Chris Van Horn’s review published on Letterboxd:
Now THIS is a movie!
Almost everyone is at the top of their game here. Right from the first shot, Minnelli pulls you in right as the two main characters are pulled into town. Elmore Bernstein’s score is so palpable, it’s the only thing that can match the brutish performance Sinatra gives here - I didnt know he had this kind of acting in him.
Had no doubts about MacLaine but when she wails in the dancehall, I really knew it. Even Dean Martin blew me away here with a wry character that really turns sour. I’m usually nonplussed by him but loved the levity he brings right up until even he breaks and the reality of the cruel world creeps in. Really the only two performances that felt dated for me were ironically the two others besides MacLaine who were nominated for Oscars - Martha Hyer and less so, Arthur Kennedy.
Loved the meandering pace of this whole thing (can’t imagine turning a 1,200+ page novel into 137 minutes) that culminates in such an expressive ending that feels like peak Vincente Minnelli. See this in 2.35:1 on 35mm if you can.
35mm print - Metrograph