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Guys and Dolls [1955 film] (1955)

de Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Director/Screenwriter), Abe Burrows (Librettist), Frank Loesser (Redactor/compositor), Damon Runyon (Original story), Harry Strading, Sr. (Director of Photography)1 més, Jo Swerling (Librettist)

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206199,373 (4.05)4
A gentleman-gambler falls in love with a missionary, while a floating crap-game operator avoids marriage to his long-time fiancee.
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Guys and Dolls (1955)

Marlon Brando – Sky Masterson
Jean Simmons – Sarah Brown
Frank Sinatra – Nathan Detroit
Vivian Blaine – Miss Adelaide

Regis Toomey – Arvide Abernathy
B. S. Pully – Big Jule
Robert Keith – Lt. Brannigan
Stubby Kaye – Nicely-Nicely Johnson
Johnny Silver – Benny Southstreet
Sheldon Leonard – Harry the Horse
Danny Dayton – Rusty Charlie
George E. Stone – Society Max
Kathryn Givney – General Cartwright

Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser
Screenplay by Joseph Mankiewicz, based on the 1950 musical of the same name (book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, loosely based on Damon Runyon’s stories “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” and “Blood Pressure”)
Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz

Colour. 149 min.

=========================================

This is an indifferent musical but a really charming movie. The music is eminently forgettable and the lyrics are hardly memorable. But the rest is a delightful farce.

The story is cute. Two guys, New York gamblers to be precise, must deal with two tough dolls. One of them (Brando) has the seemingly impossible task to take Sister Sarah from the Salvation Army (Simmons) to Havana. The other (Sinatra) has the even tougher task to avoid marriage with a doll (Blaine) to whom he’s been engaged for – 14 years. The dialogue sparkles much more effectively than the lyrics and pokes fun at everything from gambling and marriage to psychology and the Bible. The cast makes the best of every line without taking seriously a single word. The result is a pure joy to watch.

Who knew Brando and Simmons had such flair for comedy and chemistry between them? Their timing is perfect, their intimacy tantalisingly sensual – Brando’s buttoning up Simmons’ jacket must be one of the sexiest moments of the 1950s – and even their singing passable (yes, Brando’s too; no Sinatra obviously, but not too bad either). Sinatra and Blaine are less prominent but even more hilarious. The slightest bit of seriousness would be fatal here, but that guy-and-doll couple never makes that mistake. Every line is grist to their fun mill:

Nathan: I have been running the crap game since I was a juvenile delinquent.
Adelaide: Speaking of chronic conditions, happy anniversary.

Adelaide: Nathan, no matter how terrible a fellow seems, you can never be sure that some girl won’t go for him. Take us.

The whole thing is shot in those gorgeous 1950s colours of which I never seem to get enough. The production design is studio-bound and deliberately unrealistic, but stylish and sometimes even beautiful. There are several impressive feats of choreography, notably the opening on the street, the crap game in the sewer and the Havana debacle. Mankiewicz shapes everything following strictly the golden rule of great direction: minimum intrusion, maximum effect.

All in all, relentless fun, never mind the music and the lyrics. What is the moral? Well, here it is: be careful with your bets if don’t want to end up with cider in your ear. (By the way, Sky was right about Matthew 5:39. It is that bit about the other cheek.) ( )
1 vota Waldstein | Nov 1, 2019 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Mankiewicz, Joseph L.Director/Screenwriterautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Burrows, AbeLibrettistautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Loesser, FrankRedactor/compositorautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Runyon, DamonOriginal storyautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Strading, Harry, Sr.Director of Photographyautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Swerling, JoLibrettistautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Blaine, VivianPerformerautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Brando, Marlonautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Simmons, Jeanautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Sinatra, Frankautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
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A gentleman-gambler falls in love with a missionary, while a floating crap-game operator avoids marriage to his long-time fiancee.

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