By Anna Power TLE Film Editor
An effortlessly cool, funny, truly timeless film from Hollywood’s golden age of musicals; Guys and Dolls is the kind of film that plants a sloppy smile on your face and fills your head with snappy songs you’ll catch yourself singing in the shower for weeks to come. So here are my top five reasons why you should see it:
1, Brando in a musical and he sings!: Arguably at the height of his considerable beauty, Brando gives an immense performance in the role of gambler Sky Masterson -a slick, wise-guy gambler and seducer of ‘dolls’. Notably an interesting departure for Brando following his gritty brilliance in Kazan’s On the Waterfront a year earlier but Brando was made for musicals. In Guys and Dolls he gives a tender, mesmerising performance as Masterson who, on a mission to unravel the tightly coiled spring that is ‘sally army’ officer Jean Simmonds, and win a bet, finds himself falling in love. Their love scenes are brimming with onscreen chemistry; tender, disarming and sensual. Hot!
2, Those songs! with Michael Kidd’s choreography: Joseph L Mankiewicz flawlessly adapts Frank Loesser’s hit Broadway musical for the big screen. The score comprises some of the most treasured songs from the extensive Hollywood musicals catalogue including, Luck Be a Lady Tonight, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat, Sinatra singing Guys and Dolls and the heart melts to Simmons and Brando singing, A Woman in Love. Literally, the stuff of dreams.
3, An Ensemble Cast: Marlon Brando (Sky Masterson) and Frank Sinatra (Nathan Detroit) are more than enough for any film but along with them you’ve got Jean Simmons’ Golden Globe winning performance as Sarah Brown, tambourine shaking her way into Marlon Brando’s heart. Stubby Kaye delights as Nicely Nicely, – Nathan’s right hand man and Vivian Blaine is luminous as Adelaide, Nathan’s poor put-upon fiancé.
4, Glorious comedy: Full of bawdy, sassy street jokes, the script glides along with enough one-liners to keep you satisfied and chuckling in your seat.
5, Restored to its full eye-popping technicolour vision: With sumptuous sets and jazzy gangster/doll costumes and Harry Stradling’s Oscar nominated cinematography for colour, seeing it on the big screen is to see it brought back to life, stunningly restored to its original full technicolour vision.
Guys and Dolls is in cinemas from Friday 19th December.