Monday, May 05, 2008
second to none: Minnelli's "Some Came Running"
The New York Times' Charles Taylor and Stephanie Zacharek collaborated on an entertaining DVD preview, "For Air-Conditioned Living Rooms," in Sunday's special Summer Movie Preview section and, while everyone's opinions on film are more or less valid, I feel compelled to challenge something that Taylor wrote.
Taylor covers Warner Home Entertainment's new, five-disc "Frank Sinatra: The Golden Years" (one of four boxed collections devoted to Sinatra that Warner is releasing this season) and declares: "'The Tender Trap' and 'The Man With the Golden Arm' are the most interesting films in the collection." I like both films, especially compared to two other titles in the set, "None But the Brave" and "Marriage on the Rocks."
However, the fifth title in the collection is Vincente Minnelli's sublime "Some Came Running," a version of the James Jones novel that is full of Minnelli's lyrical touches and observational wit and ensemble playing that remains unmatched.
Sinatra, arguably the '50s' reigning acting auteur of male alienation, is in his prime here, playing a fascinating anti-hero battling the rigors of self-recrimination. And he's ably backed by Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Martha Hyer, Arthur Kennedy, Nancy Gates, Leora Dana, Connie Gilchrist, Larry Gates, Steven Peck, Betty Lou Keim, John Brennan and the singular Carmen Philips. Not a single bad performance among them.
"Some Came Running," a fully-realized work, is clearly the crown jewel in this set.
Note in Passing: "Some Came Running" will be aired by Turner on Thursday, May 22 at 4:45 a.m. (est) as part of its on-going Sinatra salute this month.
(Artwork: Sinatra and co-star Shirley MacLaine in a typical vintage studio publicity shot for Minnelli's "Some Came Running")
Posted by joe baltake at 9:45 PM