Guys and Dolls (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1955) shares qualities with Gene Kelly musicals – An American In Paris (Vincente Minnelli, 1951), Singin’ In The Rain (Stanley Donen, 1952), Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (Jacques Demy, 1967). It’s bright, colourful, the sewer has rainbow pipes and bright orange facilities. Richard Dyer writes in ‘Entertainment and Utopia’ (from Movies and Methods: An Anthology) that there are five qualities of a musical that qualify a film as utopian: abundance, energy, intensity, transparency, community (1985:228). Guys and Dolls has all of these. And Frank Sinatra is beautiful – I would want to marry him too.
It’s interesting though that in this film he has an addiction – gambling – and in The Man With the Golden Arm (Otto Preminger. 1955), a heroin addiction. Constructing him as a public figure with addictions which are detrimental to his wellbeing at the same time as him having links to the mafia.