“Dean Martin. King of Cool”, on Arte.tv: a gifted crooner, “king of cool” and dissimulation

In one sentence, Elvis Presley finds the right words

“Dean Martin. King of Cool”, on Arte.tv: a gifted crooner, “king of cool” and dissimulation

In one sentence, Elvis Presley finds the right words. Faced with little Deana Martin, Dean's daughter, he said to her: "They call me the king of rock 'n' roll, but your dad is really the king of cool! » Could one dream of a greater compliment for Dean Martin (1917-1995), born Dino Crocetti, son of a hairdresser and a seamstress from Abruzzo, Italy, raised in Steubenville (Ohio), and who, until at age 6, didn't speak a word of English?

The American "king of cool", capable of filling theaters, of pulverizing TV audiences for ten years with his weekly show, of venerating Caruso and being dubbed by Sinatra, of making a career while looking to make fun of everything, so that's him. Handsome guy, great singer, good dancer, actor, joker, seducer, of course. But behind the success lies a “very complex” man, as one of his wives summed it up.

The interest of this documentary full of amazing archives, particularly those of American television from the 1950s and 1960s, is precisely to go a little further than the portrait of a guy as gifted, hardworking and, of course, so cool. In Dean Martin, there is also alcohol and deep depression. “To be cool, you have to keep a bit of mystery, hide your game,” he said. Mission accomplished. No one, not even his beloved wives and children, really knows who is behind “Mr Cool”.

Alcoholism, smoking, depression

His duo with Jerry Lewis, with whom, for ten years, he filled the halls and made a fortune, his crazy tours with the Rat Pack (with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr), his numerous appearances, more or less successful, at the cinema, its television show where the stars jostle, everything is mentioned.

But behind the lightness of the great seducer there always lurks a shadow. As if life was just a joke and only good games of golf, his great passion, allowed him to endure all this circus.

Dean Martin was never fooled. Before fame, he worked in a coal mine, and was a croupier in the back room of a poorly frequented tobacconist. He dreamed of being a boxer and became a crooner through hard work. From dingy rooms to gala evenings, he will have experienced it all. Las Vegas becomes his kingdom, but drama is never far away. Alcoholism, smoking, depression follow closely.

In eighteen months, in the mid-1960s, he lost his parents and his brother. In 1987, his son, a fighter plane pilot, was killed in an accident. Dean Martin, the great seducer, no longer even tries to create illusions. A compulsive smoker, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He refuses to have an operation and will not stop smoking until he is 76 years old. Two years later, the “king of cool” disappeared. Everybody Loves Somebody…