Guys and Dolls is a 1955 musical, based on a Broadway musical titled Guys and Dolls and written by Frank Loesser. His Musical in turn is based on two short stories by highly regarded writer, Damon Runyon. His stories, Blood Pressure and The Idyll of Miss Brown, were turned into a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. The same choreographer that worked on the Musical, Michael Kidd, also did the production of the dances for the film.
The film was produced by Samuel Goldwyn Mayer Productions and was distributed by Metro Goldwyn Mayer. The film was a commercial success with a budget of $5 million and a global box office return of $20 million. Frank Loesser wrote three new songs for the film, Adelaide being written specifically for Frank Sinatra, with five songs from the stage production not being included other than background instrumentals.
Guys And Dolls and Plot
Guys and Dolls is a musical about two love stories. On the one hand the long time engagement between gambler Nathan Detroit and his fiancée Miss Adelaide. On the other hand, new love is blooming between Sky Masterson and Sergeant Sarah Brown. Nathan, played by Frank Sinatra, makes a wager with Sky, played by Marlon Brando for $1000. He must take the local Save-A-Soul Mission sister, Sergeant Sarah Brown, played by Jean Simmons.
The Stakes Get Higher
Sky acts as a gambler wanting to repent and tells Sarah that he will bring more willing souls to the mission if she agrees to one date with him. Eventually she gives in and Sky gets his gambling buddies to go along with the ruse. He takes Sarah on a date, her inhibitions melt away and they fall in love. When they get back home though, Nathan has used the empty mission hall to organize an illegal craps game.
The police show up to make arrests but all the gamblers get away before they can be collared, the police raise concerns that this could be Sky’s doing and Sarah agrees and she splits with Sky, now it is up to him to make amends with the love of his life. He will also need to help Nathan escape the clutches of the new big mobster in town, Big Jule, Played by BS Pully.
Guys And Dolls Leaves a Lasting Legacy
The film has great pacing and great characters. Marlon Brando’s performance is a breath of fresh air and contrasts well with Frank Sinatra’s more “classical” performance. From here on out though, Marlon Brando would come to redefine acting and change the modern acting landscape forever.
Guys and Dolls won multiple awards and nominations upon release. It won Best Motion Picture –Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes as well as the Best Actress in a Musical Or Comedy for Jean Simmons. The film was nominated for Best Picture at the Baftas including a best actress nomination for Jean Simmons. The Academy Awards lauded the most praise on the film with nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Music. Guys And Dolls unfortunately did not receive any wins at the awards. The American Film Institute ranked the famous song, Luck Be A Lady Tonight as the 42nd greatest song from film