Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls

Movie: Guys and Dolls
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Produced by: MGM, Samuel Goldwyn Company
Released By:
MPAA Rating:

This 1955 film began life as two Runyon short stories, the most prominent of which was “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown.” This material was fleshed out into a 2-act libretto by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling, then set to music by Frank Loesser and directed by George S. Kaufman. Opening late in 1950, Guys and Dolls was one of Broadway’s hottest tickets for several seasons. The plot involves a certain Broadway citizen by the name of Nathan Detroit, who maintains the “Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York.” Seeking a location for his latest high-stakes game, Nathan has an opportunity to rent out the Biltmore Garage, but he needs $1000 to do so. He decides to extract the money from high-rolling Sky Masterson, known for his willingness to bet on anything. Nathan wagers that Sky will not be able to talk the virginal Salvation Army lass Sarah Brown into going on a date with him. While Sky goes to work on Sarah, Nathan endeavors to fend off his girlfriend Miss Adelaide, who has developed a psychosomatic cold because of her frustrating 14-year engagement to the slippery Mr. Detroit. Thanks to some fast finagling, Sky is able to take Sarah on that date, flying to Havana for this purpose. By the time they’ve returned to New York, Sky and Sarah are in love, but their ardor cools off abruptly when Nathan, unable to secure the Biltmore garage, attempts to use Sarah’s mission as the site of his crap game.

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