Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer of cinema: Guys and Dolls

Remember when we all watched movies on VHS?  And if there were trailers before the feature, we either had to watch them or carefully fast forward through them?  I still have, hiding in a closet somewhere, my collection of childhood DVDs.  And when I first started it, aside from the many Disney princess movies, that collection was dominated by musicals.  There were the double-tape epics 'My Fair Lady' and 'The Sound of Music', as well as the not-quite-child-appropriate 'Grease' and  others.

The musicals that I did have were watched many, many times.  But they represented just a handful of the entries in that genre, and many remain that I haven't seen yet.  'Guys and Dolls', for example, was not one of the musicals I grew up with.  It seemed like a worthy use the second of my ten Flix Tix passes to see it as part of the Paramount Theater Classic Film Series, having already seen Destry Rides Again.
Though I had never seen the movie before, it did feature in the trailers for some of the musicals I did own, so I suppose I have seen the same 5 seconds enough times to match it's total run time.  But it was good to see the other 9,000+ seconds and put that well-known 5 seconds in context.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie and I think I need to add it to my DVD collection.  Some of the songs are still popping into my head a week later, and I have to say, the Crapshooters Dance was like the Sharks and the Jets rolling dice on the set of 'Metropolis'.  Marlon Brando was very...Marlon Brando.  His romance with the upstanding citizen Sally Brown is sweet, though it does make me wonder just how many fictional romances are begun as bets.  I guess 'She's All That' utilized some classic tropes.  Frank Sinatra was fantastic, of course, but I think Vivian Blaine was my favorite as Adelaide.

Stay tuned for something completely different next time, 'The Third Man'.  Teaser: Orson Welles doesn't sing any show tunes.

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