Genre Guesstimation – Guys and Dolls (1955)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s genre has been chosen by Virginie of The Wonderful World of Cinema and we will be reviewing our favorite Movies Based on Plays.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of July by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Virginie!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Movies Based on Plays.


“Well, I used to be bad when I was a kid, but ever since then I’ve gone straight, as has been proved by my record: Thirty-three arrests and no convictions! ” – Big Jule

Number of Times Seen – 1 (5 Jul 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Two gamblers make a bet that one of them can convince a cold hearted missionary to go out to dinner with him.

My Take on it – This is another film musical that I’ve known about for years yet never really had much interest in seeing what it was all about.

The cast of this film is spectacular with Frank Sinatra, Jena Simmons, Vivian Blaine and Marlon Brando all doing great jobs with these characters and take the film to nice heights.

Brando has been known to play characters who mumble their lines throughout his films, but in this one, he is able to manage to sing really well despite this.

This film is filled with some great and iconic songs and even though I’d never seen this movie or the play it was based on before, I was familiar with a number of the tunes from other sources.

Most notably among them are Luck Be A Lady and Fugue for Tinhorns [which I recall from Oh God, You Devil (1984)].

The story is told in a fun way even if believing it requires a real stretch of the imagination.

At two and a half hours, this film is a bit too long and that causes a few too many lulls in the story along the way which take away from things.

Despite this tho, the film remains quite enjoyable especially since it’s quite hard to get some of the sings out of my head ever since watching it.

Bottom Line – Amazing cast takes this musical to great heights. Watching Sinatra, Simmons, Brando and Blaine in this film is great to see since they all do wonderful jobs with their roles. Despite Brando’s expectations for mumbling, he manages to do a stellar job even in the parts where he needs to sing. The songs of this film are quite iconic and I was shocked to realize how many of them  was already familiar with from other sources – especially Luck Be A Lady and Fugue for Tinhorns [which I recall from Oh God, You Devil (1984)]. The story itself is a bit of stretch yet manages to still be enjoyable throughout.  Two and a half hours is a bit too long for this story and there are a few more lulls than necessary along the way, but overall this is quite fun. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Marlon Brando had been cast in the role of Sky Masterson, a role coveted by Frank Sinatra, while Sinatra was relegated to the supporting role of Nathan Detroit. Relations between the two actors were strained during production. Many years later, Brando said of Sinatra, “Frank’s the kind of guy who, when he gets to Heaven, is going to give God a hard time for making him bald.” (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Comes close. great songs but the premise seems a bit strained throughout. The long running time also has a few too many lulls on the way.

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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5 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – Guys and Dolls (1955)

  1. One of the classic musicals of all time – I HAVE seen it on Broadway (a revival with Nathan Lane) – and to complain about a MUSICAL that runs 2 and 1/2 hours is ridiculous. It’s a story with SONGS – that always makes it longer than usual, plus I think a couple of songs NOT in the Broadway show were added to the film as originals for Sinatra. i may also be prejudiced – because I played Nathan Detroit in this show at summer camp and both of my kids were in their high school production of it. It remains one of my favorites – and Brando was terrific. The ONLY cast member from the original Broadway show to make it into the film BTW was Vivian Blaine.

    Liked by 1 person

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