23 June 2001 | jacksflicks
A Great American Tragedy
This is one of the most heartbreaking, heart-rending films I have ever seen. There are many levels in this story of the returning soldier: his conflict with his brother, with his community, with his beloved and with himself. But for me, the most poignant is the story of Dave Hirsh and Ginny Moorhead. Dave is searching for redemption; he is emotionally needy and spiritually enervated. He thinks he can find love in someone who can fill his creative needs and the void in his heart created by the war.
Here is the tragedy: Dave does not realize that real love can only come from a sense of self worth, from finding someone whom he not only needs but, just as important, who needs him. Ginny is an angel, an angel in the form of a wrong-side-of-the-tracks bimbo; but of all those in Dave's world, Ginny is the purest of heart and the purest in love, and her love is for Dave. When Dave finally realizes that his bliss lies with Ginny, it is too late, for both him and Ginny. And this ending comes in a moment that left me shattered, my mouth agape.
While the ending was not expected, neither was it contrived, and with hindsight, one could see its coming.
"Some Came Running" captures a time and culture only now beginning to fade from the collective memory, as its cohort ages and dies off, America immediately following World War II. And as a period piece, "Some Came Running" is quite successful. But I believe the story depicted here is a universal one, and I think the characters of Dave and Ginny and their sidekick Bama, played wonderfully by Dean Martin, are to be found anywhere. In fact, "Some Came Running," along with "From Here to Eternity," is the closest American cinema has come to being Shakespearian, without consciously trying to be.