Monday, September 22, 2008

Some Came Running

Aaron Burch at the Hobart blog already put his seal of approval on the Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin/Shirley MacLaine movie, Some Came Running, but I finally saw it this weekend and, man, it's awesome.  Shirley MacLaine from 1955 (The Trouble with Harry) to 1963 (Irma la Douce) is the most beautiful and winning Hollywood actress I've ever seen and this role is maybe her best. Her performance is heartbreaking and nuanced, the engine that keeps the movie running.
That said, the most memorable moment for me was the strangeness of a scene where Frank Sinatra leaves the bar after first meeting Dean Martin and tosses a tip to the bartender, saying, "Buy yourself a Quonset Hut."  I did a little searching on Google Books for any other instances of this phrase but couldn't find it.  Was this a common phrase for the time period or something cooked up by James Jones (the author of the novel) or John Patrick and Arthur Sheekman (the screenwriters)?  My search did lead me to a book called How Nashville Became Music City, USA by Michael Kosser that has a quote from Lou Bradley (a music producer who helped create the "Nashville Sound") discussing the acoustics of the studio (a Quonset Hut):  "The floor was not totally dead.  The ceiling was the most dead thing there."
So, I started out wanting to steal that line from Some Came Running but now I'm going to steal that line about dead floors and ceilings.


Clem said...

Oh man, do I love MacLaine in "The Apartment."

Anson Mountain said...

Yeah, MacLaine in the The Apartment turned me upside down. It's so strange to see her transformation into the crazy woman who writes incoherent books in the voice of her dog.

Rapunzel said...

found your blog while searching for info on "quonset hut." My boyfriend and I are watching Some Came Running and couldn't figure out the meaning of that quote either, lol! Guess we're all going to be stumped!