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on 27 December 2016
Guys and Dolls is one of the great musicals, with a star cast and is based on the Damon Runyon short stories of the 1930s and 1940s with the delightful Runyonese vernacular employed by the gang members. All the cast shine and the film has a magic of its own that has grown over the years.

My remastered Special Edition DVD has an excellent 16:9 colour picture with a steady print and good clear stereo sound. It is not quite as wide as the original cinema release, but the pan and scan cropping seems to have been well considered because I've not noticed anything missing at the sides when watching the DVD.

Once again the TV offerings were dire today and this afternoon we watched something better, in this case Guys and Dolls. I've lost track of how many times we've seen it since we bought the DVD in 2004, but it is always a delight to watch, especially with the addition of some tea and hot buttered crumpets and jam about midway through.

If you don't have a copy then it is something worthwhile to add to the collection.
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on 7 April 2018
It's Stubby Kaye, Jean Simmons, Brando and Sinatra, what can I say? Absolutely fabulous. Brilliant songs, great dancing from all the cast. I love this movie, it takes me back to another time (before I was born!) and is just wonderful. If I had to pick a favourite song, I couldn't but I really love the one at the beginning with Stubby Kaye and Co, and the one near the end, Stubby & Co again! Marlon and Jean aren't such brilliant singers but they do a great job here. In my opinion, that is. Choreography is excellent, as is everything about it. Ten stars, at least!
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on 5 August 2015
This motion pictures dates back to the time when the screen was filled with MGM dancers, singers, of all sizes and colors and in large quantities.
The music is still great and so is the dancing. Could never say enough of Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine. All terrific and also the supporting cast.
But the surprise, and after so many years it is still a surprise, is to listen to Marlon Brando singing, and most of all Brando dancing to Latin-American music. It is really great specially after seeing him in On the Waterfront, A Street Car Name Desire, The Bounty, the Godfather and many, many others. Noone expects Marlon Brando to move it and shake it but he does and does it well and good sining too. Enjoy!
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on 2 August 2015
It is studio bound and the star casting has its problems - Brando's singing voice is an acquired taste but he is otherwise pretty good, Jean Simmons looks lovely and apparently has a good singing voice - no suggestion she was dubbed, but it is made clear that Brando needed all the help he could get from the people playing with sound. Sinatra is fine as Nathan and Vivian Blaine repeats her stage performance beautifully although the numbers in the nightclub seem to be taking place on Drury Lane stage and not in any imagineable club and the Goldwyn Girls do tend to interfere with what she is doing. This is not a great musical film but it is a good film of the show - with omissions, some new songs and a slightly leaden touch over all.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 January 2013
GUYS AND DOLLS [1955] [Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray] [US Import] Hollywood’s Starriest Musical! Samuel Goldwyn’s Greatest Musical!

Gambler Nathan Detroit [Frank Sinatra] has few options for the location of his big craps game. Needing $1,000 to pay a garage owner to host the game, Nathan bets Sky Masterson [Marlon Brando] that Sky cannot get virtuous Sarah Brown [Jean Simmons] out on a date. Despite some resistance, Sky Masterson negotiates a date with her in exchange for bringing people into her mission. Meanwhile, Nathan's long-time fiancée, Adelaide [Vivian Blaine], wants him to go legit and marry her.

FILM FACTS: Awards and Nominations: Academy Awards®: Nominated for Best Art Direction: Oliver Smith, Joseph C. Wright and Howard Bristol. Nominated for Best Cinematography: Harry Stradling. Nominated for Best Costume Design: Irene Sharaff. Nominated for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture: Jay Blackton and Cyril J. Mockridge. BAFTA® Awards: Nominated for Best Film from any Source. Nominated for Best Foreign Actress: Jean Simmons. Golden Globe® Awards: Best Motion Picture for Musical/Comedy. Best Motion Picture Actress for Musical/Comedy: Jean Simmons. The musical numbers performed by Jean Simmons and Marlon Brando were sung by the actors themselves, without dubbing by professional singers. Stubby Kaye [Nicely-Nicely Johnson], B.S. Pully [Big Jule] and Johnny Silver [Benny Southstreet] all repeated their Broadway roles in the film.

