- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Fond Childhood Memories
I don't know about the play or movie "Guys and Dolls", but there is a song in the play that I can still hear my mother sing to me (and that I sang to my son when he was a baby):I love you, a bushel and a peckA bushel and a peckAnd a hug around the neckA barrel and a heap andI'm talkin' in my sleep about you.That's the only part of the song she would sing, or that I remember. Some of my fondest memories of my beloved mother and my beautiful son (who is now a grown man), include this silly song.
I love so many movies TCM plays. Not this one. Brando's worst film. Pure nonsense.
Utterly endearing 50 years later
Damon Runyon had a gift for making his margin-living characters appealing and understandable, an underclass of charismatically bad boys and girls. Ever charming, but naughty at worst. They still are completely appealing 50 years later. The same is true about Manhattan of the 1950s, as captured and glamorized here. What a wonderful collection of likeable misfits. This film is charming even when it is ridiculous -- and the premise is absurd right from the very start. You can't call Marlon Brando miscast when the man obviously took on a wild challenge and made it his own, the very opposite of playing to strength. The rest of the cast, with the exception of Jean Simmons, were at the top of their game. Vivian Blaine is sublime; Stubby Kay(sp), quintessential. I've never under Jean Simmons or her appeal, or, sadly, what is to me, her lack of appeal. She is pretty, even lovely. She seems to act acceptably well. Yet I always find my interest drawn to the other actors on the screen when she is there. She is not repellent -- the opposite of magnetic -- just there, neutral, like a stand-in or well-functioning mannequin. In this film, I think she caught some of Brando's determination to rise to the challenge. She strives to be his equal, but he is the featured performer; she is the partner. For movie buffs, she is not Judy Garland with Fred Astaire in Easter Parade (every bit his equal); she is more like the coat rack animated by Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding.
Oh, to be a child again . . .
- Kirsten I.
. . . when I could enjoy everyone in this movie. Singing, dancing, they all looked and sounded good to me. Now I like to watch Sinatra, Vivian Blaine, and Stubby Kaye to no end--they are in their element in this musical. But why did Hollywood cast non-singers in leading roles? They did that with West Side Story, too, and now I like to watch the Jets, the Sharks, and Anita, but not Tony and Maria. At least Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons did their own singing in Guys & Dolls, and it isn't terrible. It just isn't what I go to movie musicals for, any more. When I was a child, it truly didn't matter. I enjoyed the whole movie, the sets, the music, and all the performers. They're all charming, really. Brando and Simmons are very convincing when they're not singing.
Mr. Sinatra & Mr. Kaye
Mr. Sinatra's fans will be glad he sings his songs how he wants to. As others write, I agree that his acting deserves much more serious praise than it seems to get (I think we'll make this the year for it!). This film is no exception, his acting talent as a regular masculine guy, who has to change his ways, shines as brightly as his singing. Mr. Kaye is a remarkably talented performer too, w/a really nice clear voice that's easy to listen to. It's easy to understand his success on stage.
Good performances, adequate screen adaptation
GUYS AND DOLLS
Great old fun Damon Runyan musical based on the hit Broadway show. It pays to pay your dues in show business. Example, Sheldon Leonard always playing the greasy, heavy, gangster with a slow drawl. Biding his time, never getting a shot at a lead part, in the 40s. Then boom! along comes television. He invests his time, energy and money in sitcoms, Danny Thomas, Andy Griffith, quiz shows and on and on, and ends up as rich as most of the big time movie stars he had to second and third banana for. This movie comes off like you were sitting in a theatre watching a live show. Love the period sets and clothes. Takes me back to when I was a little kid in the early 1950s. Frank Sinatra fits in perfectly with the slang expressions. The skinny kid from Jersey who always had an angle, or a con going on. He was born for this part. Great fun.
Guys & Dolls
- Dashiell B.
A colourful film adaptation of the Broadway play. Brando makes his musical debut as a suave gambler who bets Sinatra that he can seduce Simmons, in a Golden Globe winning performance. Memorable musical numbers are made more extravagant by the Oscar-nominated cinematography, costumes, production design & score. Not enough interest is put into Sinatra's story as it is into Brando & Simmons obviously-predictable story, but it's still entertaining. I give it a 4/5.
Guys and Dolls
- Wild Bill
A Fabulous Musical ! Marlon Brando sings . No one uses contractions LOL But it was great !
