HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
   
 
Newest Articles
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
   
 
  Guys and Dolls Better Better
Year: 1955
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra, Vivian Blaine, Robert Keith, Stubby Kaye, B.S. Pully, Johnny Silver, Sheldon Leonard, Danny Dayton, George E. Stone, Regis Toomey, Kathryn Givney, Veda Ann Borg, Mary Alan Hokanson, Joe McTurk, Kay E. Kuter
Genre: Musical, Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 5 votes)
Review: It's another busy day in New York City, with the hustle and bustle of the cars and pedestrians, some going to work and others tourists - and then there are those who are neither, who check on the racing tips and look forward to making their money through gambling. One of those individuals is Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra), who organises craps games for the gamblers in the area, but his upcoming and lucrative event is thrown into jeopardy when Lieutenant Brannigan (Robert Keith) makes it plain he is on his tail, intent on tracking down the location of the game and putting a stop to it. Nathan must think fast...

Guys and Dolls as it was originally on the Broadway stage was a legendary production, an enormous success that seemed a natural to follow its contemporary musicals to the big screen. However, when it did there were grumblings that director and adapter Joseph L. Mankeiwicz had not pulled it off with much degree of skill, suggesting that he was only one of the aspects that didn't fly here. Time has been kinder to the screen version than one might expect, but that question of the casting still rankles with many viewers, although perhaps not as much as it did with a certain Francis Albert Sinatra.

The fact that Marlon Brando had been awarded Sinatra's much-coveted Sky Masterson role was cause of great animosity between the stars, being in the huff with each other from the minute they stepped onto the set, although Sinatra was a man who could hold a grudge as well as he could hold a note. There were certainly eyebrows raised when Brando was cast, as a singer he was not and he fully admitted his vocal stylings were edited together from separate takes which he mimed to, but for others this unlikely choice provides the reason to watch. He could handle the dramatics and even the comedy very well, which would indicate he was not such a bad selection, it's just that singing that few would admit was ideal.

Backing up these two temperamental stars were two more reliable figures, Jean Simmons in the role of the Salvation Army's Sarah Brown, rarely looking lovelier, and from the Broadway original Vivian Blaine as Nathan's fourteen year engagement, Adelaide. Blaine knew her role like the back of her hand and proved ideal even if she wasn't the first choice, but Simmons had a genuine chemistry with Brando which helped a film lacking in pizzazz; she did her own singing too, in slightly declamatory fashion but carrying the tunes without anything too off-key. Sarah gets mixed up with Sky when Nathan bets him he cannot take her to Havana, after Sky boasted women were all the same and he could do what he liked with them.

Yes, it's that ancient plot where the woman finds out she was taken out on a wager and is naturally horrified, but for most of the running time Guys and Dolls feels a little too much like two films at once as in this adaptation it appeared Mankiewicz was trying to keep Brando and Sinatra apart as much as possible. Brando sang "Luck Be a Lady", possibly the best song in it so you can imagine how Sinatra felt about that, but if anyone steals the show it's almost at the very end where Stubby Kaye stepped up to belt out "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat": he was in the original musical too, and the song became his signature. It's well worth waiting for here, as the supporting cast seem better designed for the Damon Runyon dialogue and personalities than three of the principals (Blaine excepted), but out of curiosity value if nothing else, there's enough here to offset the leaden production to be of interest. Frank Loesser wrote those songs.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6130 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (5)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: