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  #1  
Old 02-25-2005, 08:52 AM
Draelin Draelin is offline
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SDMB Musical Lovers Yadda Yadda Yadda--Guys and Dolls (1955)

Hello, and welcome to the Draelin Forgot To Watch The Movie On Time Show.

Of course, I've seen it many times, so I can fake my way through.

Guys and Dolls has always been one of my absolute all-time favorite movies. Probably the first non-animated musical I can recall seeing--before I knew Marlon Brando wasn't supposed to sing in anything.

One of the things I love about musicals from that era is that one didn't have to be perfect. Brando isn't the greatest singer in the world, but what he lacks in talent he makes up in enthusiasm. The Goldwyn Girls aren't exactly the every-move-the-same dancers we see in movies anymore. They had the chance to be individuals, and anybody with a little bit of natural talent and a whole lot of drive could be one of them.

I knew this movie by heart by the time I was eight, probably. And when I was older, I heard the original Broadway soundtrack, which has some different songs and some different lyrics. What never fails to amuse me now that I'm older and at least moderately jaded is that they changed a line in "Adelaide's Lament" (which I totally kick ass at when singing in the car, by the way) from "A female remaining single/Just in the legal sense" to "Constantly in suspense"--yet they took out an innocent song like "A Bushel and a Peck" and replaced it with the rather racy "Pet Me, Papa." I'll just never understand.

And in my teenage years, when I'd gotten used to the Godfather, this movie reminded me that Marlon Brando--and Sinatra, too--was once sexy as all hell.

I want to say more, but my boss is looking at me like she knows I'm not working. Let the discussion begin!
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:09 AM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is online now
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One of the greatest lines in all of filmdom:

"Daddy, I got cider in my ear!"
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2005, 09:17 AM
TwoTrouts TwoTrouts is offline
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A great version of one of my favorite stage plays! Marlon Brandon was really cooking with his career back then, attempting a broad variety of roles from Marc Antony is Julius Caesar to Sky Masterson in this film, etc.
Stubby Kaye is very good as Nicely Nicely Johnson (I love that name!), especially with the show stopper "Sit Down, Yer Rockin' The Boat".
I took my family to see the stage version but, unfortunately, they just did not get as much enjoyment out of it as I did. *Sigh* Not MTV enough for my kids, I guess.
I find the opening tune sticking with me for days: " I got a horse right here, his name is Paul Revere......."
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:30 AM
Draelin Draelin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoTrouts
I find the opening tune sticking with me for days: " I got a horse right here, his name is Paul Revere......."
I always find myself singing "The Oldest Established" for at least a week after watching it. In fact, even though I didn't watch it, I've thought about it, so I'm doomed for the rest of the day.
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:35 AM
VanGogh'sEar VanGogh'sEar is offline
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Sweet Lord do I love this movie. Makes you long for the days when people knew how to gracefully talk around a subject in an intelligent manner, hit you with a zinger that had not a single curse word, and make both look effortless.

Skye Masterson (After the slap): Well, that makes it necessary for me to stop in again. Matthew 5:39. Don't bother looking it up--it's the bit about the other cheek.

I worked on the WWII Memorial Inauguration, and all the gentlemen with hats and the ladies in their tailored suits reminded me of this movie, and the fact that I was born in the wrong era.
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:36 AM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draelin
I always find myself singing "The Oldest Established" for at least a week after watching it. In fact, even though I didn't watch it, I've thought about it, so I'm doomed for the rest of the day.
I love the movie version, but I don't recall "The Oldest Established"; is that from the Broadway show?

*wanders away, humming "Luck be a lady tonight..."*
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:47 AM
Draelin Draelin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dung Beetle
I love the movie version, but I don't recall "The Oldest Established"; is that from the Broadway show?
It's the one in the barber shop--"It's the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York."
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:56 AM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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Thank you! I got it.
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Old 02-25-2005, 01:41 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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One of my favorite musicals, despite the singing of Brando and Simmons being more earnest than good. I think the song, um, oh dear, I don't know the name. The "If I Were a Bell" song? is one of the very best moment-of-falling-in-love songs ever.

