Some Came Running (1958)
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A Five Easy Pieces for the postwar generation.
Great movie. Shirley MacLaine lights up the screen. Her first Academy Award nomination.
You know when you watch a movie for Shirley MacLaine and she really isn't in it enough? Well, that's the case with Some Came Running, and it hurts even more because she's the best thing in the film. Maybe even the only thing. She's so natural and sincere. Truth is, this Sinatra-led melodrama feels impossibly dated by its rampant 1950s-style misogyny. I waited and waited for the film to show that it was aware of itself, and maybe at the end, it means to say so, but I'm not sure it does. It's a whole lot of toxic masculinity, men behaving badly towards women and never truly feeling the consequences. The men are such shitbirds, it makes every romantic entanglement feel foolish and undeserved. The women in the picture try to decide their own fates, but the world they live in doesn't want them to, and if the story had been told more from their point of view, the indictment of the patriarchy might have worked. But this is also a story where it is overtly said that "great men" should be forgiven their trespasses. Women are just willing victims, paying for men's sins. So I don't know. It might be trying to only show society and let the audience judge, but it's damn hard to watch.
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In 7 official lists
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This movie ranks #53 in Cahiers du cinéma 100
This movie ranks #58 in A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies
This movie ranks #332 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #481 in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
This movie ranks #573 in Have You Seen? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films
This movie ranks #601 in Sight and Sound 2012 - Combined List
This movie ranks #845 in TimeOut's 1000 Films to Change Your Life