Monday, April 29, 2013

Sing it Again

When I heard that Hollywood is planning to make a new version of famed Broadway musical Guys and Dolls, my reaction wasn't the usual series of sighs and hurrumphs that usually greet these sort of announcements. Three reasons, mostly. Firstly, any musical - especially one with big stars (supposedly) attached - is good news because it means another year will go by without the genre fading off into obscurity. Secondly, the 1955 adaptation with Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra is not a particularly good film. Thirdly, and perhaps most important of all, is that Broadway has in essence been remaking their own product for years.

I'd love to see a film version of the Frank Loesser, Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows musical from 1950 and I'd hate to see the prospect of us getting one vanish just because of the internet's precious mentality to remakes. The film version by Joseph Mankiewicz is just not that good - and not only that, but it's missing up to five songs from the Loesser score and features a miscast Brando. That the film was only nominated for four technical Oscars speaks volumes given these sort of bloated (150 minutes! And I felt every minute of it) musicals were quite popular at the time.

I'm a bit confused by the reports that Channing Tatum is being sought for the Nathan Detroit role and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Sky Masterson given they seem to be around the wrong way. Maybe that's just a quirk of the rumour mill and that they're meant to be other way around. I hope they are, anyway, since - give or take Tatum's singing abilities, which until now have never been discussed as much as his dancing - it'll surely be distracting. Of course, it's all just rumours at this stage and maybe it will never happen, but if it starts people thinking about "remaking" other properties that maybe weren't given the best treatment (think of the trouble they've had though trying to get another My Fair Lady produced).

And, yes:

No comments: