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Some Came Running (1958)
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Some Came Running Some Came Running
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: March 2007
Catalog #: Vol. 10, No. 1
# of Discs: 1

Released by Special Arrangement With Turner Classic Movies Music.

Some Came Running (1958) was a prestigious adaptation of James Jones's second novel, a gargantuan tome about a serviceman (Frank Sinatra) who returns to his rural Indiana hometown following World War II. While struggling to find his purpose in life, he is torn romantically between a luckless floozie (Shirley MacLaine) and an intellectual schoolteacher (Martha Hyer) who appreciates his ambitions as a writer but spurns him romantically. The film features first-rate performances—including Dean Martin as a laconic gambler—and masterful direction by M-G-M's Vincente Minnelli.

Some Came Running was scored by a composer ideally suited to capturing all of the film's aspects: Elmer Bernstein. This was Bernstein's most glorious period, in which he was writing landmark scores for everything from biblical epics (The Ten Commandments) to westerns (The Magnificent Seven) to dramas (To Kill a Mockingbird)—with jazz scores like The Man With the Golden Arm especially capturing the public's attention. Some Came Running continued his association with Frank Sinatra—for whom he scored The Man With the Golden Arm and Kings Go Forth—and offered another opportunity for his brand of big band "film jazz" that had become one of the most dominant and effective sounds in cinema.

Some Came Running required from Bernstein not only a jazz score, but moments of musical Americana for high-minded drama involving life in small-town America. The film practically uses his music as a narrative device to illustrate the two "worlds" in which Sinatra walks: a "legit" orchestral sound for polite society, measured yet evocative, with a love theme for the schoolteacher; and a bluesy, jazzy sound world for the nightlife, with questing woodwinds, ominous bass lines and madcap piano climaxing in a furious chase sequence that leads to the film's tragic conclusion.

Bernstein also interpolates a song by regular Sinatra collaborators Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen, "To Love and Be Loved," making it his own through the orchestration, and provides several original big band source cues. "To Love and Be Loved" is sung on-screen during a nightclub sequence, which is included on the CD. (Neither Sinatra nor Dean Martin sing in the film or on the CD, however.)

Some Came Running is an Elmer Bernstein masterpiece that would have been released on CD by Rhino or FSM years ago but for an odd defect in the stereo master tapes (still not fully understood) that resulted in missing instrumentation in some cues. Fortunately, between the surviving stereo masters in the Warner Bros. vaults, a monaural tape kept by the composer, and acetates stored at the University of Southern California, the complete score has been reconstructed, almost entirely in stereo, with exemplary sound quality. This is cause for celebration, as this is one of Bernstein's—and the era's—very best. Liner notes are by Lukas Kendall.

Elmer Bernstein Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Elmer Bernstein (1922–2004) had a Hollywood career that lasted over a half a century; invented and reinvented himself as a composer across several genres (jazz, epics, westerns, comedies and adult dramas); and scored more than a few Hollywood classics—The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Escape and Airplane! to name but five. FSM has released a dozen of his scores and counting, but the most popular may be Heavy Metal (1981)—don't be fooled by the title, it's Elmer's "Star Wars." In addition to his prolific work as a composer, Bernstein was a tireless champion of film music as an art form, serving on the boards of several professional organizations and in the 1970s recording his own LP series of classic Hollywood scores, Elmer Bernstein's Film Music Collection, released by FSM as a 12-CD box set. IMDB

Comments (6):Log in or register to post your own comments
Another win from FSM and a Bernstein score that doesn't get much talk I see.....

So, Lukas, did this win the award for biggest pain in the arse to produce
or what? Glad you went to the trouble, but really....a blank channel, having
to mix and match from different elements,etc?
I love when you guys share
behind the scenes production notes, like this one in the liners. This main
title ostinato piano theme is ridiculously addictive, and another memorable
love theme too.

Yes a fine underrated score by Elmer, beautiful love theme and as you said a very attractive main theme one does not forget.

