Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra and Jean Simmons are the headliners of "Guys and Dolls" (1955), directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz for the Samuel L. Goldwyn Company, but they aren't why I like it so much (I have a fancy packaged DVD of it, with the descriptive booklet and all that). Sure, it has evocative NYC locales of the past and that classic Damon Runyon feel (the book is by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows), but the glossy shine and sets hide the real treasures contained within.
|Stubby is pointing at us. Hi, Stubby, Frank, Johnny! We're keepin' it clean!|
|Marlon Brando working hard at getting Jean Simmons drunk|
|Frank and the boys singing "Adelaide"|
If I have to talk about the headliners, I will admit that Sinatra and Brando probably should have switched roles (which is what Sinatra tried, and failed, to do; Brando was just too big a star). Brando does give a solid presence as Sky, while Sinatra was still not too far past the awkward shy-guy roles that he did in the '40s and so at times is very believable as his hesitant character (Don Knotts in that role would have been unbelievably awesome). Still.... Brando was by far the better actor, and Sinatra by far the better singer, so why they gave Brando the role with the best songs and Sinatra the part with the awkward character situations is beyond me.
|Stubby singing his big number|
|Regis Toomey as Arvide Anthony counseling Jean Simmons as Sgt. Sarah Brown|
|Somebody is conning somebody else|
|Marlon Brando trying to do a deal with Jean Simmons|