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Guys and Dolls (1955)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 9,951 users  
Reviews: 124 user | 44 critic

In New York, a gambler is challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana, but they fall for each other, and the bet has a hidden motive to finance a crap game.

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(based upon the play: "Guys and Dolls" book by), (based upon the play: "Guys and Dolls" book by), 3 more credits »
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Title: Guys and Dolls (1955)

Guys and Dolls (1955) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
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Robert Keith ...
Stubby Kaye ...
B.S. Pully ...
...
...
Danny Dayton ...
Rusty Charlie (as Dan Dayton)
...
Society Max
...
Kathryn Givney ...
General Cartwright
Veda Ann Borg ...
Laverne
Mary Alan Hokanson ...
Agatha
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Storyline

All the hot gamblers are in town, and they're all depending on Nathan Detroit to set up this week's incarnation of "The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York"; the only problem is, he needs $1000 to get the place. Throw in Sarah Brown, who's short on sinners at the mission she runs; Sky Masterson, who accepts Nathan's $1000 bet that he can't get Sarah Brown to go with him to Havana; Miss Adelaide, who wants Nathan to marry her; Police Lieutenant Brannigan, who always seems to appear at the wrong time; and the music/lyrics of Frank Loesser, and you've got quite a musical. Includes the songs: Fugue for Tinhorns, "Luck Be a Lady", "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat". Written by Syam Gadde <gadde@cs.duke.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gambler | craps | bet | song | police | See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 January 1956 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Eles e Elas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (with overture and exit music)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System) (magnetic prints)| (optical prints)

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Very few contractions--"aren't" for "are not" or "wouldn't" for "would not", for example--are used in the dialogue in this movie (the songs are a different story). While it makes the language seem stilted and excessively formal at times, this is true to the writings of Damon Runyon. He also eschewed the use of contractions, and this characteristic gave his works a very recognizable style. See more »

Goofs

Sky Masterson's handwriting on the back of the Bible verse card changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Nathan Detroit: Everybody in the whole world who hates me is now here.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Adelaide
(1955) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Sung by Frank Sinatra and other men in the bar
Reprized as background music when Sky meets with Adelaide about Nathan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It's chemistry! Enduring and quirky musical
28 April 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm intrigued by the strong sense of favour towards (or sympathy for!) Sinatra in the other reviews here. I've read elsewhere that Sinatra never seems to have forgiven anyone for *not* being cast as Sky Masterson.

OK, so who wouldn't want to be cast as Sky Masterson? – it's a great part: the charismatic successful gambler who makes a grave mistake when he allows himself to be suckered into a bet, in which he must take Salvation Army Sargeant Sarah Brown on a date to Cuba, or lose. It's not the money – it's the pride, but he and she meet their match. Meanwhile Nathan Detroit must juggle his long-suffering fiancée Adelaide with trying to find a spot for a craps game which will make him rich if it doesn't alienate his fiancée forever first.

The film started life as a series of short stories by Damon Runyon: that's his unique dialogue you hear, and those are his great character names, and that's his horse-racing/nightclub/late night gambling world. Then it became a musical, and you can't help but feel that in film form it never really left the stage. The camera is unusually static and the sets remarkably – and not pleasingly – flat and childlike. Fortunately the music is so great, I don't care that much.

My absolute favourite thing about this film, though, is the singing and acting of the two non-singers, Brando (as Sky) and Jean Simmons (as Sargeant Sarah Brown). Of course, putting pro singers into these roles would have produced better music; but what surely gets forgotten is that two such excellent actors brought something else to the party instead: what they lacked in vocal talent they more than made up for in gusto, acting ability, and pathos, pathos, pathos. You're with Sky as he argues with Sarah against reason, steadiness, pipes and safety. You enjoy Sarah's loosening up under the influence of Cuban "milk". You feel completely the suddenness and passion of their scene in the courtyard with bells ringing and an hour to go before the plane takes them home. As Sky rightly says, it's "chemistry". Pro singers – be they Broadway belters or smooth crooners – can't necessarily be relied on to make this happen. (And they certainly didn't.) I read somewhere that Brando criticised Sinatra for not putting all of himself into his role of Nathan Detroit. Sinatra in turn was infuriated by Brando's four-take acting method. As a Brando fan (does it show?!) I'm bound to take the other side, but I can't imagine that this film would have been the much-adored classic it is today if Brando and Simmons hadn't been in it with their wonderful chemistry; Brando's unpredictability; Simmons' face, all pink cheeks and brown hair, drunk and ashamed in a Cuban bar. Beautiful. I'll always want a copy of this film lying around in case I need to feel good again. You'll forgive me if give some of the Nathan (sleep)talking parts the 100% brush-off though, won't you? You won't? Oh, be quiet and have some more of Mindy's cheesecake!


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