Thursday, March 28, 2013

Some Came Running

1950s Americana is an image that everyone is a time of perfect morals and behavior. In reality, it was a time of paranoia and prejudice. And everyone tried to look acceptable to the outside world.

Hollywood itself was stranger to this. You think many of your favorite movie stars had perfect personal lives. That wasn't the case for a majority of them. Some were drug addicts, some were alcoholics, and some had sex lives shocking for any era. (The studios constantly had to save their stars' skins.) Yet at the same time, they were trying to push the envelope with certain material.

This could be applied to Vincente Minnelli's Some Came Running. While most films of the decade had an uplifting nature, Some Came Running made no bones about its cynical nature. (Probably because it's based on a novel by James Jones, who also wrote From Here to Eternity.)

With any film, you need the right actors and Minnelli chose them. Frank Sinatra is essentially the embodiment of cynicism whereas Shirley MacLaine is that for dopey hopefulness. Dean Martin and Arthur Kennedy make the most of their screentime. All in all, it's a well-rounded cast.

Now the film itself I had some problems with. It got melodramatic in some scenes (then again, this is a Minnelli picture) and it felt too long in others. But thanks to the character development and the acting, I'll recommend Some Came Running.

My Rating: ****1/2

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