Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1955. The Samuel Goldwyn Company.Screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, based on the musical play, book by Jo Swerling, Abe Burrows, from a story by Damon Runyon. Cinematography by Harry Stradling Jr.. Produced by Samuel Goldwyn. Music by Frank Loesser. Production Design by Oliver Smith. Costume Design by Irene Sharaff. Film Editing by Daniel Mandell.
Frank Loesser’s fantastic musical, based on stories by Damon Runyon, is served quite faithfully in this thoroughly enjoyable musical. The cast is (surprisingly) headed by Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons, and both of them do exceedingly well in both the singing and dancing departments. They play a notorious gambler (him) and a strait-laced Salvation Army soldier (her) who fall in love despite the differences between them. Also in the mix are Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine (recreating her fantastic role as Adelaide from the Broadway production) who themselves are trying to maintain a romance after being engaged for fourteen years. Song highlights include “Adelaide’s Lament”, “I’ll Know”, “Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat” (performed magnificently by Stubby Kaye, also recreating his stage role) and a fantastic dance sequence that takes place in a Cuban dive.
Academy Award Nominations: Best Cinematography-Colour; Best Art Direction-Colour; Best Costume Design-Colour; Best Scoring of a Musical Picture
Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Jean Simmons)