Some Came Running (1959)

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Movie Info

After the success of From Here to Eternity, pairing Frank Sinatra with another James Jones novel made perfect sense. Set in the aftermath of World War II, the film stars Sinatra as a recently discharged soldier whose promising writing career has derailed. After a drunken card game, Sinatra finds himself aboard a bus for his Indiana hometown of Parktown, with recent acquaintance Shirley MacLaine in tow. An unrefined good-time girl, MacLaine allows her affections to settle on the hard-drinking Sinatra, who wants little to do with her as he reluctantly sets about re-establishing ties he thought to have abandoned over a decade before. These include a brother (Arthur Kennedy) unable to discard his salesman's persona, his disapproving wife (Leora Dana), and their teenage daughter (Betty Lei Keim). Meanwhile, Sinatra makes a variety of new acquaintances both respectable and otherwise, including a local gambler (Dean Martin) and a creative writing instructor (Martha Hyer) smitten with his writing and possibly with him. Shaking up the complacency of his small hometown more by accident than design, Sinatra forces all those around him to reevaluate their behavior. After a variety of smaller parts, this is the role that cemented MacLaine's name, earning her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. ~ Keith Phipps, Rovi
Rating: G
Genre: Classics , Drama
Directed By: Vincente Minnelli
Written By: Arthur Sheekman , John Patrick , James Jones
In Theaters: wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
MGM Home Entertainment

Cast

Frank Sinatra
as Dave Hirsh
Dean Martin
as Bama Dillert
Shirley MacLaine
as Ginnie Moorehead
Martha Hyer
as Gwen French
Arthur Kennedy
as Frank Hirsh
Nancy Gates
as Edith Barclay
Leora Dana
as Agnes Hirsh
Betty Lou Keim
as Dawn Hirsh
Larry Gates
as Prof. Robert Haven French
Steven Peck
as Raymond Lanchak
Connie Gilchrist
as Jane Barclay
Ned Wever
as Smitty
John Brennan
as Wally Dennis
Roy Engel
as Sheriff
Marion Ross
as Sister Mary Joseph
Denny Miller
as Dewey Cole
Chuck Courtney
as Hotel clerk
Paul Jones
as George Huff
Geraldine Wall
as Mrs. Stevens
Janelle Richards
as Virginia Stevens
George Brengel
as Ned Deacon
George Cisar
as Hubie Nelson
Donald Kerr
as Doc Henderson
Jan Arvan
as Club manager
Don Haggerty
as Ted Harperspoon
Dave White
as Bus Driver
Len Lesser
as Dealer
Anthony Jochim
as Judge Baskin
Albert T. Viola
as Guitarist
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News & Interviews for Some Came Running

Critic Reviews for Some Came Running

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | October 17, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

One of American cinema's first great masterpieces about the psychological dislocation of the war generation.

Full Review… | July 13, 2014
Antagony & Ecstasy

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | October 17, 2008
Guardian

Audience Reviews for Some Came Running

Sinatra tried to replicate his success with From Here to Eternity but he doesn't have enough to work with here. This tale of a soldier's return home is not as compelling as oooh "Coming Home" for example.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

great performances from sinatra and maclaine, who's cute as a button but also kinda pathetic. widescreen technicolor melodrama about the underside of small town life in the 50s complete with middle class conformity and madonna/whore complex. even dino can't ruin this

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Not just one of Minnelli's best but one of Hollywood's greatest movies of any era, "Some Came Running" is unjustly forgotten. It features a career best performance from Sinatra, playing on his surly persona to great effect as the returning soldier and failed writer. Hyer wants him to return to writing but he has no interest, not as confident in his talent as the sycophants of his town. She doesn't desire him as the man he is, rather the man she naively dreams he could be. MacLaine on the other hand can't fulfill him intellectually but is in love with him just as he is. The moment of revelation comes when he cross-examines her about why she liked one of his stories. She replies that she may not have understood it but enjoyed it because it came from him. Sinatra suddenly realises that finally he has someone who respects him for himself and not some perceived potential. There's a dark shadow looming in the shape of Steve Peck, a drunkard who has eyes for MacLaine and wants vengeance for a humiliation at the hands of Sinatra. In the movie's most famous scene, a chase at a fairground, Peck is first seen lit by red neon in an alley, recalling a fantasy scene from one of Minnelli's musicals. He steps out of this movie world and begins his pursuit of Sinatra. Where "Two Weeks In Another Town" features a character who wants to escape reality for the world of fiction, Sinatra aims for the exact opposite here. He wants to escape his past as a writer and etch out some sort of life in the real world. Fitting then that Peck should seem to step out of a fantasy world to throw a spanner (or a bullet) in the works. Elmer Bernstein provides a bombastic score, like a nightmarish Saturday night in a forties roadhouse. William Daniels widescreen framing is the perfect accompaniment to the skillful staging of Minnelli. The scene where Sinatra seduces Hyer features a surreal twist on the usual romantic lighting of such scenes, turning the characters into silhouettes, a foreboding premonition of how this relationship will pan out. German magazine "Der Spiegel" rated this as the greatest movie of all time. I wouldn't go that far but it's certainly in the mix, the pinnacle of the fifties melodrama.

The Movie Waffler
The Movie Waffler

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