So many songs that stick in my head for days, but the most taffy-like for me is always "Adelaide's Lament." "La grippe, la grippe. La post nasal drip. With the wheezes and the sneezes and the sinus that's really a pip. From the lack of community property, and the feeling she's getting too old, a person could develop a bad, bad, a really bad, bad co-oooooold!"

I saw "State Fair" again for the first time in a while and got to compare the younger Vivian Blaine with the elder. Looked her up on imdb and found that she was only 34 in this one. I always thought she was older!
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Old 02-25-2005, 01:47 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is offline
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My middle school was supposed to put on a production of Guys and Dolls, unitl the director realized we didn't have the money. That wasn't so bad for me because I didn't get any of the big parts. At the audition, we could choose either "Day by Day" or "Sing"; I knew the latter but chose the former. I probably ended up singing worse than Brando.
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Old 02-25-2005, 01:53 PM
rockle rockle is online now
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Sigh ... all that, plus this movie has Frank Sinatra ... pure heaven!

My favorite exchange in the movie is the bit in Havana:
Sarah Brown: (sipping her dulce de leche) This is delicious! What's in it?
Skye Masterson: Milk ... and a kind of native flavoring.
Sarah: What's the name of the flavoring?
Skye: ... Bacardi.
Sarah: (taking another sip) This would be an excellent way to get children to drink their milk!
Also, I love, love, LOVE! "Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat." I've always found that song to be very Cole Porter-esque, as though it should follow "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" at a revival somewhere.
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Old 02-25-2005, 01:55 PM
Draelin Draelin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockle
My favorite exchange in the movie is the bit in Havana:
For some reason, every time I watch the movie, I forget about the Havana fight scene until it sneaks up on me, and it's newly fabulous every time.
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Old 02-25-2005, 02:17 PM
twickster twickster is online now
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I can't y'all are getting so distracted by the singing -- what makes this movie so much fun is the dancing! I esp. love the street scene at the very front, with the real angular, stylized, zoot-suity postures -- and the fact that the same dancers reappear in Havana to do a totally different (but equally stylized, and equally '50s-evocative) style of dancing.

I saw this about a month and a half ago, but am planning to watch it again this weekend so I can add some erudite commentary to this thread. Damn you all for forcing me to do so!
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Old 02-25-2005, 02:19 PM
twickster twickster is online now
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Phooey. "...can't believe y'all..."
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  #15  
Old 02-25-2005, 02:56 PM
amarinth amarinth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster
I saw this about a month and a half ago, but am planning to watch it again this weekend so I can add some erudite commentary to this thread. Damn you all for forcing me to do so!
I'm going to try to watch it this weekend...I'd even put it on my Netflix queue...but I'd forgotten what day we were discussing it. So now, I've got to find a copy.

Still, love this musical. I was actually a Hot Box dancer in college. Though I miss "Marry the Man Today" from the stage version, I'm willing to let go of it so I don't have to hear "More I cannot wish you" (which is draggy and annoying). And like twickster, I could watch the dancing over and over and over again (esp the Crapshooters' dance)
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  #16  
Old 02-25-2005, 07:55 PM
Eureka Eureka is offline
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As this is a(nother) musical that I first was exposed to in my youth, the thing that really struck me was the large number of people involved in it. The live production I saw had about four Hot Box dancers (not counting Miss Adalaide). Also, the furs the ladies wore I also, for whatever reason, thought that it took place in Chicago. I don't know why. But when I watched the movie a year ago, I was startled to realize that it actually takes place in New York. I was disappointed that "A Bushel and a Peck" was not in the movie. Also, the crowd scene at the end had so many people in it. Now, that part made sense, even if it seemed different than I remembered from the live show(which was enough years ago that I don't feel badly for not remembering how it did end.)

