Contract on Cherry Street

Contract on Cherry Street is a made-for-television film adaptation of a novel written by Phillip Rosenberg about a New York police detective, produced by Frank Sinatra's production company Artanis for Columbia Pictures Television and starring Sinatra.

Contact on Cherry Street
Written byEdward Anhalt (written for television by), Philip Rosenberg (novel) (as Phillip Rosenberg)
Directed byWilliam A. Graham
StarringFrank Sinatra
Martin Balsam
Jay Black
Theme music composerJerry Goldsmith[1]
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Renée Valente
Producer(s)Hugh Benson
Production location(s)New York City
Hackensack, New Jersey
CinematographyJack Priestley
Editor(s)Eric Albertson
Running time145 min.
Production company(s)Artanis Productions Inc.
Columbia Pictures Television
Original networkNBC
Picture formatColor
Audio formatMono
Original releaseNovember 19, 1977
1977 TV Guide promotional advertisement

Directed by William A. Goldwyn and produced by Hugh Benson, Renee Valente and Sinatra, Contract on Cherry Street was trumpeted as a major event that garnered positive reviews and strong ratings when it premiered on NBC on November 19, 1977.

The role of Detective Inspector Frank Hovannes was Sinatra's first acting role in seven years and was shot on location in New York City and New Jersey over a period of three months. The book on which the film was based was said to be a favorite of Sinatra's mother Dolly, who had been recently killed in an airplane crash in Las Vegas. This was the only TV movie in which Sinatra played the lead.[2]


When his partner is gunned down, Frank Hovannes, a detective inspector with the New York police department, wants to lead his organized-crime unit against the mob. Legal and departmental restrictions inhibit him, so Hovannes decides to take the matter into his own hands.

A vigilante act, a contract hit against one of the crime syndicate's members, is designed to stir the mob into action so that Hovannes and his men can catch them in the act. He runs into strong objections from his superiors in the police force along the way.


Critical receptionEdit

Sinatra made the cover of TV Guide as press for a special that would air over two consecutive nights on NBC gathered steam. After airing, renowned critic Leonard Maltin would comment: "Sinatra's first TV movie has him well cast as a NYC police officer who takes on organized crime in his own fashion after his partner is gunned down. Aces to this fine thriller." Judith Crist, however, would question why Sinatra was starring in a "mealy-mouthed morality tale," although most reviews were positive.

Contract on Cherry Street was nominated for Best TV Feature/Miniseries at the 1978 Edgar Awards.


  1. ^ Burlingame, Jon (May 10, 2017). "Jerry Goldsmith Day Declared in L.A." The Film Music Society. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  2. ^ Roberts, Jerry (June 5, 2009). Encyclopedia of Television Film Directors. Scarecrow Press. p. 208. ISBN 0810863782. Retrieved 10 July 2017.

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