HOLIDAY INN
1942, Universal, 100 min, USA, Dir: Mark Sandrich

In an all-too-rare pairing, Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire star as song-and-dance men vying for the heart of Marjorie Reynolds while performing at a club open only on holidays. Irving Berlin supplied the film’s story and all of its songs, including Oscar winner “White Christmas.” This musical gem inspired the name of the famous hotel chain.


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.


ON THE TOWN
1949, Warner Bros., 98 min, USA, Dir: Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen

Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin are three sailors on leave in New York who find romance - and plenty of song and dance - with Vera-Ellen, Ann Miller and Betty Garrett over the course of their day at liberty in the big city. The creative team of Kelly and Donen, producer Arthur Freed and writers Adolph Green and Betty Comden would reunite three years later to make SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN.


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