There is something fascinating about a story which encourages one to cheer for people whose behavior would usually appall one. I don't understand what motivates people to gamble, fly to Havana, or many of the other actions which the characters take.
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:19 PM
Peyton Farquhar Peyton Farquhar is offline
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It annoyed me that they dumbed down "then you get off at Saratoga for the fourteenth time" to "Yonkers Raceway" for the fourteenth time. Give the audience a little credit; no one was going to assume the guy wanted to visit Yaddo Gardens or the battlefield. Also, Yonkers isn't 5% of the way there.
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Old 02-26-2005, 07:08 AM
rockle rockle is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peyton Farquhar
It annoyed me that they dumbed down "then you get off at Saratoga for the fourteenth time" to "Yonkers Raceway" for the fourteenth time. Give the audience a little credit; no one was going to assume the guy wanted to visit Yaddo Gardens or the battlefield. Also, Yonkers isn't 5% of the way there.
I didn't know there was a racetrack in Saratoga. But my great-grandparents and grandparents used to go to Yonkers Racetrack all the time. So, to me, this wasn't a dumb substitution.
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  #19  
Old 02-26-2005, 08:07 AM
lawoot lawoot is offline
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One of my favorite shows - especially since I played Nicely Nicely, back in High School (that high note in Sit Down can be a real bitch to hit - especially when you're more a baritone than a tenor).
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Old 02-26-2005, 04:43 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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I like the musical, but the biggest flaw is that Sinatra is miscast. Remember that the role of Nathan Detroit was written for an actor who could not carry a tune (the runup on "Sue Me" was added because Sam Levinson couldn't sing "Sue Me" on key without a few notes before it). It would have made a lot of sense to switch both Brando and Sinatra's roles.

In addition, they cut out "Bushel and a Peck" (the song had been played to death, so they asked for something new) and "More I Cannot Wish You," a wonderful song.

But Brando and Simmons acquitted themselves well, and the songs and story were strong enough to survive the minor issues. It could have been done a littel better, but it also could have been a hell of a lot worse.
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Old 02-26-2005, 06:38 PM
gardentraveler gardentraveler is offline
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Easily my favorite musical. I first saw it as our high school's spring musical in the mid-seventies (went back a couple of times, I liked it so much). I remember being a bit put off by the guy who sang Sky Masterson. Last time a watched the movie, it dawned on me that his voice had a Brando-like quality. Don't know if that was a coincidence; maybe the drama teacher showed the cast the movie.

I haven't seen the film that often, but I bought it a couple weeks ago. I've had the CD of the new Broadway cast recording for about 10 years. Can't watch the movie or listen to the CD without having a medley float through my brain for days.

And I agree, the choreography is wonderful.

Guess I'll go watch the movie again; I don't remember feeling that Sinatra didn't fit in. Of course, I barely remember that Sinatra was in it. Is that a sin?

GT
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Old 02-27-2005, 04:50 PM
twickster twickster is online now
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Ah, what a wonderful movie! amarinth is right -- the crap game dance is amazing! And the only thing that tops Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat is the bashful smile Nicely Nicely exchanges with the mission lady who caught the bouquet at the end.
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Old 02-27-2005, 06:40 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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I see nobody else has mentioned my favorite exchange yet:

"Tell me, am I a lefty or a righty?"
"Now, how could I possibly know that?"
"Here's a hint" *POW*

And I honestly never realized that that was Brando. Way cool.
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  #24  
Old 02-27-2005, 07:52 PM
stuyguy stuyguy is offline
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IMHO, the film contains a great song that's overlooked because it was not one of the hits that grew out of the original Broadway show: Adelaide (not to be confused with Adelaide's Lament). It's the one that Nathan Detroit sings in the barbershop to announce his upcoming wedding: "Adelaide, Adelaide, ever-lovin' Adelaide is taking a chance on me..."

Not only is the song boffo, but it also opens with a musical intro that contains one of the best lines in the show:

Though she knows deep in her heart
that I'm a phoney and I'm a fake,
She wants five children to start.
Five's a difficult point to make!

Anyway, for all you G&D fans I suggest you pick up the book Honest Abe, the autobiography of Abe Burrows, a comedy-writing giant and the author of the G&D script (and father of TV comedy legend James Burrows). There's a chapter about G&D. I read it once. It's got great insights and behind the scenes stories about the original Broadway production.

One tale I recall is how Burrows had written a less-than-top-notch joke that the director (George S. Kauffman, IIRC) asked him to improve or remove. Very defensively Burrows resisted, saying that the joke was good. It would bring down the house on such-and-such comedy radio program where he was a writer, he said. The director replied, "Radio is free. Our audience is paying four dollars to see our show. They deserve a four dollar joke." Burrows wrote a better joke and never forgot the lesson.