Be a Sport, Pal, and See It
- Boy from Brooklyn
The garish cartoonlike sets and costumes are a gas, and just right for this urban fable. Preserving Vivian Blaine's performance of "Adelaide's Lament" and Stubby Kaye's of "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat" was a service to posterity. And count me in the party that thinks that Marlon Brando managed to make his very inability to sing and dance interesting. That's enough: "Guys and Dolls" is worth watching, even if the movie makers did chop out a third of the great Frank Loesser score and substitute a lot of draggy lesser material. Play the original cast album or see it on stage sometime to get what you're missing.
Well, let's give Marlon a break here. He did not do that many musicals. If you have ever been to a stage play the singing and dancing is not all Sinatra and Astair. Let's be realistic. Back in the day many actors were required to sing, dance and act. Those who could not sing had their voices dubbed. I think Marlon was fine. He never claimed to be a Sinatra and Sinatra never claimed to be a Marlon. I like them both in this movie which is done more like a stage production. I like to hear actors in their own voices as long as they are passable. Of course, Marlon was more handsome and a stronger leading man, at least to me. Sinatra was a very good actor and it is very difficult for some musicians to cross over into acting which he did successfully and should be commended for his talent. I enjoy the story and the supporting cast. This is a fun film I recommend it to those who can maintain an open mind.
- jack thehat
For an A rated film this was awfull--miscast and at times boring. I'm trying to figure out why some liked it. Name recognition I guess. Sam's last and worst!
Guys And Dolls - Runyon With Music
- Bruce Reber
"Guys and Dolls" (1955) is an entertaining musical comedy based on a Damon Runyon story, featuring colorful New York characters and a great Frank Loesser music score. The photography, sets and costumes also add to the overall atmosphere of this classic musical. It would have liked to see "Guys and Dolls" with the two male leading roles reversed, i.e. Marlon Brando as Nathan Detroit and Frank Sinatra as Sky Masterson. I hear that Sinatra really wanted the role of Sky, and he was quite disappointed when it went to Brando. I think that Sinatra was way more suited for the role, especially the "Luck Be A Lady" number, which Brando sings (he was certainly one of the greatest actors ever, but he left much to be desired as a singer). Sinatra got some payback later on when he scored a huge hit with "Luck Be A Lady", which went on to become one of his all-time standards. Jean Simmons, Vivian Blaine, Stubby Kaye and the rest of the cast all give good performances in their roles, but the casting of Brando seems to be the one gaffe in an otherwise excellent film. One of the popular male vocalists of the day should have been cast as Sky, but I don't know who it could have been.
Sinatra vs. Brando
I've seen this movie countless times since I was a kid. I've always loved it; love the sets, colors, songs and acting...wellll, except for Brando. I've never liked Brando even when I was a kid. It was interesting (and not surprising) reading Rob Nixon's "behind the camera" scuttlebutt on the rivalry between Sinatra and Brando. It's unfortunate, though, that Mankiewicz seemingly sided with Brando--I thought him a better judge of character--he's certainly a brilliant director. I agree with Sinatra (if he really said it) that Brando is one of the most over-rated actors ever. He [Brando] has never brought me to tears, say the way Sinatra did in Von Ryan's Express, Some Came Running, and From Here to Eternity (where, incidentally, he played a supporting role and stole the screen!). If Brando was over-rated as a musical thespian--which I think he was, Sinatra was most certainly under-rated as an actor. Whenever I think of this film, I think of Frank Sinatra, Vivian Blaine, and Stubby Kaye...I always forget that Brando and Simmons were also in this film. I'll bet I'm not the only one.
Guys and Dolls is yet another over-achieving musical from the days of true show business. Well cast, and even a believable story, nearly every song is hit-worthy and just begging to be sung along to. Frank Sinatra is marvelous as Nathan Detroit, playing his part with melancholic passion fitting to his character, and who needs to ask whether The Voice had great songs or not? Marlon Brando does, however, very nearly steal the show as Sky Masterson. Perhaps Marlon could never have been a singer, but only one song, 'Luck Be a Lady' reveals his if-y voice. However, it is sung with such passion and meaning that it hardly matters that he was no crooner. Jean Simmons is delightful, as are the other characters. This film will make you laugh and sigh. It is one of those which can be watched over and over, and then over again.
A Little Bit of Everything
This is one of my favorite musicals. Everyone in the movie plays a great part, and it has something for everyone! Who knew Brando could be in a musical? This is a MUST SEE for anyone that appreciates a good love story, a good comedy and/or a good musical.
This is a good movie with good acting. I was hooked to watching it right away.Nice romance story. The begining of the typical guy dates girl because of bet. guy falls in love with girl until she is told about bet.