Some Came Running
Directed by Vincente Minnelli
The last time I watched a Vincente Minnelli movie, it was Gigi. I think we can agree that was creepy as all get out. While Some Came Running was mercifully devoid of elderly men singing about little girls, it didn't age particularly well either.
Dave Hirsch (Frank Sinatra) returns to his hometown in Indiana, with a dame, Ginny, in tow. He's only nice to said dame when he is drunk, so I guess he's the polar opposite of Sinatra's actual personality. Anyway, Dave is an army veteran and author of two novels. His presence in town is resented by his older brother Frank, who is embarrassed about Dave's behavior, and Frank's wife, Agnes, who is angry about Dave's unflattering novels. Frank and Agnes are eager to impress their wealthy socialite friends, Professor French and his daughter Gwen, both of whom are fans of Dave's books. Dave falls for Gwen, and he begins to court her, which in 1958 meant ignoring her as she repeatedly tells him she's not interested.
I kept forgetting that this wasn't a musical. The fight scenes were actually kind of cute, and I am not certain that's what they were going for. Maybe they were. I obviously don't understand Vincente Minnelli's intentions. You could tell this was based on a longwinded novel written by a man. All the female characters were melodramatic to the point of being in hysterics, only motivated by their love for the terrible men in their lives. At one point Frank Sinatra's character tells Shirley Maclaine's character to clean his friend's house and she practically explodes with happiness.
But that's par for course, obviously, as it can't be anything other than a product of its time. Still, an entirely unnecessary addition that is only slightly elevated by its cast.
According to Shirley MacLaine, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra really did not like Vincente Minnelli and thought he was a poor director.
Joanne Woodward turned down the role of Ginny so she wouldn't have to work with Frank Sinatra.