Whenever I’m at the post office and see a personality on a stamp, I’m compelled to buy ‘em. I’m not sure why because I’m not a serious collector. I end up placing the stamps on my book shelf or between the pages of the family Bible. I’ve accumulated quite a few over the years, and just this week, I added Sinatra to the list.
Well, these stamps got my mind in a rambling mode and my fingers surfing. I thought about Frank’s 1968 film The Detective (based on the book by Roderick Thorp), which I owned on laser disc back in the day. I played the old movie for a bunch of hardened MPs at Ft. Campbell Kentucky and they ended up thinking Ol' Blue Eyes was pretty cool. (Hard to believe that was 15 years ago!)
What I didn’t realize before my Internet search was The Detective spurred a 1979 sequel by Thorp called Nothing Lasts Forever. This book was made into the movie Die Hard starring Bruce Willis. Two other Thorp novels, Devlin and Rainbow Drive, became TV movies.
Of course, Sinatra contributed quite a few movies to the detective genre including: Tony Rome (1967), Lady in Cement (1968), and The First Deadly Sin (1980). He also turned down some interesting parts. He was scheduled to star in Harper (1966; based on Ross MacDonald’s The Moving Target) and as a San Francisco Police Department detective in Dirty Harry (1971). My favorite Sinatra hard boiled role was on the small screen in Magnum PI. Sinatra plays retired New York City cop Sgt. Doheny whose granddaughter is sexually molested by two sadistic sexual predators. Doheny traces them to Hawaii where one is run over by a bus while Doheny is chasing him. He enlists Magnum’s help to find the other but he informs Magnum (Tom Selleck) that he will kill the other murderer and Magnum accompanies him, hoping to find the killer first and spare Doheny from a murder charge. The episode, titled "Laura", was featured in the seventh season.
So that’s how my mind wanders and how I've become a pseudo-stamp collector. I see Bette Davis has a stamp unveiled this week. My carpal tunnel challenged fingers are already typing What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? into the keyboard...