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GUYS AND DOLLS

Director: JOSEPH L. MANKIEWICZ

150 minutes, U.S.A., 1955, Colour, D-Cinema


IFI CLASSIC

Adapted from the hit 1950 stage musical, Mankiewicz’s stylish version of Guys and Dolls has been restored. It remains a treasurable delight, with its quaint vision of a New York inhabited by illegal gamblers and the religiously pious created on a Hollywood sound stage. The plot revolves around a bet made between beleaguered fixer Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) and the flash gadabout Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando). Masterson has to woo the leader of the local save-a-soul mission or face losing $1000.

While there was reportedly tension between Sinatra and Brando after Sinatra thought he should have had the showier role of Masterson, both give captivating performances and Frank Loesser’s songs are brilliantly performed. Sinatra’s vocal chops are unquestionable, Brando’s are fascinating (this would be his only performance in a musical) though it’s arguable that Stubby Kaye steals the show from both of them with his rousing rendition of Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.

★★★★ The Irish Times ★★★★ Daily Mail

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