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After the success of From Here to Eternity, pairing Frank Sinatra with another James Jones novel made perfect sense. Set in the aftermath of World War II, the film stars Sinatra as a recently discharged soldier whose promising writing career has derailed. After a drunken card game, Sinatra finds himself aboard a bus for his Indiana hometown of Parktown, with recent acquaintance Shirley MacLaine in tow. An unrefined good-time girl, MacLaine allows her affections to settle on the hard-drinking Sinatra, who wants little to do with her as he reluctantly sets about re-establishing ties he thought to have abandoned over a decade before. These include a brother (Arthur Kennedy) unable to discard his salesman's persona, his disapproving wife (Leora Dana), and their teenage daughter (Betty Lei Keim). Meanwhile, Sinatra makes a variety of new acquaintances both respectable and otherwise, including a local gambler (Dean Martin) and a creative writing instructor (Martha Hyer) smitten with his writing and possibly with him. Shaking up the complacency of his small hometown more by accident than design, Sinatra forces all those around him to reevaluate their behavior. After a variety of smaller parts, this is the role that cemented MacLaine's name, earning her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. ~ Keith Phipps, Rovi

  • Release date:December 18, 1958


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Arthur Kennedy Best Supporting Actor 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jimmy Van Heusen Best Song 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Martha Hyer Best Supporting Actress 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sammy Cahn Best Song 1958 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Shirley MacLaine Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Shirley MacLaine Best Actress 1958 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Walter Plunkett Best Costume Design 1958 Nominee


Frank Sinatra
as Dave Hirsh
Dean Martin
as Bama Dillert
Shirley MacLaine
as Ginny Moorhead
Martha Hyer
as Gwen French
Arthur Kennedy
as Frank Hirsh
Nancy Gates
as Edith Barclay
Leora Dana
as Agnes Hirsh
Carmen Phillips
as Rosalie
Larry Gates
as Prof. French
Connie Gilchrist
as Jane Barclay
Donald Kerr
as Doc Henderson
Don Haggerty
as Ted Harperspoon
Jan Arvan
as Club manager
George E. Stone
as Slim
Anthony Jochim
as Judge Baskin
George Cisar
as Hubie Nelson
Geraldine Wall
as Mrs. Stevens
Roy Engel
as Sheriff
William Schallert
as Al
Marion Ross
as Sister Mary Joseph
Len Lesser
as Dealer
Chuck Courtney
as Hotel clerk
George Brengel
as Ned Deacon
Denny Miller
as Dewey Cole


Vincente Minnelli
Sol C. Siegel
Arthur Sheekman
William H. Daniels
Jimmy Van Heusen
Jimmy Van Heusen
Composer (Music Score)
Elmer Bernstein
Musical Direction/Supervision
Elmer Bernstein
Composer (Music Score)
Sammy Cahn
Urie McCleary
Art Director
Henry W. Grace
Set Designer
Robert Priestley
Set Designer
Walter Plunkett
Costume Designer
William J. Tuttle