Some Came Running (Vincente Minnelli, 1958)
Staring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Shirley MacLaine this vibrant CinemaScope shot film is also the first movie of Sinatra and Martin on the same credits. Adapted from James Jones’ novel of the same name, Some Came Running is a dense story that proves to be one of the gems of the Hollywood of the 1950’s. It is an excellent literary adaptation that takes its time to set its pace and isn’t afraid to have a protagonist that uses his cynicism and his rejection in front of the society. It is one of the first anti-heroes of the American Cinema. No surprise then, that it is a film that Martin Scorsese has in high esteem.
To be real honest I’m not a big fan of Sinatra’s acting abilities. However, I think that it is probably his best performance and I guess that he had the depth and background to portray a prodigy that doesn’t get the recognition while being an alcoholic and having the wrong love interests.
On another level, the always great Shirley MacLaine portrays a the young Ginny Moorehead and received her first Best actress nomination at the Academy Awards. MacLaine was probably one of the greatest talents of her time and despite being casted many times for the same role she managed to pull it off every time. With Some Came Running she is like a fish in the water.
With all that praise said, I must admit that at first sight it might not be on your best films of 1958 list. You would probably put Vertigo, Mon Oncle, The Big Country, Gigi, The Cranes Are Flying, Ashes and Diamonds, The Horror of Dracula, The Tarnished Angels, Touch of Evil, and many others before this film directed by Vincente Minnelli. Also, I could read this line on many other reviewers’ essays that it is not a film that has aged well. Honestly, this couldn’t be more wrong as a statement. The self infliction of the character of the author by Sinatra is a theme that seems to have been done a lots of times but also it is a very rich well. The way that Minnelli worked and put it on the screen is natural and while we understand each character’s isolation, we also understand how they are linked to each other by their desperation and fear of being judged by others and the duality of their I don’t give a damn about it. Some Came Running probably influenced more films, film writers, and actors than many other films aforementioned.