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.


NO WAY OUT
1950, 20th Century Fox, 106 min, USA, Dir: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

After a man dies while under the care of new black doctor Luther Brooks (Sidney Poitier in his feature debut), the patient’s racist brother (Richard Widmark) refuses to allow an autopsy that would prove the physician’s actions were justified. As tensions in the community escalate, Dr. Brooks gets his autopsy the only way he can - by giving himself up for murder. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee make brief appearances in this tense drama, one of the most blistering critiques of racism ever filmed.


ALL ABOUT EVE
1950, 20th Century Fox, 138 min, Dir: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Seemingly timid fan Eve (Anne Baxter) ingratiates herself into Broadway mega-star Bette Davis’ inner circle in this backstage, backstabbing masterpiece by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Eve wastes no time stealing Davis’ spotlight and man (Gary Merrill), but Davis takes nothing lying down. A superb supporting cast (George Sanders, Marilyn Monroe, Thelma Ritter and Celeste Holm) brings New York's theater set to life. "Fasten your seatbelts...it’s going to be a bumpy night."


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