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#408- Guys and Dolls

Quick recap: Oh boy. So basically, all the guys want Nathan Detroit to find a place to host his gambling night but all these girls -dolls, if you will- keep mucking things up.

Fun (?) fact: There are very few contractions used for the dialogue. This was to make the characters’ lack of education noticeable, even though they tried to cover it up.

Brando and SInatra did not get along well during filming. Knowing he hated cheesecake, Brando kept flubbing his lines purposefully during the diner so that Sinatra would have to keep eating.

Thoughts and observations: 

  • This is the first time I can say definitively that the movie version is so much better than the live version. Usually I prefer live because it’s so hard to replicate the energy. But when you have Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra in starring roles, how could anything else compare?
  • The dancing is absolutely stunning and the craps game in the sewer might be my favorite number of all time. Brando’s singing, however………at least he admitted it was awful.
  • The chemistry between Brando’s character, Sky Masterson, and Jean Simmons as Sarah Brown was also a high point for me. I wasn’t feeling it at first but the scene where Sarah sobers up at the fountain in Cuba was so sweet and believable. The wedding at the end was a bit of a left turn seeing as how they had just started dating but this was the fifties after all, so why not?
  • My least favorite part of the film were the Hot Box scenes with Adelaide. Were cats sexy back then? Was that really a thing? With lyrics such as ‘talk to me pretty/ ‘Here kitty kitty!/ and pet me poppa, poppa pet me nice’, I could barely look at the screen. The later number ‘Take Back Your Mink’ was a little better because it involved stripping, which is sexier than cats, I suppose.
  • I recognized a couple of the songs, mainly ‘Luck Be a Lady’ but most didn’t stick out to me. That being said, I felt like the music was really well integrated with the story. Yes, people burst into song but even when they moved, it was very graceful and purposeful so singing just made sense in this world. I especially enjoyed the gamblers at the mission and how they were able to keep their gruffness even as they sang.

Watchability score: 5/5. The more I think about it, the more I love it!

Up next: Solaris

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