“Bumming around can only help to make you a bum.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
… for being directly referenced in Godard’s Contempt (1963), when Piccoli’s character mentions wanting to emulate Martin in not ever taking his signature hat off:
… and for earning radiant young MacLaine an Oscar nomination:
Unfortunately, MacLaine’s performance — along with William H. Daniels’ beautiful Cinemascope cinematography — are the best aspects of this otherwise frustrating melodrama, shot through with sexism (Martin’s reprehensible “Bama” repeatedly refers to women, MacLaine in particular, as pigs) and trite dialogue (“We’ll have no more of that; I’m not one of your bar-room tarts!”). Sinatra’s world-weary character is sympathetic but underdeveloped:
… and his choice of Hyer as a marriage mate makes little sense:
Poor MacLaine gets the worst deal of all, playing what the video reviewer for Trailers From Hell (screenwriter Sam Hamm) casually refers to as a “dimwitted mattress back” (ouch!). MacLaine infuses more life and interest into her character than everyone else combined, yet is treated reprehensibly throughout.
(I’m not surprised that Godard and his male protagonists in Contempt — who likewise objectify the women in their lives as sex objects and workers — found connection with this film.)
The other female characters in Some Came Running are similarly posited as merely background context for the men as they live their lives and/or work out their neuroses (or not). Dana is a classic shrewish housewife who drips with condescension and entitlement, and casually “has a headache” the night Kennedy proposes some nookie (“What do you say we — go up… Sort of — relax?”)
It’s no wonder he flies into the arms of his conveniently working-late-at-night secretary (Gates) (though why they are stupid enough to drive to a common make-out spot in town is truly beyond me).
Meanwhile, Hyer seems to simply be emulating Grace Kelly in her blonde ice princess act, and is given terrible dialogue to work with (“Oh, Dave, we’ve met exactly three times. What do I know about you? What do you know about me?”). We at least have some sympathy for poor Keim, who is justifiably mortified to learn about her father’s hypocrisy, and gets to flee to New York by the end.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: