The Man With The Golden Arm

The Nickelodeon Columbia, SC


Dr. Steven Harrod

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina

The Man with the Golden Arm— How Substance Abusers Have Been Categorized and Treated Over Time

A presentation on the changing categorizations and treatments for substance abusers.

The Nickelodeon Columbia, SC

Film Synopsis

A strung-out junkie deals with daily demoralizing drug addiction while a crippled wife and card sharks continue to pull him down.

When illegal card dealer and recovering heroin addict Frankie Machine (Frank Sinatra) is released from prison, he is determined to get his life back on track. Equipped with only an old drum set and dreams of becoming a professional musician, Frankie seeks honest work. But when his former boss, second-string swindler Schwiefka (Robert Strauss), and Frankie's old drug dealer, Louie (Darren McGavin), re-enter his life, Frankie finds himself succumbing to old habits. His greedy, wheelchair-bound wife, Zosch (Eleanor Parker), only adds to his troubles. The woman he really loves, Molly (Kim Novak), stands by him. But when Louie is killed, the police believe Frankie is the man responsible and go after him. Because of its taboo subject matter, the Motion Picture Association of America refused to grant Otto Preminger’s film a seal of approval. However, The Man with the Golden Arm was an enormous critical success, earning praise for its exploration of the agonies of addiction, as well as three Academy Award nominations.

About the Speaker

Dr. Steven Harrod is the director of the experimental program in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Carolina. He investigates factors that influence the vulnerability for drug abuse. His interests include (1) how prenatal nicotine exposure alters drug-motivated behavior in offspring; (2) if novel drugs have the ability to decrease drug-taking behaviors; and (3) whether the sex of the animal influences various drug effects.