Frank Sinatra's Highest-Rated Films According To Rotten Tomatoes

Along with his decades' worth of hits, singer Frank Sinatra also had a pretty impressive career as an actor. He took home the Academy Award for best actor in a supporting role in 1954 for "From Here to Eternity," the epic war drama, per IMDb. He also picked up a best lead actor nomination for 1955's "The Man with the Golden Arm," Otto Preminger's drama about a man battling drug addiction. In terms of lighter fare, who could forget Sinatra's turn as Danny Ocean in the Las Vegas casino heist caper "Ocean's Eleven" (1960)?

None of these films, though, are the best of Sinatra's work, according to Rotten Tomatoes. Only three of his movies have earned an impressive 100% rating from the site, which pulls together hundreds of reviews to build what it calls its Tomatometer score. For Sinatra, the big winners were "Till the Clouds Roll By" (1946), "Suddenly" (1954), and "The Detective" (1968).

Sinatra briefly appeared in 'Till the Clouds Roll By'

Frank Sinatra's film career began with roles that played off his natural talent -– his vocal abilities. It was easy for him to get into character for these early parts since he was asked to appear as himself. He sang "Night and Day" in 1943's "Reveille with Beverly," which also featured musical numbers by the likes of Duke Ellington and Count Basie. But it was another musical extravaganza that earned the coveted 100% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. That honor goes to "Till the Clouds Roll By."

"Till the Clouds Roll By" told the life story of songwriter Jerome Kern, the man behind such Broadway musicals as "Show Boat" (via Britannica). This biographical film came out the year after Kern's death and featured Robert Walker as the legendary composer. It was filled with musical segments with a veritable who's who of stars, such as Judy Garland and Lena Horne. Sinatra played himself in the movie and sang "Ol' Man River" from "Show Boat."

Sinatra played an assassin in 'Suddenly'

By the 1950s, Sinatra won more substantial film parts and worked to be taken seriously as an actor. He even worked for scale to play a soldier named Maggio in 1953's "From Here to Eternity," according to Britannica. But it's one of his next films that ended up at the top of the Rotten Tomatoes' ratings for Sinatra. "Suddenly," a presidential assassination drama from 1954, featured Sinatra as John Baron, a former soldier hired to kill the president (via Turner Movie Classics).

In the film, John Baron and his associates pretend to be FBI agents and take over a house near a train station where the president's train is going to stop. When their cover is blown, assassins hold the residents of the house hostage while waiting for the president's arrival. Sinatra's performance won over critics and demonstrated his ability to handle dramatic material. David Parkinson of the British Film Institute (BFI) even named the movie one of Sinatra's 10 essential films.

While it may be one of his best films, Sinatra later found the content of "Suddenly" unsettling. After the assassination of Sinatra's friend, President John F. Kennedy, Sinatra reportedly had this film and "The Manchurian Candidate" shelved because of how their plots revolved around assassinations, according to the BFI.

Sinatra starred in the crime drama 'The Detective'

In 1968, Sinatra represented the other side of the law when he played a police officer in "The Detective." This gritty crime thriller was based on the same-titled popular novel by Roderick Thorp (via Britannica). Sinatra played Detective Joe Leland, who investigates the murder of a gay man who happens to be the son of a well-connected and influential businessman, according to Turner Classic Movies.

Leland gets the man's roommate to confess to the crime, per Rotten Tomatoes. He is later executed for the murder. Despite closing the case, Leland remains unsettled about the whole affair, and he only becomes more concerned after meeting the widow, who is suspicious about another death — her accountant husband's suicide. Leland soon tangles with a number of dirty cops as he looks for answers. He finds that both deaths were part of a police cover-up.

This film, the last of Sinatra's movie work to earn a 100% score from Rotten Tomatoes, was also one of his final serious film roles. He chose to tackle roles with a bit of humor in them, reprising his role as private detective Tony Rome in "Lady in Cement" (1968) and playing the title character in the western "Dirty Dingus Magee" (1970), per IMDb. The last movie Sinatra made was appearing as himself in the 1984 comedy "Cannonball Run II" starring Burt Reynolds.