GUYS AND DOLLS…..a sort of Movie Review and Interpretation by Heidi Robertson,
of one of the best Rogers and Hammerstein musicals, Guys and Dolls,
Dinner and a movie at home with Mark and Devon, in the absence of our Italian son, and our birthday party dancing daughter, Delanie. The best Summmit Mercantile, meat counter, bone-in pork chops browned to just right perfection in savory fatness, and sodium. Things I normally try to avoid….along with sweets. Ha! I didn’t eat two Butterfingers like Devon did. I didn’t eat any of that candy poison. In training for the Law of Attraction and over all good feeling. Mmmm. Chew over more than dinner in the amazing screen writing, humor, and lyrics, until I am fully invested and start asking questions. Forgeting exactly what will happen next, ask, “Where’s the craps game?” Not hard to guess, but on a bigger stage, the setting is life. This delightfully, entertaining story plays out over and over again in LIFE in not so funny ways. In time, we all become gamblers in the human search for love and salvation, forgiveness, and absolution.
Ha ha… as for favorite parts…… I love the part where Sergeant Sarah Brown (Jean Simmons) orders milk in the Havana Cabana, but it’s really leche de dulce, a mixed drink. A favorite line is when she says, “You know, this would be a wonderful way to get children to drink milk!” Suddenly, I can imagine a Guys and Dolls poster hanging on the drab brick wall of our school cafeteria, pinned up next to some NFL someone with a milk mustache. Sarah Brown taking swings at sugar, salt, and carbohydrates, and throwing chairs. All the while, our lunch Nazi, Dave, looking on, about to have an aneurism, like some bad dream of a lunch time power outage. Flash forward, and back to the moment in the movie where the character of Sarah Brown is really drinking bacardi and doesn’t know it. 🙂 Okay, maybe this wouldn’t work for a milk advertisement.
The subsequent dance scene is fabulous…and I am wondering if real dancers ever drink milk, or even do dairy foods. And the drunken brawl sooo funny…lol. At first I like the drunk Sarah Brown much better than the Salvation Army crusader. Then as she sobers up, you find in her a curious mix of vixen and angel to be quite appealing. Boy do they ever fall for each other. Too fast…too prescribed, too formula. But it works for this fiction. Can’t believe this would ever happen in real life. It wouldn’t happen for a real “mission doll.” Or would it, could it. Not likely…..but then everything goes to “craps” and luck is a lady. Actually luck presents mostly in the character of Skye, but also in return as Sarah Brown.
Well, you probably know the story line…..and if you don’t I won’t spoil it too much with “colds” and “la grippe,” but I must say that seeing Adalaide dressed in the niceties and costume jewelry reminds me a bit of the costume jewelry that my elementary principal wears. She is a quieter version of movie star, Grace Kelly, dancing and problem solving our hallways. These movie dancing girls sport quite a treasure trove of gems on Rockette-like bodies. Remind me of flashy swimmer with swagger. Whoah. Costumes looking more like swim suits, or Victoria’s Secrets… really very skimpy for back then. Didn’t notice any tatoos, but I am convinced that these girls are ready for the Salt Lake City Underwear Run, and I hope to join them, if not for real, then in my make believe on that Saturday afternoon after General Conference. Wow! Headturners, and finishers.
Turn of characters….and events. Can’t believe that the gambler, in Skye Masterson, ends up being more the mission crusader after all, in trying to bring Adelaide to her senses. That is in his attempt to convince the performer to dump Nathan Detroit, her fourteen year fiance). Skye is even more effective in his proselyting than the real mission people. “Luck Be a Lady.” 🙂 Lucky for gamblers of all kinds…..the twist of events ends happily. Whether our twists end happily is up to each of us and the Law of Attraction.
On a sadder note….there are undertones…warnings of the evils and damage of gambling, and the real threat of bullying (in the character of Joey the Horse, in the sewer). What can I say. I don’t have any background knowledge of this deadly sin, thankfully, but I once went up against an Opera by Children mentor/sponsor who knew something of this vice. Gambling had destroyed the life of one of her close relatives, and slanted her perception enough to nearly shut down our class opera, “Gamble City, Not So Pretty.”
I learned something that school year. In Utah, Creative Liberties are not taken lightly, and when writing with children, one can not use the words “gamble, slot machine, poker, and Las Vegas.” Had to replace the word “Gamble” in our opera title with the word “Dazzle” Released it in the billing as “Dazzle City, Not So Pretty.” Poetic justice came when some children sang original words and lyrics in the performances anyway. Also managed to sing about “chips,” the poker ones, while holding Sun Chips snacks. So, yeah! I am making all kinds of connections here with regard to the topic.
By the time we wrapped up the classroom writing process, I felt just a little bullied, in this redirecton. Small price to pay for an amazing experience, and rubbing shoulders with Michael Ballam. I guess. A local Opera legend, who has done soo much for children and the arts, but whose work will some day sadly end up in Cult-like fashion at a Good Will in Arizona, or in the second chancings of Deseret Industies in ZiOn.
Wow! You have to love Skye Masterson on his MISSION, representing the Church of Jesus Dice of Latter day Bookies. In saving his buddies from Joey the Horse, and in finding “twelve sinners” just in time to fall in love, and to save Sergeant Sarah Brown. The gamblers can not “make a pass to save their souls.” Ha ha, but Skye can save them as he comes in swinging. Turns serious through this section…..but somehow turns light again, and everyone manages to get their way in the end.
I love, love, love this scene. Great arguement between Nathan and Adalaide! “Call me a lawyer and sue me, sue me…..what can you do me? I love you…..” Incredible interplay in so many of these prize winning songs. Old blue eyes just melts me here.
Who do you suppose the character in “General Cartright” stands for in all of this? I am thinking she is most likely a matron God figure, not so unlike Mother Superior in The Sound of Music, secretly smiling, as she looks on cheering her underdog. Can’t help but love Skye Masterson as confirmed by comments like, “What a remarkable young man!” Skye wins over the General and all of us with his charm and persuasiveness. Honest, gentleman hero crusader.
Marlen Brando, Frank Sinatra are so great!
Testimony meeting at the mission. In here, I hear a few messages:
1) It’s okay to gamble, as long as you don’t get caught, or if you do get caught….if you don’t get convicted. Hmm.
2) Everyone is a sinner. “Sit down, you’re rockin’ the boat!” Ummm. No thank you.
3) One good save deserves another? Thank goodness. I believe much more in mercy, than in judgement.
4) Don’t let the gambler get away…..he’s a keeper! Arguement for risk-taking. Still hope for me here.
So, where WAS the craps game? In the mission the night before…..ushering in a certain unsettling, and tension, but also brings a certain repentence and closure.
“For shooting craps in the mission……we are truly sorry.” I’m NOT!
Double trouble….in a double wedding!
Yep. Dinner and a movie at home on Netflix. Awesome!