P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
June 11, 2003
Brando, Sinatra Classic Film at MASS MoCA
(North Adams, Mass.) Guys and Dolls was already a hit on Broadway by the time the 1955 screen version was released. The film, which garnered two Golden Globes and four Oscar nominations, features an impressive cast -- Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons, and Vivian Blaine -- and songs that are still loved today, including Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat and Luck Be a Lady. The recent Tony Award-winning revival is a testament to the musical's timelessness. MASS MoCA will screen the film on Friday, July 11, at 9 P.M. outside under the stars.
Frank Sinatra stars as Nathan Detroit who runs the "oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York". Detroit needs a new location for his high-stakes game and finds a possible site but needs $1,000 in rent, a substantial amount cash in the 1950s. Enter Sky Masterson, played by Marlon Brando, a high-roller known for his eagerness to bet on anything. Detroit bets the $1,000 he doesn't have that Masterson can't get a date with the most unlikely prospect he knows, the prudish Salvation Army officer, Sarah Brown, played by Jean Simmons. Vivian Blaine brings Miss Adelaide, the character she had already become known for on Broadway, to the big screen in high fashion. Adelaide is Detroit's fiancée of 14 years who has developed a psychosomatic cold, apparently out of frustration.
Marlon Brando is often credited with popularizing method acting. Through this means of drawing on personal past experience, he brought a depth to acting that changed the craft forever. His professional debut was in 1943's Bobino. Only a year later he was on Broadway in I Remember Mama, and critics voted him Broadway's most promising actor for Truckline Café in 1946. The next year he exploded as a Broadway star with his sexually intense rendition of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. He generally refused Hollywood's numerous phone calls with contempt until the opportunity arose to revive his Streetcar roll on the big screen starring opposite Vivien Leigh. Brando's first film appearance, Streetcar, won Best Picture, along with a host of other Oscars, and earned Brando his first Oscar nomination.
Commonly considered the best popular singer of the 20th century, Frank Sinatra's nickname, "The Voice," was well earned. His big break came when he won first prize on a radio talent contest. His first screen appearances were as a nameless band singer in Las Vegas Nights and Ship Ahoy in the early 1940s. The first real teen idol, his solo performances quickly began drawing enormous crowds of young women eager to see their "dream date" live. He went on to acting in light musicals including Take Me out to the Ballgame and On the Town. Sinatra's career nearly ended in 1952 when his vocal cords hemorrhaged and his agency dropped him. He begged Columbia for a part in From Here to Eternity and agreed to take the role for pocket change. That performance won him the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. Sinatra remains one of the best-selling artists of all time, rivaling Elvis and the Beatles.
Luminous beauty Jean Simmons first appeared on screen at age 14 and gained instant notoriety in both Britain and the United States for Give Us the Moon in 1944. She became a star playing Estella in Great Expectations just two years later. In 1948 she was handpicked by Laurence Olivier as Ophelia in his direction of Hamlet, garnering her first Oscar nomination before the age of 20. Her current performances have been more sporadic but no less notable, including some of the better made-for-TV movies of the 1980s, North and South, A Friendship in Vienna, and Great Expectations-- this time as Miss Havisham. She added the voice to a character in the 2001 animated film Final Fantasy.
Lickety Split will serve full dinners and snacks starting at 8 P.M. when the doors open. There will also be a full bar. In case of rain, the film will move indoors where the Hunter Center will have been transformed into a full movie palace.
Tickets to Guys and Dolls are $6.50. MASS MoCA members get 10% off. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located on Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or online at www.massmoca.org at any time of day.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release