2 January 2010 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Optimum, £15.99

Excellent screen version (directed by David Swift) of the Broadway musical, a satire on the world of big business, by the Guys and Dolls team of Abe Burrows (book) and Frank Loesser (music and lyrics). The original stage version won the 1962 Pulitzer prize for drama. Robert Morse recreates his stage role as the nebbish who uses the eponymous "How to" book to promote himself from window-cleaner to the president of a Manhattan corporation. The interwar crooner Rudy Vallee repeats his Broadway part as the eccentric boss.

Essentially it's a lite version of Billy Wilder's The Apartment. Superbly photographed by veteran Burnett Guffey (Oscar winner for From Here to Eternity and Bonnie and Clyde), it's furnished wall to wall with witty, melodic songs by Loesser, master of the monosyllabic lyric (eg, the song "A Secretary Is not a Toy" features the couplet: "Her pad is to write in/ Not »

- Philip French

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