Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Guys and Dolls

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:Very oblique reference to the face of the hotel clerk when an unmarried couple checks in; "Take Back Your Mink" song about a girl who accepts a lot of gifts from a man but is not "one of those girls"
Alcohol/Drugs:Sky gets Sarah drunk in Havana by arranging for her drink to be spiked with liquor
Violence/Scariness:None
Diversity Issues:Portrayal of Adelaide as hopelessly waiting to marry Nathan would earn her a spot on the Sally Jesse Raphael show today
Movie Release Date:1955

Plot: The story takes place among the small-time underworld characters of New York. Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) runs a “floating crap game” (held in a different place each time) that provides entertainment and bankrolls for many members of the community. His problem is that he can’t find a place to have the next game. The only place available wants $1000 up front, and he does not have it. Furthermore, his (very) long- term fianceé, Adelaide (Vivian Blaine), a showgirl, is so distressed over his failure to marry her that she has developed a psychosomatic cold.

Trying to get the money he needs, Nathan makes a bet with Sky (as in willing to bet sky-high) Masterson (Marlon Brando). After Brando brags that he can get any “doll” to go out with him, Nathan challenges him to ask Sarah Brown (Jean Simmons), the local mission worker. Sky persuades Sarah to go to Havana for dinner, and, after he spikes her drink with liquor, they have a wonderful time, and she starts to fall in love with him.

When they get back, however, she finds that the crap game was held in the mission, and feels betrayed. In order to persuade her that his intentions are honorable, Sky rolls the dice in the crap game against the “souls” of the other players, and when he wins, they must all go to a meeting at the mission, the two couples get married, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Discussion: This musical classic, based on the stories of Damon Runyon, is a lot of fun, despite the fact that two of the leads are not singers and none of them can dance. But Brando and Simmons do surprisingly well, especially in the scenes set in Havana, and the movie is brash and splashy enough to be thoroughly entertaining.

Themes worth discussing include honesty in relationships and in competition (Harry the Horse cheats and threatens the other players) and how people decide whether to align themselves with (or between) the two extremes presented by the mission workers and the grifters and gamblers. Questions for Kids:

· Adelaide says she has developed a cold from waiting for Nathan to marry her.

· How do people get physically sick from unhappiness or worry?

· What is the meaning of Sky’s father’s advice about the deck of cards? Is that good advice?

· Who changes the most in this movie? How can you tell?

Connections: Other movies based on Runyon’s colorful characters include “Little Miss Marker” (three versions, one called “Sorrowful Jones,” but the best one has the original title and stars Shirley Temple), “Lady for a Day” (remade with Bette Davis as “Pocketful of Miracles”), “The Lemon Drop Kid” (also filmed twice, with the Bob Hope version the better one), and a very sad movie starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda called “The Big Street.”

Activities: Kids who like this movie may enjoy reading (or having read aloud to them) some of Damon Runyon’s stories, especially “Butch Minds the Baby.”



Previous Posts

Mel Torme and Judy Garland: Christmas Song
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaEedtRHklg[/youtube] I love it that Judy Garland sings "rainbows" instead of "reindeer."

posted 8:00:57am Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

What Happened to All the Great Quotable Movie Lines?
Michael Cieply has a fascinating piece in the New York Times about the movie lines we love to quote and why there don't seem to be any new ones. Look through all of the top ten lists of the year, and see if you can think of one quotable line from any of them. That doesn't mean they aren't well wri

posted 3:58:57pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

George Clooney and the Cast of Downton Abbey
You don't have to be a fan of "Downton Abbey" (or "Mr. Selfridge") to love this hilarious spoof, with guest appearances by Jeremy Piven, George Clooney and the Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ryo7fqdmcGQ?rel=0" frameborder="0"] [

posted 1:43:50pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Ask Amy Says: A Book on Every Bed
I love to remind people about Amy Dickinson's wonderful "Book on Every Bed" proposal: Here’s how it happens: You take a book (it can be new or a favorite from your own childhood). You wrap it. On Christmas Eve (or whatever holiday you celebrate), you leave the book in a place where Santa is

posted 12:00:42pm Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Matthew Llewellyn, Composer for Wally Lamb's "Wishin' and Hopin'"
Wishin' and Hopin' is Lifetime movie airing December 21, 2014, based on the novel by Wally Lamb. It stars Molly Ringwald and Meat Loaf with narration by Chevy Chase. Composer Matthew Llewellyn was kind enough to answer my questions about creating a score for this nostalgic holiday story. How d

posted 9:40:56am Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.