Guys And Dolls, poster, Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra, Vivian Blaine, 1955. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Frank Sinatra Made Guys And Dolls A Slog For Marlon Brando To Film
The 1955 film “Guys and Dolls” was the big screen adaptation of the hit Broadway play of the same name that starred Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra as a pair of gamblers. While the story depicts their characters, Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit, as friends, Stefan Kanfer's 2008 book, “Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando,” details otherwise.
Sinatra lost the roles of Terry Malloy in “On the Waterfront” and his preferred part of Sky to Brando, which he took as an extra insult. Kanfer states, “[Sinatra] saw in Marlon a figurehead of youthful rebellion, an avatar of all that threatened his career. The wounded swagger notwithstanding, Sinatra was a deeply insecure man in the mid-fifties.”
To make matters worse, Brando was a novice singer, and when he approached Sinatra to run some dialogue, Sinatra responded, “Don’t give me any of that Actors Studio s***.” Despite Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s efforts to keep the peace, Brando still had a difficult time and tried backing out of singing the big musical number “Luck Be a Lady.”