SOME CAME RUNNING (1958) C widescreen 135m dir: Vincente Minnelli
w/Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Martha Hyer, Arthur Kennedy, Nancy Gates, Leora Dana, Betty Lou Keim, Larry Gates, Robert Haven, Steven Peck
From The Movie Guide: "The protagonist of Jean-Luc Goddard's CONTEMPT won't remove his hat, even in the bathtub, because he wants to look like Dean Martin in SOME CAME RUNNING --- a nice index of the reverence with which Vincente Minnelli's eloquent, passionate melodramas were regarded by French New Wave critics, who saw in them an ironic encapsulization of American culture. Expertly condensed by studio hacks [Arthur] Sheekman and [John] Patrick from a massive, windy bestseller by James Jones (From Here to Eternity), this film captures the disillusionment of returning WWII vets, and brilliantly addresses itself to many of the director's characteristic concerns --- masculine fear of domestication and attendant resentment of women; the tensions of masculine friendship; women's complicity in their own oppression; the compromises demanded of artists functioning under capitalism.
"As the film opens, unsuccessful novelist and WWII vet Sinatra returns to his home town of Parkman, Illinois, with a new manuscript under one arm and a charming floozy, MacLaine, draped over the other. Their appearance creates a minor sensation in the small town, in which, of course, superficial respectability masks a hotbed of corruption and sexual intrigue. Sinatra's brother is Kennedy, a rigid businessman married to Dana but having an affair with his assistant, Nancy Gates. Hyer teaches at the local college and finds Sinatra intriguing, but the jaded Sinatra is impatient with her refusal to sleep with him. He befriends Martin, an easygoing, superstitious gambler with whom he enjoys endless card games and drinking bouts. The two are casually contemptuous of MacLaine, who is sexually available and thus, to their minds, less desirable than the icy Hyer; MacLaine endures many cruelties out of love for Sinatra. Eventually, Sinatra's frustration with the town's ubiquitous hypocrisy boils over; his subsequent recklessness leads to tragedy."
From Variety 's contemporary review of the film: "The story is pure melodrama, despite the intentions of the original novel's author, James Jones, to invest it with greater stature. But the integrity with which the film is handled by all its contributors lifts it at times to tragedy. Jones' novel has been stripped to essentials in the screenplay, and those are presented in hard clean dialog and incisive situations. ... Sinatra gives a top performance, sardonic and compassionate, full of touches both instinctive and technical."
SOME CAME RUNNING was nominated for five Oscars: Best Actress (MacLaine), Supporting Actor (Kennedy), Supporting Actress (Hyer), Song ("To Love and Be Loved" by James Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn), and Costume Design (Walter Plunkett).