GUYS AND DOLLS
1955, Park Circus/MGM, 150 min, USA, Dir: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Frank Loesser’s Broadway hit, inspired by Damon Runyon’s tales of Times Square hoods and gamblers, becomes one of the 1950s’ most enjoyable musicals in the hands of director Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Needing $1,000 to rent space for his floating crap game, Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) bets Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando, in his only song-and-dance role) that he can find a girl immune to Masterson’s charms – specifically a strait-laced missionary (a wonderful Jean Simmons). “Luck Be a Lady” is just one of the great songs here.


SPARTACUS
1960, Universal, 184 min, USA, Dir: Stanley Kubrick

Director Stanley Kubrick’s awesome epic is one of the most visually stunning films ever produced in 70mm. Kirk Douglas stars as the gladiator who leads his fellow slaves in a revolt against Rome, while co-stars Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis, Jean Simmons, Peter Ustinov, John Gavin and Nina Foch get swept into the firestorm. Brilliantly scripted by writer Dalton Trumbo (whose hiring by producer Douglas helped shatter the blacklist), with Oscar-winning photography by Russell Metty.


GREAT EXPECTATIONS
1946, MGM Repertory, 118 min, UK, Dir: David Lean

The film that set the standard for all Dickens adaptations before or since. Director David Lean’s early masterpiece opens with the awesome images of a convict stumbling across a storm-wracked moor, and then plunges us into the story of an impoverished underdog, Pip (John Mills) trying to defy the rigid caste system of Victorian England. Co-starring Alec Guinness (in his first film for Lean), Jean Simmons, Francis L. Sullivan and Valerie Hobson, with Oscar-winning, black-and-white photography by Guy Green. "Probably no finer Dickens film has been made than Lean’s GREAT EXPECTATIONS." – Michael Pointer, Charles Dickens On Screen.


Syndicate content