Cast: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra, Vivian Blaine, Robert Keith, Stubby Kaye, B.S. Pully, Johnny Silver, Sheldon Leonard, Danny Dayton, George E. Stone, Regis Toomey, Kathryn Givney, Veda Ann Borg, Mary Alan Hokanson, Joe McTurk, Kay E. Kuter, Stapleton Kent, Renee Renor, The Goldwyn Girls, Barbara Brent (uncredited), Noble 'Kid' Chissell (uncredited), Russell Custer (uncredited), Jann Darlyn (uncredited), Madelyn Darrow (uncredited), Larry Duran (uncredited), Rubén de Fuentes (uncredited), June Kirby (uncredited), Matt Mattox (uncredited), Matt Murphy (uncredited), Pat Sheehan (uncredited), Sandra Warner (uncredited), Sonia Warner (uncredited) and Harry Wilson (uncredited)

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Producer: Samuel Goldwyn

Screenplay: Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Ben Hecht (uncredited), Abe Burrows (based upon the play), Damon Runyon and Jo Swerling (based upon the play)

Composer: Frank Loesser

Cinematography: Harry Stradling

Costume Design: Irene Sharaff

Video Resolution: 1080p [Eastman Color]

Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1 [CinemaScope]

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English, French and Spanish

Running Time: 150 minutes

Number of discs: 1

Region: All Regions

Studio: Warner Home Video / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: After well over 60 years, 'Guys and Dolls' remains one of the most popular, oft-revived, and flat-out delightful shows in the Broadway canon, combining an array of clever, hummable Frank Loesser tunes with an irresistible blend of romance, comedy, and memorable Damon Runyon characters. All the ingredients for a classic musical are here, and though producer Samuel Goldwyn's big, brassy film adaptation tries its best to capture the unbridled joy of the stage original, it somehow falls short. Questionable casting and stilted direction surely contribute to the mediocre results, but there's still a lot to like about the film version of 'Guys and Dolls.' Unfortunately, the isolated bits of magic never quite add up to a satisfying whole.

Runyon's milieu was Broadway, and he was a master at depicting the suave, streetwise gamblers, blustery thugs, and sassy babes that roamed the midtown New York streets. His colourful characters spoke like no others, spouting double-talk and shunning contractions, and the resulting formal, awkward speech patterns evolved into a unique, strangely lyrical dialect that could only be had with a film like 'Guys and Dolls' which is immortalises that world and Frank Loesser sets it to music, composing a marvellous array of catchy melodies enhanced by inspired lyrics that perfectly suit the material.

The simple story of virtue, vice, and ultimate redemption is told like a fable, and chronicles the romantic travails of two couples. The commitment phobic Nathan Detroit [Frank Sinatra], who runs "the oldest established, permanent floating crap game in New York," has been affianced to marry to the charmingly ditzy Miss Adelaide [Vivian Blain], a sexy nightclub singer, for 14 years (yes, 14 years!). Nathan has deftly dodged the altar, but the stress of the interminable engagement has taken a toll on Adelaide, triggering a psychosomatic respiratory affliction. "In other words," she sings in her iconic musical lament, "just from waiting around for that plain little band of gold, a person can develop a cold." Nathan is sympathetic, but is preoccupied with acquiring some quick cash to front a game for out-of-town big shot Big Jule [B.S. Pully]. In a last-ditch effort, Nathan bets debonair gambler Sky Masterson [Marlon Brando] a thousand bucks he can't convince prim and proper Sarah Brown [Jean Simmons], the leader of the local Save-a-Soul mission, to accompany him to Havana for dinner. This sets in motion a typical opposite-attract romance that tests the will of both Sarah Brown and Sky Masterson, forcing them to accept each other's frailties and make critical concessions in the name of love, all amid lively songs and energetic choreography by Michael Kidd.

From the film version of 'Guys and Dolls' raised eyebrows. Producer Samuel Goldwyn shelled out the then-record sum of $1 million for the show's rights, then bankrolled the rest of the $5.5 million budget himself. In other surprising moves, he hired OSCAR® winning director Joseph L. Mankiewicz for 'All About Eve,' who had never before, or, ironically, since, directed a musical, to adapt and film the material, and tapped Frank Sinatra to play the subordinate role of Nathan instead of the more dashing Sky Masterson, much to the actor-singer's dismay and disgust. Sky Masterson went to, of all people, Marlon Brando, who also had no prior musical experience. Reportedly, Frank Sinatra, unable to contain his resentment, sulked through the filming, causing strained relations on the set. The beautiful Jean Simmons, another non-singer, somehow landed the part of Sarah, while the only sensible casting choice allowed Vivian Blaine to reprise her portrayal of Miss Adelaide, which she originated to great acclaim on Broadway.

And instead of shooting the film on location in New York City, which would have lent 'Guys and Dolls' a priceless authenticity, stylised sets were used, heightening the sense of artificiality and staginess that often permeates this film. Joseph L. Mankiewicz's screenplay beefs up the characters' personalities, but his straightforward shooting method are lacking the fluid motion and creative composition necessary to spark excitement. While it's impossible not to be entertained by the songs, dances, and characters, the material is that good! The film still tends to plod along at times, as if afflicted by a nagging malaise. 'Guys and Dolls' is a humdinger of a show, but this production lacks the oomph that has made this musical such a perennial favourite.

