Small town on the big screen

DVD Review
Some Came Running
Directed by Vincente Minnelli

By Noel Vera

(Warning: plot twists and narrative discussed in detail)

Vincente Minnelli’s Some Came Running (adapted from the James Jones novel) is often called an expose of the hypocrisies of small-town life and certainly there’s plenty on display: Dave Hirsh (Frank Sinatra) finds himself on a bus to his home town where he’s met by estranged brother Frank (Arthur Kennedy). Frank — a savvy businessman who runs his wife’s jewelry store and a savings & loan — recognizes the problem and opportunity Dave represents: a minor celebrity who’s written two interesting if commercially unsuccessful books (Frank’s friends the French’s insist on meeting him), but also a wild card (first night in town Dave is arrested for drunken brawling). Frank’s solution? Why modulate (come to Dave’s hotel room for a talk resembling both an interrogation and a counseling session), domesticate (invite him into the Hirsh home), assimilate (pair him off with the French’s daughter Gwen [Martha Hyer]).

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