GUYS AND DOLLS (1955)

Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Samuel Goldwyn took a chance on fantasy, in a Hollywood in love with realism, and came up a winner with the top box office film of 1955. With Joseph L. Mankiewicz at the helm and stage veteran Oliver Smith designing the stylized sets, the picture was set in a never-never land, with no location shots or rear projections at all. GUYS AND DOLLS was adapted from a hit musical that was itself an adaptation of Damon Runyon's popular short stories about life among the gamblers and gangsters of Broadway. Goldwyn put two of the screen's top box-office stars in the leads. Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra clashed repeatedly during filming, mostly over their different acting styles, but their names sold tickets. As they quarreled, Jean Simmons, as repressed mission worker Sarah Brown, almost walked off with the picture. Although she had never done a musical before, she worked tirelessly until she could hold her own against Sinatra and original cast members like Vivian Blaine and Stubby Kaye.

In attendance: Illeana Douglas.

GUYS AND DOLLS
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