Turner Classic Movies (TCM), now in its 27th year as a leading authority in classic film, will present the U.S. broadcast premiere of the documentary Dean Martin: King of Cool on Nov. 19, 2021. Director Tom Donahue and producer Ilan Arboleda will appear alongside TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz to introduce the documentary and four of Dean Martin’s most iconic films, including Ocean’s 11 (1960) and The Caddy (1959).
Dean Martin epitomized cool. A founding member of the Rat Pack, Dean was a multi-talented performer who was part of the number one comedy act in America, a chart-topping singer for over half a century and one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and on TV. He was the consummate charmer on stage and off. Yet for all his celebrity, fame, and adoration, no one ever truly knew him.
King of Cool dives deep into Martin’s life through never-before-seen archival footage including from his time with Jerry Lewis, his movies and his TV Variety Show and Roasts. Interviews with friends (Angie Dickinson, Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett), family (Deana Martin), and admirers (RZA, Jon Hamm) give an intimate and personal account of his life, and the film tries to understand why Martin was such an enigma.
“Despite his extensive discography and his lengthy list of film and television credits, not much is known about Dean Martin,” said Charlie Tabesh, svp of programming for TCM. “We are thrilled to premiere the definitive look at Martin’s life and explore what made him so cool – and mysterious.”
“What an incredible, joyous labor of love it has been to tell the story of one of the 20th Century’s greatest entertainers,” said Tom Donahue, director of Dean Martin: King of Cool. “The more I learned, the greater and deeper my appreciation and affection for this man became.”
Dean Martin: King Of Cool was produced by CreativeChaos vmg in association with Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way, and Danny Strong’s Danny Strong Productions. It was also executive produced by Paul Barry, Deana Martin, John Griffeth, and Steve Edwards. Ron Marasco was the story producer and it was co-produced by Mandy Stein, Peter Greenwald, Tina Potter, Jessicya Materano and Chantel Ellis.
“As a huge Dean Martin fan, I was so honored to be part of this amazing team led by Tom Donahue and Ilan Arboleda to tell the story of one of the greatest talents of the 20th century,” said executive producer Danny Strong. “Dean is an icon, a legend and a mystery. By telling his story we hope to shed some light on that mystery and to keep his legend living on.”
TCM’s full lineup of programming includes:
Friday, November 19
8:00 p.m. King of Cool (2021) – Documentary telling the story of actor and singer Dean Martin through film clips, photographs and interviews with family, friends and colleagues.
9:30 p.m. The Caddy (1953) – A master golfer suffering from performance anxiety caddies for a man he’s taught everything.
11:15 p.m. Rio Bravo (1959) – A sheriff enlists a drunk, a kid and an old man to help him fight off a ruthless cattle baron.
Friday, November 26
8:00 p.m. Ocean’s 11 (1960) – A group of friends plot to rob a Las Vegas casino.
10:15 p.m. Robin and the Seven Hoods (1964) – A Chicago gangster stumbles into philanthropic work during a gang war.
12:30 a.m. King of Cool (2021) – Documentary telling the story of actor and singer Dean Martin through film clips, photographs and interviews with family, friends and colleagues.
*all times Eastern