Guys and Dolls is the classic Broadway production from 1950, and in 1955 a film adaptation was released. The film grossed over $13,000,000 in the US after a budget of $5,000,000 was used to make the film. Some of the brightest stars of the time were cast in the film, including Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Vivian Blaine and Jean Simmons.
The Sounds of a Classic
The storyline follows Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) as he tries to organise an illegal crap game for a bunch of decidedly dodgy gamblers and gangsters. His fiancé of 14 years is the long suffering Adelaide (played by Vivian Blaine), who is a club singer who yearns for the quiet life away from nightclubs and gambling circles. Jean Simmons plays Sergeant Sarah Brown, who is on a mission to save the souls of conmen and gamblers. Sky Masterson is played by Marlon Brando, and is a smooth talking gambler who seems to bet big money on almost anything that could yield a good return. The soundtrack for the film adaptation is slightly different to the original stage production. Frank Loesser is the lyricist and composer who wrote the original soundtrack for the stage show. For the film adaptation five of the original songs from the Broadway show were dropped, and three brand new songs were written by Loesser for the film. One of the three new tracks ‘Adelaide’ was written specifically for Sinatra. Although five songs were dropped from the film, several of them still make an appearance as incidental background music. The song ‘Marry the Man Today’ from the original stage production was a duet by Sarah and Adelaide and the lyrics discuss a ‘meek’ yet ruthless approach to landing a man, trapping him at all costs, and then making every effort to change his inherent nature. The song was dropped from the film as the lyrics could have been deemed as derogatory.
The song ‘A Woman in Love’ was not in the original stage show and is one of the three songs written specifically for the film. Several artists recorded their versions of this song, many of which became chart hits for the artists involved. The Guys and Dolls soundtrack has become a legendary score over the years, for what has become a classic film.