In the post-war, the alcoholic and bitter veteran military and former writer Dave Hirsch returns from Chicago to his hometown Parkman, Indiana. He is followed by Ginnie Moorehead, a vulgar and easy woman with whom he spent his last night in Chicago that has fallen in love with him. The resentful Dave meets his older brother Frank Hirsh, who owns a jewelry store and is a prominent citizen of Parkman that invites him to have dinner with his family. Dave meets his sister-in-law Agnes that hates him since one character of his novel had been visibly inspired on her, and his teenage niece Dawn. Frank introduces the school teacher Gwen French to him and Dave feels attracted by the beautiful woman that is daughter of his former Professor Robert Haven French and idolizes his work as writer. However, his unrequited love with Gwen drives Dave back to the local bar where he befriends the professional gambler Bama Dillert and meets Ginnie again with the Chicago’s mobster Raymond Lanchak that was …
Powerful, stylish Minnelli gem!
Vincente Minelli was a master at creating powerful cinematic imagery that made unforgettable many a film which, in other hands, might have been quite ordinary. So many aspects of the story he deals with in “Some Came Running” had to be compromised because of the censorship issues that governed movies of that era. This led to some very awkward scripting, suggesting but never explicitly spelling out much that was central to the story. As a result, the drama veers into a rather dated soap-opera feel from time to time.
The wonder of this picture lies in how the director draws consistently strong performances from his cast and then, using striking visual compositions, magical lighting, stunning use of color, delivers a startlingly powerful result. Like so many of his films, this is the sort of richly satisfying visual experience that you want to re-visit again and again.
Serious home theater buffs should loudly protest that such Minnelli masterpieces as “Some Came Running”, Home from the Hill” and “Lust for Life” are still unreleased as widescreen DVD’s. This seems so shamefully, incomprehensibly neglectful!