Like many stage-to-screen adaptations, new songs were written for the film, replacing old standards. Unfortunately, the lilting “I've Never Been in Love Before,” bouncy “A Bushel and a Peck,” reflective “My Time of Day,” and spritely “Marry the Man Today” were all dropped in favour of three subpar melodies, all penned by Frank Loesser, that never seem to blend into the show's fabric. Thankfully, though, such favourites as “Luck Be a Lady,” “I'll Know,” the title song, “Adelaide's Lament,” “Take Back Your Mink” and “Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat” are all still here and performed with appropriate vim and verve by the cast, which includes a few holdovers, most notably the rotund Stubby Kaye as Nicely-Nicely Johnson, from the Broadway production.

Many also decry Jean Simmons' portrayal of Sarah Brown, but I'm a huge fan of her work in this film. Sure, Samuel Goldwyn could have found a more competent singer, but Jean Simmons, one of the screen's classiest and most beautiful actresses, interprets the lyrics with such sincerity, it's easy to forgive any vocal shortcomings. In fact, my favourite scene in the film is when a drunken Sarah sings the effervescent “If I Were a Bell.” Jean Simmons performs the number with such charm and abandon; we finally feel that elusive sense of joie de vivre for which we've been pining since the brilliant film began.

Blu-ray Video Quality – When done really well, musicals with their vibrant colour palette, splashy sets, and glamorous costumes can be a high-definition lover's dream, and 'Guys and Dolls' is a perfect example of just how good an Eastman Color classic can look in 1080p. I remember all too well watching faded, bad quality prints of 'Guys and Dolls' on TV when I was younger, so seeing Warner Bros. meticulous re-master of this eye-filling musical was a revelation. Possessing a strikingly palpable film-like feel, thanks to a layer of fine grain, this high-quality 1080p effort combines cosy warmth with bold accents to create an extremely satisfying visual experience. Crystal clarity and well-pitched contrast allow details to pop and lend the image a lovely sense of depth. Colours are beautifully saturated, with both luscious primaries and cool pastels emitting a nice sheen. The red carnations on the gamblers' jackets, their multi-coloured neckties, and the red uniforms of the mission workers pump up the picture's excitement quotient and are complemented by rich and inky black levels and natural, stable flesh tones. Patterns, from the intricate plaid of Nicely-Nicely's jacket to Frank Sinatra's muted pinstripe, are rock solid and resist shimmering, while the satin, feathers, and furs adorning the Hot Box Girls exude a fine array of textures. Close-ups are sharp yet never harsh, and background elements come through cleanly. And speaking of clean, not a single nick, scratch, line, or speck of dust dot the pristine source material, which really looks like it was minted yesterday. A few soft edges occasionally creep in, but they're never pronounced enough to disrupt anyone's enjoyment of this superior effort. Any digital doctoring also escapes notice, and no banding, noise, or other annoyances crop up. Fans of classic cinema will be thrilled with this excellent transfer, which pumps even more energy into 'Guys and Dolls.'

Blu-ray Audio Quality – The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track pumps out clear, vibrant sound. Stereo separation is nicely pronounced across the front channels, with effects seamlessly dovetailing to the left and right, but rear activity is quite limited. Atmospherics, such as the din at Mindy's Restaurant, possess good presence, and accents like footsteps are crisp and distinct. Dialogue is always easy to understand, and a wide dynamic scale handles all the demands of the brassy score without a hint of distortion. The musical numbers sound great, filling the room yet remaining connected to the rest of the mix. Vocals are nicely prioritized, but instrumentals never receive short shrift. There are even some stellar instances of weighty bass enhancing various melodies and the fracas in the Havana bar. Best of all, any age-related imperfections, such as hiss, pops, and crackles have been completely erased. The 'Guys and Dolls' soundtrack won't blow anyone away, but for a well over a 60-year-old film, the audio will be music to even the most discriminating ears.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Special Feature: Guys and Dolls: The Goldwyn Touch [480i] [4:3] [24:00] Members of the Frank Loesser family, the son of Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and Samuel Goldwyn's biographer discuss the distinctive "Goldwyn Touch" that permeates the independent producer's work and how it relates specifically to 'Guys and Dolls' in this interesting and informative piece. The participants also talk about the production's genesis, Goldwyn's attraction to the property, and the changes Joseph L. Mankiewicz made to the original book, and share some entertaining behind-the-scenes anecdotes.

