing. Days later, Mike signs the contract release that Danny's lawyer has drawn up for him and tells Danny that he has become a mean, small person. Just then, Nick arrives to collect his money, which Danny has already spent. When Danny attacks Nick, Mike jumps in front of him just as Nick pulls out a gun and shoots. Nick informs Danny that he must bring the money to the local baseball field that night, and runs out. At the hospital, while they wait fearfully to hear Mike's prognosis, Joy informs Danny that the whole romantic situation was her fault. Danny realizes he may lose the only friend he ever really had. He races to the ballpark and engages Nick in a gunfight, which ends when the police, who have followed Danny from the hospital, shoot Nick down. Months later, the newly married Mike and Joy accompany a delighted Danny to his appearance at the London Palladium.

Cast

Frank Sinatra

Danny Wilson

Shelley Winters

Joy Carroll

Alex Nicol

Michael Francis Ryan

Raymond Burr

Nick Driscoll

Vaughn Taylor

T. W. Hatcher

Tommy Farrell

Tommy Wells

Donald Macbride

Sergeant Kelly

Barbara Knudson

Marie

Carl Sklover

Cab driver

Palmer Lee

Intern

Ray Barons

Intern

William Cassidy

Intern

Cindy Garner

Stewardess

Jack Kruschen

Heckler

Frank Scannell

Master of ceremonies

Mike Ross

Salesman

Tom Dugan

Turnkey

Billy Wayne

Man in Nick's office

Danny Welton

Joey Thompson

Pat Flaherty

Mother Murphy

Peter Virgo

Pool player

Carlos Molina

Bandleader

Herbert Lytton

White

Tom Dillon

Policeman

Tom Hubbard

Policeman

Brick Sullivan

Policeman

George Ramsey

Electrician

Lee Millar

Airline clerk

George Eldridge

Lt. Kelly

Bob Donnelly

Emerson

Ezelle Poule

Maggie

John Day

Gus

Jeanne Tatum

Tired hairdresser

George Wallace

Patrolman

Ned Roberts

Park policeman

Earl G. Lee

Park policeman

Sam Wolfe

Waiter in hamburger joint

Jack Chefe

Makeup man

Charmienne Harker

Dance director

Charles Parlato

Trumpet player

Harold Bostwick

Photographer

Phil Arnold

Little man

John Indrisano

Truck driver

Charles Hovarth

Truck driver

Bob Perry

Tim

Paul Ely

Western Union messenger

Sandra Farrell

Bobby soxer

Donna Leary

Girl

Diane Van Hessen

Girl

Billy Vernon

Usher

Eddie Coontz

Reporter

Sally Yarnell

Reporter

Morty Langer

Newsboy

John Albright

Newsboy

Eleanor Bassett

Girl at party

Paula Hill

Girl at party

Mary Brewer

Girl at party

Bruce Sharpe

Inmate

Bobby Faye

Inmate

Phil Resnick

Inmate

Larry Mcgrath

Inmate

George Garver

Fighter

Sally Bremer

Teenager

Bob Reeves

Plainclothes detective

James Bradley

Singer in quartette

Louis Young

Singer in quartette

Norman Brooks

Singer in quartette

John Dix

Singer in quartette

Mike Lally

Waiter

Charles Perry

Waiter

Alben Robeling

Waiter

Jeff Chandler

Nightclub patron

Tony Curtis

Nightclub patron

Judith Braun

Norene Michaels

Paul Bradley

Forbes Murray

Dick Alexander

Bert Keyes

Peggy Dale

Leo Sulky

Sue Casey

Sayre Deering

Charles Sherlock

Jimmy Casino

Willie Bloom

Film Details

Release Date
Feb 1952
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 7 Feb 1952; San Francisco opening: 8 Feb 1952
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Los Angeles--Wrigley Field, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to Hollywood Reporter, Universal sponsored a national contest to have the public choose their ten favorite Frank Sinatra songs for inclusion in the film. Other Hollywood Reporter news items add Johnny Daheim, Joe Gray, Charles Parker and Leo Garber to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. A May 16, 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item reports that Shelley Winters was briefly suspended by the studio for refusing to fly immediately from New York to Los Angeles for her costume fittings and screen tests. Unbilled Universal contract players Tony Curtis and Jeff Chandler appear in a brief cameo during a scene in which "Danny" performs drunkenly at a nightclub. The film's final scene was shot on location at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles.
       Reviewers noted the distracting parallels between "Danny's" rise to fame and Sinatra's own. When the film opened in San Francisco, Sinatra gave a one-day only live performance at the Orpheum theater prior to the start of the picture. Modern sources state that Sinatra fought with Shelley Winters throughout the filming of the picture. Although Meet Danny Wilson was not a box-office success, it gained popularity during a 1954 re-release after Sinatra won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance in From Here to Eternity.