Okay, here's a 5-star trivia question for you G&D nuts: Robert Alda & Sam Levene (not Levinson, RealityChuck) had something in common besides playing the male leads in the original Broadway cast of G&D. What was it?
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Old 02-28-2005, 06:47 AM
twickster twickster is online now
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Two things I keep forgetting to say:

I know the song Bushel and a Peck, but didn't realize it came from Guys and Dolls. Who sings it to who, and at what point in the action?

And ...

Marlon Brando. Oh. My. God. Pure sex. My first image if I hear his name is Don Corleone, followed closely by the fat whack job of his later years. God Lord what a gorgeous young man he was.
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  #26  
Old 02-28-2005, 07:12 AM
Eureka Eureka is offline
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"A Bushel and a Peck" is sung by Miss Adalaide and the other girls at the Hot Box in the place where "Pet me, Papa" is sung in the movie. In the production that I saw, they all had headbands with flower petals on them and in between verses the ladies played "He loves me, He loves me not" and plucked petals off.
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  #27  
Old 02-28-2005, 09:35 AM
Kizarvexius Kizarvexius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawoot
One of my favorite shows - especially since I played Nicely Nicely, back in High School (that high note in Sit Down can be a real bitch to hit - especially when you're more a baritone than a tenor).
No kidding, lawoot. I played Nicely Nicely in high school as well, while I was the bass section leader in my choir.

Had to drop that one really high note towards the end, but otherwise I managed to get it all out on key.
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  #28  
Old 02-28-2005, 10:55 AM
Draelin Draelin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kizarvexius
No kidding, lawoot. I played Nicely Nicely in high school as well, while I was the bass section leader in my choir.
*sigh* My high school, of course, did the show the year after I left. Knowing the way they cast things at my school, I would have been considered too fat to play Adelaide ... but I might have had a shot at Sarah, if I could get my voice to cooperate with the high notes.
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Old 02-28-2005, 02:58 PM
Kizarvexius Kizarvexius is offline
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Originally Posted by Draelin
*sigh* My high school, of course, did the show the year after I left. Knowing the way they cast things at my school, I would have been considered too fat to play Adelaide ... but I might have had a shot at Sarah, if I could get my voice to cooperate with the high notes.
Draelin, I'd give my left.......pinkie to watch you perform as Miss Adelaide.

The most memorable moment in our show. There's a line in Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat when Nicely sings "And the devil will drag you under / by the fancy tie 'round your wicked throat." Each time I would sing that line, I'd grab a random gambler by the tie and pull him to his feet. One evening, during performance, I grabbed the tie belonging to the gambler sitting at the end of the bench, and yanked it hard. To my astonishment, my hand and the tie continued skyward, while the gambler pitched back onto his seat. The damned tie was a clip-on. Somehow, I managed to finish the song with a straight face. Fortunately, at that point, the show goes to an immediate blackout -- I dashed off the stage and out the back door, where I collapsed in heaving fits of laughter.

Now, if we may drag this back on topic (by the tie, if necessary). How many would agree with me that the two male leads in the cast should have been switched? I mean, come on! Sky Masterson could have been written for Sinatra. Even Robert Alda, who played the role in the original Broadway cast, sounded just like Sinatra. Yet Hollywood tossed aside their most famous singer, handing him a largely non-singing role, in favor of Marlon Brando? Okay, Marlon wasn't half bad. He pulled the part off with style. But how much better would it have been if they'd switched the two?

Let the debate commence.
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Old 02-28-2005, 03:17 PM
Draelin Draelin is offline
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Aww, thanks, Kizarvexius. Too bad you didn't cast the plays at my high school.

I definitely agree that Sinatra would have made a great Sky. Although, I like him as Nathan, trying to be smooth and not quite pulling it off. I don't think Brando could have played it, though--he didn't have the right amount of ... eagerness, I guess is the best term. Brando is cool, Nathan Detroit is most certainly not.
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:47 PM
twickster twickster is online now
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Yeah, Sky has to be a studmuffin -- and Sinatra was too scrawny to even be considered for it. (I know it's heresy, but I just don't "get" Sinatra.) I will admit it's ironic that the single best song of the the movie -- "Luck Be a Lady" -- is sung by a man who can't really sing. And can't dance -- but I love watching him in the Havana scene.

