Some Came Running

Some Came RunningThe James Jones book is about small-town life in postwar America. Vincente Minnelli’s film is a vehicle for its star, Frank Sinatra, and maybe that’s why it feels insincere: It defers to him too much. Often, Minnelli goes for a soap-operatic grandeur, a real theatrical charge, but none of the clichés are reupholstered. Whores become saints (Shirley MacLaine plays one with a nagging, childish insistence), and self-loathing alcoholic writers take for granted their own greatness (disaffection from Sinatra is like pennies from an a**hole). I like the banter between Frank and Dino, but that’s the rub: The movie bunts. We’re all too aware that movie stars have invaded the Midwest and dress-rehearse at living there.


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