Opened: November 3, 1955
Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Starring: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra, Vivian Blaine, Stubby Kaye, B.S. Pully, Johnny Silver, Robert Keith, Sheldon Leonard, Danny Dayton, George E. Stone, Regis Toomey & Kathryn Givney
With a lengthy runtime and outdated themes, Guys and Dolls was probably fantastic when it came out but hasn’t age well.
Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) is trying to set up an illegal craps game but needs $1000 to secure the location. He makes a bet with infamous gambler Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando), who’s about to travel to Havana, that Sky can’t get “Save a Soul” mission leader Sarah Brown (Jean Simmons) to go with him.
There’s not much that feels high stakes in this film other than jail time, especially with the two female characters being utilized only to drive the men’s stories forward with little development on their own.
It’s clear that Brando doesn’t have the vocal ability to carry a musical. He doesn’t sound terrible, but there’s definite limitations to his voice.
Final say: Sorry guys – and dolls. ★★☆☆☆