**swoon**
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  #32  
Old 03-02-2005, 12:12 AM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
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Like a few others in this thread, this was my first non-Disney musical. What struck me most in re-watching was the colors -- the gambler's flashy clothes, the bizarrely bright sewer pipes, and of course the sets and clothes in Havana.

I remember hearing an interview with one of the writers (or producers?) of the original show talking about the "Fugue for Tinhorns" number. He mentioned that, although it's a great song, they almost cut it. The showrunners expected that the audience would want to hear about the outcome of the horse race, and be confused when this craps game showed up. Tell the truth, I didn't even remember about the horse race ten minutes into the next number, and I doubt anyone else did either!
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:57 AM
Draelin Draelin is offline
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You know, Tracy, now that you mention it, I remember getting stoned one night years ago while watching the movie and wondering which horse won the race, but I didn't care for long.
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Old 03-02-2005, 10:22 AM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draelin
I definitely agree that Sinatra would have made a great Sky. Although, I like him as Nathan, trying to be smooth and not quite pulling it off. I don't think Brando could have played it, though.
I have to agree here. I think Sinatra could have played Skye, but for some reason, I don't think Brando could have done justice to Nathan.

The problem I have is Jean Simmons. She struck me as totally blah.
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:47 PM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
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Originally Posted by Draelin
You know, Tracy, now that you mention it, I remember getting stoned one night years ago while watching the movie and wondering which horse won the race, but I didn't care for long.
*grin*

Sure, you'ver seen Guys and Dolls. But have you seen Guys and Dolls...on weed?
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  #36  
Old 03-02-2005, 02:13 PM
Terrorcotta Terrorcotta is offline
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As much as I like G&D, and will watch it every time it's on, I am still dragged down to the Simpson's version with Mark Hamill as 'Luke' Sky Masterton swinging his lightsaber to "Guys and Dolls! We just a bunch of crazy Guys & Dolls! La-la-la! Lah lah la la la Guys and Dolls! "
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  #37  
Old 03-02-2005, 02:16 PM
Draelin Draelin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
Sure, you'ver seen Guys and Dolls. But have you seen Guys and Dolls...on weed?
You think the sewer's colorful now ...
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  #38  
Old 03-03-2005, 09:57 AM
Kizarvexius Kizarvexius is offline
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Señorita, may I offer you some brownies to go with your Bacardi?
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  #39  
Old 03-03-2005, 10:00 AM
twickster twickster is online now
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Originally Posted by Kizarvexius
Señorita, may I offer you some brownies to go with your Bacardi?
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  #40  
Old 03-03-2005, 12:39 PM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
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Originally Posted by Kizarvexius
Señorita, may I offer you some brownies to go with your Bacardi?
What's in this? Weed, you say? Why, this would be a wonderful way to get children to take up gardening!
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  #41  
Old 03-03-2005, 01:12 PM
Kizarvexius Kizarvexius is offline
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Let's see. Guys and Dolls stoned. I guess that would include songs like:

Fugue for Potheads
If I Had A Snack
Narc, Be A Lady
The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crackhouse in New York

Any others? My creative juices are completely dried up at the moment.
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  #42  
Old 03-12-2005, 02:37 PM
lawoot lawoot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kizarvexius
Let's see. Guys and Dolls stoned. I guess that would include songs like:

Fugue for Potheads
If I Had A Snack
Narc, Be A Lady
The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crackhouse in New York

Any others? My creative juices are completely dried up at the moment.
A Bushel, a Dime Bag
I've Never Been This High Before
Take Back Your Skunk
Toke Me
Sit Down, You're Bagoarting the Joint
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  #43  
Old 03-12-2005, 02:39 PM
lawoot lawoot is offline
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Bagoarting?

Preview is your friend...

BOGARTING
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  #44  
Old 03-13-2005, 09:48 PM
Helen's Eidolon Helen's Eidolon is offline
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I saw that version of Guys and Dolls and now refuse to see any other movies of Marlon Brando, or at least any movies he mad emuch past that point. I want to keep him in my head looking like that. He was HOT!
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