Guys And Dolls, movie review: Re-released adaptation combines opulence with earthy, street-level humour

(U) Joseph L Mankiewicz, 143 mins. Starring: Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons

Geoffrey McNab
Friday 19 December 2014 01:00
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Jean Simmons and Marlon Brando in 'Guys and Dolls'
Jean Simmons and Marlon Brando in 'Guys and Dolls'

Re-released in a spanking new digital restoration, Joseph L Mankiewicz's adaptation of the Frank Loesser Broadway musical, itself adapted from Damon Runyon stories, looks a treat. The wonder of the film is that it combines widescreen colour and opulence with an earthy, street-level humour.

Mankiewicz's casting was astute. Frank Sinatra is just right as the sharply dressed but endlessly harassed gambler Nathan Detroit, while Marlon Brando brings a Method-style intensity as well as an unexpected charm to his role as the hustler Sky Masterson, out to seduce Salvation Army prude Jean Simmons to win an outlandish bet.

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