Sunday, June 28, 2015

#562: Some Came Running

1956, TSPDT Rank #551

Speaking of operatic cinema, this mid-'50s melodrama from Vincente Minnelli has to be one of the most prominent examples of Hollywood artificiality being consciously manipulated to produce a film which goes beyond narrative and instead ventures into an entirely manufactured world of pure color and raw emotion. Starring Frank Sinatra, Shirley Maclaine, and Dean Martin, the film uses almost every stereotype in the melodrama textbook - there's an alcoholic novelist, a dangerously clingy and childlike woman, and an intelligent and attractive woman who has repressed her capacity for romantic desire, among others - to fill out a bare-bones plotline which is really nothing more than the traditional love triangle set-up that's been used countless times before. The interesting thing about this movie is that you won't even notice the plot at all unless you consciously look for it. The plot is so basic and predictable that it just melts into the background and becomes almost unrecognizable amongst the film's hysterical tone and elaborate sets - which serve to give the film a very theatrical look and feel. Basically a melodramatic fever dream, this film could easily be either your favorite film or your worst nightmare depending on where your cinematic tastes lie. With the cinematic beauty of Douglas Sirk's infamous 1950s melodramas replaced with garish theatricality, Some Came Running comes off as a very strange film today - truly a relic of a specific time and place in cinematic history.

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