Why not just bump this thread to boast publicly that I absolutely and totally love this score! In the last few days I was in the exact mood for it so I've been spinning again both the Cloud Nine and the FSM CDs endlessly. Such a great music, so powerful and so fresh, yet written some 50 years ago...

Anyone unfamiliar with this score should really check it out. Start with sampling tracks 1 and 16!

FSM's promotion article says it best: "this is one of Bernstein's—and the era's—very best."

I had the CLoud Nine CD release of the score and jumped immediately when FSM released this complete edition - a lot of work and well worth the effort on their part.

I bought the DVD when it was released a few years ago, having seen it on TV years before but more importantly, having also seen it in a screening at the National Film Theatre in London, in which Elmer sat in on and participated in a talk afterwards with Cynthia 'bright red tights' Millar. The film was very, very powerful on the big screen and Elmer was surprised when most of the audience laughed at the scene where a nun nursed Dean Martin's Bama in hospital after his diabetes diagnosis and didn't know if it was due to her flirtacious behaviour or her nurses hat.

It was part of an Elmer Odyssey, as we chatted at the NFT on the Saturday, then interviewed him on the Monday for Soundtrack magazine (along with three other film music journalists from other publications/websites) and finally attended his eightieth birthday concert at the Albert Hall a couple days after that, where he was whisked away at the end by Michael Aspel, for his surprise This Is Your Life recording.

Elmer commented when he watched the film at the NFT, when the opening titles started he said to himself 'sonofagun, that's Bernard Herrmann!' in terms of the tone of the cue - which he'd never really thought about before. I zeroed in on one aspect of the score, the cue underscoring Dave Hirsh's (Frank Sinatra) settling into his hotel room, underscored by the bluesy saxophone and then being interrupted by a classical violin as the camera focuses on the classic literature books he pulls from his kitbag. Elmer wanted to help illustrate the 'other side' of Dave's persona.

Funny story, at the end of the interview, I said to Elmer 'I'm not envious of your talent or your wealth - but you've got FORTY YEARS on me and you have more HAIR than I do!'. Then, standing alongside him for a photo, I looked over and said 'Well, at least I'm taller than you' and he replied 'EVERYone's taller than me!'.

Thank you, Dirk, for your post and for the amusing story with Elmer. I will have to check the film out!

I can't say it's my favourite score by Mr. Bernstein but it's not too far down that list ...

... wonderful main title (so powerful!) and fabulous melodies throughtout. And it interpolates one of the best melodies composed by Jimmy Van Heusen (lyrics: Sammy Cahn): To Love and Be Loved

I don't always jump at the release of a score but this one was quickly on my shopping list - highly recommended!

I haven't seen the film for many years ... I kept meaning to watch it when we had TCM and now we don't I may have to buy the DVD :(


Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Elmer Bernstein

Sam Freed, Jr., Werner L. Gebauer, Mort Herbert, Arnold T. Jurasky, Nathan Kaproff, Joy Lyle (Sharp), Arthur Maebe, Sr., Lisa Minghetti, Irving Prager, Lou Raderman, Albert Saparoff, Herman Seidel, Dorothy M. Wade (Sushel), Byron Williams

Cecil Figelski, Allan Harshman, Virginia Majewski, Reuben Marcus

Alexander Borisoff, Julian Kahn, Raphael "Ray" Kramer, Michel Penha

George F. Boujie, Abraham Luboff, Arthur Shapiro

Arthur Gleghorn

Arnold Koblentz

Gus Bivona, Don Lodice (Logiudice), Ted Nash, Hugo Raimondi, Jules Seder, Howard P. Terry

Howard P. Terry

French Horn:
John W. "Jack" Cave, Vincent DeRubertis, Herman Lebow

Nick DiMaio, Richard "Dick" Nash, Herb Taylor

Max Rabinowitsh, Milton Raskin

Catherine Gotthoffer (Johnk)

D. V. Seber

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