Blu-ray Review Guys and Dolls Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ken_McAlinden, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Cineman

    Cineman Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, I've seen the wardrobe test shot in the (I think) Carousel DVD bonus material. I'd say even in that one Sinatra would not have come across as the handsome leading man type that MacRae could not help but exude in his portrayal of Billy Bigelow. His wardrobe test shots suggest to me that his Billy would have been more of a raw boned sewer rat carny rather than the robust, well-fed specimen MacRae provided. I believe that approach also would have been closer to the Charles Boyer portrayal in the original French movie, Liliom, on which Carousel was based (and, imo, the "right" way to play Billy). That said, I totally understand why, in retrospect, we might have preferred Sinatra to play Sky in 1955, particularly since his version of Sky's big song, Luck Be a Lady, became a true signature number for him yet he doesn't sing a note of it in the movie. But, again, that song became a signature number for him much later in his career, after he had transitioned so successfully from the scrappy underdog, hapless kid brother persona into more of a 'take charge' tough guy persona in his movies and in his live appearances.
    One thing I like about Brando in this movie is that, because of its "stage bound" production concept, this comes closer than any of his other movie roles to showing us what Marlon Brando The Broadway Actor might have looked and sounded like. And I'm even including his role in Streetcar Named Desire, where he took to the more intimate nature of film acting like a champ. But in Guys and Dolls, despite it being a genre he would not be known for on Broadway, we see a Brando "performing" as to a live audience in many ways, dancing, singing, broader gestures, etc. I just think that Brando is a lot of fun to watch, too. :)
     
  2. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Yes it is a very "stage bound" musical, I didn't know what to think of it when I first saw it on the telly, esp. with all that mannered dialogue, but I really like it now. I'll buy it next year when it's released in a standard package.
     
  3. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Yes it does. A white animated Samuel Goldwyn script on a blue background is the one and only logo that precedes the film after you select "play" from the menu.
     
  4. performing arts

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    Guys and dolls was never among my favoutires , BUT after reading Ken_McAlinden review i will certainly buy this musical
     
  5. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Supporting Actor
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    This is another film (like Oklahoma! and Gigi) that I never cared for, having seen it only on television. It suffers terribly from pan/scan and commercials. But , like the other two films, I find it delightful after having the opportunity to see it on a big screen back in the revival house days. I had a hard time with the quality of the DVD so I am looking forward to receiving this disc next week.
     
  6. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    I really like how WB is highlighting Samuel Goldwyn's important role as producer right on the front. I get the sense that WB HV, compared to some studios at least, cares a little more about Hollywood history and the real people who made these movies. Nice to see it highlighted in the signature on the upper left corner. Is that his real John Hancock?
     
  7. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    I think I originally had a hard time liking the Guys and Dolls film for the reason described by KPmusmag above.

    There's only one word for seeing it on commercial TV in pan & scan. Execrable.
     
  8. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Supporting Actor
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    It's funny, they would show Gypsy, The Apartment, The Music Man and The King and I all the time on the Channel 7 3:30 movie (L.A.) and the pan/scan never bothered me, I always loved them. Similarly, My Fair Lady was shown pretty often as an "event" on CBS and I always loved it, too, Sound of Music was on ABC as I recall and it was OK, although in each case I was always aware I wasn't seeing the entire picture. Oklahoma!, Gigi, and Guys & Dolls I just couldn't sit through on TV, even though I loved the soundtrack albums. Don't know why they suffered more on TV (speaking only for myself) than the others.
     
  9. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Oklahoma! and Guys and Dolls were both choreographed for film by the same choreographers who did their stage versions (Agnes de Mille and Michael Kidd, respectively). For wide shots, they frequently used similar layouts to what you would be looking at on the stage. There is no way to convey this properly *and* crop it to 4:3.
     
  10. Cineman

    Cineman Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't remember if they ever did this with the other movies you mentioned, but some of those network screenings of the Sound of Music went far beyond the offence of clipping off the sides or panning and scanning to make it fit, which was bad enough. They also cut some 20-30 minutes out of the movie to make it fit the time slot. But they didn't cut those minutes by hacking off whole scenes in their entirety. No, they cut the running time that much by surgically removing a minute here, a minute there, two minutes here and so on with the result being we would see big reaction shots of principle characters, not to what another character had just said or done in the original version, but to something else entirely that occurred a minute or two later in the script!
    It was a total abomination. Somewhere along the way the network or network authorizing those cuts had bought into the line that The Sound of Music really was only about the music and the scenery and that the direction, script and the acting didn't really matter. Idiotic. That just cannot be true when you're talking about Oscar Hammerstein, Ernest Lehman, Robert Wise, Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and a host of other top notch pros before and behind the camera.
     
  11. jeffsultanof

    jeffsultanof Extra

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    I find it the reactions to Guys and Dolls very interesting. I've conducted the show, and even directed some of the scenes for a production, and I feel that it is one of the handful of 'perfect' shows that was presented on Broadway. Even with a poor cast, the book (ghost-written by Abe Burrows; the Swerling original was thrown out), the score (classic Loesser), and the orchestrations (mostly Ted Royal; the Bassman scores were rejected) are so good that you can deal with bad acting and singing.
    The film version just misses: in my view, the script is not an improvement on Burrows, and the casting is a little strange (Brando is surprisingly good, but Sinatra would have been marvelous). But Simmons is good, and it is good to have Kaye, Pully and of course Blaine. The new orchestrations are excellent.
    I'm buying this anyway, as it is another great example of early CinemaScope and stereo, and the choreography is authentic enough, filling the screen.
    I'd always hoped that some enterprising producer would have had a go at Guys and Dolls for as a television special. I would have loved to have seen Sinatra as Sky and Peter Falk as Detroit.
     
  12. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Supporting Actor
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    Oh, yes, I know exactly what you mean. I was lucky enough to record the last uncut airing on VHS.
    Here is an example:
    Original:
    LUISA: Fraulein Maria, can we do this every day?
    MARIA: Don't you think you'd get soon get tired of it, Luisa?
    LUISA: I suppose so.
    KURT: I can't remember having this much fun since we put glue on Fraulein Josephine's toothbrush.
    MARIA: I can't understand how children as nice as you can manage to play such awful tricks on people.
    BRIGITTA; Oh, it's easy.
    MARIA: But why do it?
    LIESL: To get Father's attention.
    MARIA: Well, we'll have to think about that one.
    Surgical cut:
    LUISA; Fraulein Maria, can we do this every day?
    MARIA: Well, we'll have to think about that one.
     

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