Thursday, August 28, 2008

Summer Under the Stars: Marlon Brando

Movie Dearest continues our daily previews of Turner Classic Movies' month long "Summer Under the Stars" celebration:

Now Playing Star Profile for Marlon Brando - Stardates: Born April 3, 1924, Omaha, Nebraska; died 2004. Star Sign: Aries. Star Qualities: Animalistic appeal, bigger-than-life persona, revolutionary approach to screen acting. Star Definition: "His performance in On the Waterfront is the best male performance I have ever seen in my life." -- Elia Kazan. Galaxy of Characters: Mark Antony in Julius Caesar, Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, Col. Walter E. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now.

Following his On the Waterfront Oscar win in 1954, Brando must have felt he could do anything -- even sing. Alas, that wasn't the case ... at least consistently; his songs for the 1955 film version of the Tony Award winning Broadway hit Guys and Dolls were actually edited together using the usable portions of his recordings. Nevertheless, his version of "Luck Be a Lady" placed at #42 on the American Film Institute's top 100 Movie Songs, not to mention his "I'll Know" has one very famous fan. And if Barbra likes his singing, that's good enough for me.

Additionally, due to Frank Sinatra's recording contract at the time, a complete soundtrack for Guys and Dolls was never officially released. However, a four track LP of Brando and Jean Simmons' songs from the movie (the above two, plus "A Woman in Love" and "If I Were a Bell") was issued. That album can be found as bonus tracks on this CD versionof the original Broadway cast album.

Guys and Dolls airs tomorrow on TCM at 2:30 PM EST.

See more pictures of Marlon Brando in The Back Room (NSFW).

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