Some Came Running
Directed by Vincente Minnelli
Dave Hirsch, a writer and army veteran, returns to 1948 Parkman, Indiana, his hometown. His prosperous brother introduces him to Gwen French...
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★★★★★ review by trolleyfreak on Letterboxd
Ol' Blue Eyes, Dino and Shirley Mac are on blistering form in Vincent Minnelli's incendiary widescreen melodrama; an adaptation of From Here To Eternity author James Jones's breeze block of a novel and one of the finest films of Eisenhower-era American cinema.
The film builds to a delirious climax where the director's theatricality comes to the fore in a feverish bustle of flashing lights and a carnival of colour.
★★★½ review by Rian on Letterboxd
A beautiful, overlooked (in spite of its 5 Oscar nominations) Douglas Sirk/Nicholas Ray-esque melodrama (never syrupy), which hones in on several things: the aimless soldier, family dysfunction, marital affair (the last two being unresolved), stratification in suburban life, double dose of unrequited love (Martha Hyer's participation in this movie as a strong-willed, intellectual schoolteacher, who on the surface it seems possesses some affection for the man who's made known he's in love with her, Frank Sinatra, but doesn't let her feelings dictate her to any rash decisions and chooses for a platonic relationship, was refreshing to behold), and tragedy. The acting is uniformly good; Frank Sinatra is extremely solid as the dimensioned army veteran/inactive author/alcoholic/resentful brother, as is fellow singer/actor Dean Martin as his gambler amigo (it's amusing their acting was unblemished as it is since they both criticized director Vincente Minnelli for the way he ''directed scenery instead of directing actors''), but it's Shirley MacLaine who probably steals it for me as the mixed up girl (a vacuous hooker) that is nevertheless bursting with soul and love longing to pamper (the film, at 137 minutes, definitely could have done with some trimming, but I was completely transfixed by any scene with MacLaine's aura). The script/dialogue was really rich and intelligent, and from a technical standpoint, Minnelli sustains the drama nicely with an Average Shot Length of 15 seconds, fluid camera tracking movement, a specific scene with masterful lighting... and his film's (so-so, immensely downer) climax at a carnival setting has been proclaimed by Martin Scorsese for having ''one of the best and most expressive uses of CinemaScope.''
The finale-spoiling Letterboxd poster can fuck off, though.
★★★★★ review by Timcop on Letterboxd
Takes Sirk's melodramas and Nicolas Ray's commentaries on middle class life and blows it up to an epic scale, filled with gorgeous set pieces and vivid colors. Deals with the ins and outs of domestic relationships beautifully, while also detailing the seedy underbelly of small town/suburban life as well as BIGGER THAN LIFE or REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE. Shirley MacLaine is perfect in this, miles away from her turn in THE APARTMENT, and Dean Martin is both likable and despicable at the same time. Sinatra plays the realest dude in the picture, cooly conveying a million things at once, and not once giving a fuck what anybody else thinks of him, until he does.
<----BUT THIS IS KIND OF A SHITTY, SPOILER-HEAVY POSTER
★★★★ review by Peter Labuza on Letterboxd
Discussed with Scott Bukatman on the latest podcast. Loses a star for not continually playing at a theater on a 35mm IB Technicolor print 24/7 in which I can simply live in this movie forever.
★★★★ review by b rad on Letterboxd
Minnelli in straight drama territory, but visually dips into expressionism and theatricality (especially the climactic carnival scene), so almost feels like an MGM musical without music at times. Characters and chemistry elevate the already good script into something rather special, with a heartbreaking performance by Shirley MacLaine probably at the core of the film, but Martin and Sinatra defy easy characterisation as well, characters that go back and forth between selfishness and selflessness in navigating small town America. Very moving and impressive picture.
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