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A December 1956 Daily Variety news item indicates that author James Jones, whose novel From Here to Eternity had been successfully produced by Columbia Pictures in 1953, was offering the rights to Some Came Running for $1,000,000. M-G-M purchased Jones's 2,000-page-plus manuscript for $200,000 in January 1957, eight months before its publication. The published novel was 1,266 pages. The title was inspired by the Gospel of St. Mark 9.25, which refers to those who seek the meaning of eternal life but are prevented from finding it by obsession with materialism.
According to an April 1958 Hollywood Reporter item, producer Sol C. Siegel considered casting Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando in the film. A June 1958 "Rambling Reporter" item in Hollywood Reporter notes that Norma Crane tested for a role. Some Came Running marked the first joint screen appearance of members of Hollywood's well-known entertainment cadre, the "Rat Pack," of which Frank Sinatra was the unofficial head and which included Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. Shirley MacLaine was included as an "auxiliary" member of the group several years after the film's release.
The film was shot on location in Madison and Terre Haute, Indiana. Hollywood Reporter casting information adds Virginia Whitmire, Jay Gerard, Kayla Terry, Frank Challfant, Walter Kinney and Jeanette Fuller to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. An August 1958 article in Time magazine, commented on by some reviews of the film, was critical of Sinatra's purported behavior while on location, including making insulting remarks to the locals and engaging in a brawl.
In his autobiography, director Vincente Minnelli indicated he found no fault in Sinatra's conduct in Madison. Minnelli reveals that at Sinatra's recommendation, MacLaine's part as "Ginny" was built up, including changing the ending, from having "Dave" killed to having Ginny die trying to protect him. MacLaine received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her role. Martha Hyer was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress. The film also received nominations for Arthur Kennedy as Best Supporting Actor, for Costume Design and Best Song.