Some Came Running

Some Came Running

Bumming around can only help to make you a bum.

This film, Some Came Running, is the first on-screen pairing of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. That’s about all that I’ve got when it comes to this one. It’s not that Some Came Running is a bad film, or even that it wasn’t really for me; it’s that the whole film, just about everything that it does, just seemed so superfluous. Aside from the semi-realistic take on one man’s grungy, in-the-gutter lifestyle, there’s nothing that can be found in this film that can’t be found in other films in a better form. Granted, it may be nice for some to have all that Some Came Running does do all in one film, but for me, it didn’t end up being greater than the sum of its parts. It ended up being a composite film; jack of all trades, but master of none.

Frank Sinatra is Dave Hirsh, a veteran who winds up back in his hometown after boarding a Greyhound after getting drunk and falling asleep on the ride. Also on the bus is Ginny Moorehead, played by Shirley MacLaine, a woman whom Dave met in Chicago and who tagged along with him during the trip. Now back in the hometown he tried so hard in the past to leave behind, he meets back up with his older brother Frank, and largely picks up his life as if he had never moved, which puts him at odds with his family and friends who would rather not have someone so unscrupulous be connected to them. Oh, and there’s a schoolteacher Dave falls in love with. Oh, and a niece he takes a shine to. Oh, and a new drinking and gambling buddy he meets in town (Martin). Oh, and a bunch of other little things that have their own subplots. Really, this film has a lot to it in terms of content; perhaps too much. I looked over a few other reviews of this, and one mentioned that the film could’ve been better had they dropped a subplot or two and made the edit that much leaner, and I agree. The other matter is that, either because there was so much, or because there wasn’t any one thing that stood out for me as a reviewer, I ultimately watched the whole film without very much care as to what was actually happening. That said, I did enjoy the performances; Sinatra is excellent at the height of his career, as is MacLaine, who would get her first Academy Award nomination for this film.

It was a little surprising to see Vincente Minnelli was behind this, given that he’s normally behind happy-go-lucky musicals like Gigi and An American in Paris, but the film has largely the same scope and aspect ratio as his other films; it’s just a good deal darker than I’m normally accustomed to seeing from him. That aside, I didn’t find too much about this one to care for, but I also saw that that was more of personal preference than any actual shortcomings the film may have had. For me, this seemed to be another addition to the list that didn’t really seem to be worth the fact that it was added to a later edition. It was decent, and well done, but it never sank its hooks into me. Who knows, though; it might for several others.

Arbitrary Rating: 7/10

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