Special Feature: Feature: Guys and Dolls: From Stage to Screen [480i] [4:3] [27:00] Equally absorbing, this feature concentrates on the similarities and differences between the original stage production of 'Guys and Dolls' and its filmed counterpart. Broadway transplants Blaine and Stubby Kaye are saluted, as are The Goldwyn Girls, a bevy of beautiful babes who supported Blaine in the nightclub numbers. The cut songs are also examined, and we hear of Frank Loesser's disappointment over their deletion, as well as their replacements, and choreographer Michael Kidd discusses in detail various dances and how they were adapted for the screen.

Special Short Feature: More Guys and Dolls Stories [480i] [4:3] [8:00] This collection of five snippets, each running under three minutes, is comprised of outtakes from the above features, and covers all aspect of this film and they include: Adelaide [480i] [4:3] [00:51] Features Tom Mankiewicz talking about his father's secretary who was named Adelaide. Brando Dance Lesson [480i] [4:3] [1:34] has Michael Kidd talking about teaching Marlon Brando to dance. Goldwyn's Career [480i] [4:3] [2:38] offers biographer A. Scott Berg talking about the producer Samuel Goldwyn. On the Set [480i] [4:3] [1:12] brings back Tom Mankiewicz who talks about being on the set as a kid while the picture was being shot. Rehearsing Adelaide [480i] [4:3] [1:29] has Michael Kidd talking about the song Frank Loesser wrote specifically for Frank Sinatra for the film.

Special Feature: Musical Performances [1080p] Six 'Guys and Dolls' numbers, but why not all of them? They are assembled here for easy access: “Fugue for Tinhorns,” “Guys and Dolls,” “I'll Know,” “Adelaide,” “Luck Be a Lady” and “Sue Me.” Sadly, Jean Simmons' marvellous rendition of “If I Were a Bell” is not included, nor is Vivian Blaine's pitch-perfect “Adelaide's Lament” or Stubby Kaye's rousing “Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat.” Shame on you, Warner Bros.

Theatrical Trailer [480i] [4:3] [5:00] Impresario Ed Sullivan "hosts" this lengthy preview in his inimitable "really big show" style.

Finally, 'Guys and Dolls' is far from the best Hollywood musical, but it possesses enough stellar moments to continue to merit our attention for more than 60 years after its initial release. Damon Runyon's irresistible characters and Frank Loesser's exceptional score more than compensate for the offbeat casting and sluggish direction that consistently threaten to sabotage this classic show. Despite such challenges, 'Guys and Dolls' still manages to entertain, and this top-flight Blu-ray from Warner Home Video showcases all the flash and dynamism of this colourful production. Excellent video and audio transfers make us forget the film's age, and a nice array of supplements adds essential historical context that any classic movie buff will appreciate. Shortcomings aside, 'Guys and Dolls' remains one of the all-time great American musicals and for that reason, as well as Warner Home Video superior Blu-ray package, it certainly earns my recommendation. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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on 30 August 2016
I love the musical but most disappointed that it was in widescreen. Unfortunately it made the screen from top to bottom very narrow with the black bars top and bottom taking up a large part of the screen and therefore not showing the full length of the actors. When ordering I did not see anywhere that it was the widescreen version. If I had I would not have purchased the DVD.
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on 13 December 2011
Guys and Dolls (1952) is a watchable musical about love relationships, identity, and life in an age marred by drink and gambling. It's nice to see it in colour but this version is now aged markedly and in need of restoration and the sound isn't great.

This is a tour de force production from MGM with some excellent choreography and dancing and energy. The opening is always a pleasure to see. Marlon Brando starred in this though he is underwhelming and not really the point. Frank Sinatra is very good. I don't of course limit my praise to both of them - the whole cast is very good and there is a nice documentary in this DVD.

The songs are classic and well written but I was not convinced that the versions in this film were as entertaining and original as some later theatre productions I've seen.
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on 17 November 2017
My granddaughter is appearing in this show so thought I'd get her the original film to see what it was like. As Frank Sinatra is an all time favourite of mine it was no hardship getting this film. The music is good, the cinematography is good and the stars sparkle.
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on 12 February 2018
Good for your nostgia (idealism and all), this family friendly musical is to prohibition what 'Pretty Woman' is to ladies of the night!
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on 9 August 2014
This is a great edition because it has the film, plus extras, that give some of the background of the production, casting, choreography, music etc. The film is almost two films - the cartoonish showbiz film with sinatra and blaine, and then the more touching , realist acting film of Brando and Simmons - it is a colourful treat for the eyes - it just seems to lose energy when Brando and Simmons aren't around, for me anyhow.
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