I Got the Rating Right Here – A Review of Guys and Dolls (1955)

by Cesidia on February 8, 2012

thumbnailWhen I was in 7th grade our high school performed Guys and Dolls. I remember watching the school preview sitting on the edge of my seat so excited to see the whole that next weekend. I had always loved the show since seeing the movie version a few years before that. My father, being a huge Frank Sinatra fan, could not find it in his heart to not own Guys and Dolls on DVD. Years later this is still one of my favorite old musicals. It’s got everything a musical geek could ask for: great songs, amazing harmonies, really cool costumes, attractive leads, and a happy ending.

One of the first songs in this musical is actually one of my favorites. My junior year my select choir actually got to perform this song, complete with accents of course. The song I am referring to is Fugue for Tinhorns. It’s a trio of three gangsters arguing that their horse is going to win. Each of them sings their own section atop the other two. It sounds really cool and at the end they sing this really interesting harmony with some minor notes to give it this really cool effect.

Like father, like daughter I am also a huge fan of Frank Sinatra. His voice is so amazing and he makes a great Nathan Detroit. Although his hat makes his head look really small. I don’t really like the hat all that much. But regardless Frank Sinatra does a great job playing this New York City Gangster and his singing blows me away as usual. Marlon Brando also does an amazing job. Being a godfather fan it’s interesting to see Brando in this role because it’s much different from Don Corleone. I also realized that I overestimated the amount Brando changed his voice for the role of the don. I didn’t realize his actual voice sounded very similar. Regardless as he serenades and falls in love with Ms. Sarah Brown you can’t help but fall for his charm as well. It’s like the beauty that tamed the beast. Everyone likes a reformed player. I had forgotten about the scene where Sarah and Skye get into a big brawl while in Havana. It’s actually quite comical as you see Sara punching random girls in the face and beating up people. If only the mission new what she was doing… I also love the scene that comes right after it too. Sara, still in a drunken stupor, sings to Skye If I Were a Bell. At this point we know they are going to fall in love. Unfortunately the whole date is wrecked when they return to the mission to see that the boys have been shooting crap in it. Sarah immediately blames Skye and says she wish she’d never gone with him.

And Nathan’s got his own problems. Adelaide is begging him to marry her after 14 years of being engaged. She sings her lament after kicking him out of her dressing room. She explains the reason she’s sick is because she is still single. Adelaide is more of the common relief in this show. She’s funny and adorable, easily the most lovable character. I love her lament and the duet she sings with Nathan later in the movie Sue Me. She does a great job performing it and Sinatra does a great job serenading both her and the audience with his smooth voice.

Another one of my favorite songs in this movie is what Nicely Nicely sings while in the mission meeting, Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat. Nicely Nicely is another one of my favorite characters and this song is one of the fun chorus numbers in the song. I can still picture my high school’s version of the song. It’s the one scene I can still see vividly. I remember noticing that everyone was having a great time singing this song and you can tell in the movie it’s the same way. So for whether you are a Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando or just a musical fan this is a great movie to add to yo

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