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Lady in Cement

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lady in Cement
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGordon Douglas
Screenplay by
Based onThe Lady in Cement
by Marvin H. Albert
Produced byAaron Rosenberg
CinematographyJoseph Biroc
Edited byRobert Simpson
Music byHugo Montenegro
Arcola Pictures
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • November 20, 1968 (1968-11-20)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$3.6 million[1]

Lady in Cement is a 1968 American neo-noir[2] detective film directed by Gordon Douglas, based on the 1961 novel The Lady in Cement by Marvin H. Albert. The film stars Frank Sinatra, Raquel Welch, Dan Blocker, Richard Conte, Martin Gabel, Lainie Kazan, and Pat Henry.

A sequel to the 1967 film Tony Rome, Lady in Cement was released on November 20, 1968.


While diving off the Miami coast seeking one of the 11 fabled Spanish galleons sunk in 1591, private investigator Tony Rome (Sinatra) discovers a dead woman, her feet encased in cement (concrete), at the bottom of the ocean.

Rome reports this to Lieutenant Dave Santini (Conte) and thinks nothing more of the incident, until Waldo Gronski (Blocker) hires him to find a missing woman, Sandra Lomax. Gronski has little money, so he allows Rome to pawn his watch to retain his services.

After investigating the local hotspots and picking up on a few names, Rome soon comes across Kit Forrest (Raquel Welch), whose party Sandra Lomax was supposed to have attended. Rome's talking to Forrest raises the ire of racketeer Al Mungar (Gabel), a supposedly reformed gangster who looks after Kit's interests.

Thinking a connection may exist between Lomax, Forrest, and Mungar, Rome starts probing into their backgrounds and begins a romantic relationship with Kit. With both cops and crooks chasing him and the omnipresent Gronski breathing down his neck, Rome finds himself deep in a case that provides few answers.


Sinatra and Welch
Sinatra and Welch


The film was based on a novel published in 1961, which The New York Times called "ingenuous".[3]

Following the success of Tony Rome, Aaron Rosenberg hired Marvin Albert to adapt Cement for Sinatra. The actor made it after The Detective.[4] Raquel Welch's casting was announced in June 1967.[5]

Sammy Davis Jr was to have appeared in the film as the charter-boat captain.[6] Sinatra fell ill, though, and filming was postponed for four weeks. Davis was replaced by Pat Henry in the final film.[7]

Dan Blocker was given time away from Bonanza to play his part. The movie gave an early role to Lainie Kazan.[8]

Welch later said she did not realize her character was an alcoholic until after filming wrapped. "I'm watching this movie and I'm thinking, 'What the hell has she got on?' At one point, I had this epiphany: 'Oh, she's an alcoholic!' I didn't know that. How could I miss that?... I think I was just so enamored with Frank Sinatra, you know. He's hypnotic."[9]

Filming started in March 1968. Before and during filming, Sinatra was performing at the Fontainebleau in Miami over a six-week period. Welch went to watch him, and found the experience so inspiring, she determined to continue to perform to live audiences in her career.[10]


Box office

According to Fox records, the film required $7,150,000 in rentals to break even, and by 11 December 1970, had made $6,825,000, which made a loss for the studio.[11]

Critical reception

Opening to mixed reviews, Lady in Cement is generally considered to be a middling sequel to Tony Rome. Critic Roger Ebert gave faint praise in a generally scathing review by commenting: "In the movie's few good scenes, Sinatra once again painfully reminds us what a controlled, effective actor he is." Variety noted that "Dan Blocker is excellent as a sympathetic heavy", while John Maloney liked the "fresher script" and "sharp direction."

Home media

Lady In Cement was released on DVD on May 24, 2005, as part of a boxed set along with Tony Rome and The Detective, both also directed by Douglas. No bonus features were included.

See also


  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. ^ Silver, Alain; Ward, Elizabeth; eds. (1992). Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style (3rd ed.). Woodstock, New York: The Overlook Press. ISBN 0-87951-479-5
  3. ^ A. B. (Jun 4, 1961). "Criminals at large". New York Times. ProQuest 115449613.
  4. ^ Martin, B. (Jun 5, 1967). "'Caper' for faye dunaway". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 155789349.
  5. ^ Dorothy Manners (Jun 30, 1967). "Raquel welch to costar with sinatra". The Washington Post, Times Herald. ProQuest 143211118.
  6. ^ "Sammy davis to costar with sinatra". The Washington Post, Times Herald. Jan 6, 1968. ProQuest 143516569.
  7. ^ Harford, M. (Mar 6, 1968). "'SWEET CHARITY' ROLE". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 155915617.
  8. ^ Rose, B. (Jun 8, 1968). "Miss kazan weighs love-career choice". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 155947940.
  9. ^ Wenn. (April 10, 2017). "Raquel Welch: 'I was awful in Sinatra film'". XPOSÉ.ie. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  10. ^ G. C. (May 30, 1982). "Raquel welch: 'I like a character with backbone'". New York Times. ProQuest 121982606.
  11. ^ Silverman, Stephen M (1988). The Fox that got away : the last days of the Zanuck dynasty at Twentieth Century-Fox. L. Stuart. p. 327.

External links

This page was last edited on 11 July 2021, at 13:12
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