I watched Guys and Dolls the musical yesterday and several things stood out to me that I hadn’t noticed before. The first, is that I’m convinced someone on staff had a smoking fetish. Consider the image below, set in a club in Havana. The camera lingers on her smoking for a good 5 seconds before Sergeant Sarah Brown, Sky Masterson’s date fumes and strikes her cup to get his attention.
If somehow you are not familiar with the musical Guys and Dolls, that hit Broadway in 1954 and came out in 1955 starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, based on the writings of Damon Runyan, well now, my friend, you are. And of course, the woman devoted to saving the souls of the sinners of New York, Sergeant Sarah Brown, of the Salvation Army played by the lovely Jean Simmons.
I had only know Jean Simmons from the Court Jester, so it was a surprise to recognize her in the movie, which as a kid I had not. And nor did I catch, in my younger years, what a bad ass she proved to be in the fight scene in Havana. In my head cannon there were some rough years for our little Sarah Brown before she landed in the hands of God, maybe even an underground fighting ring.
But I have wandered from my premise, a digression worthy of the stylings of the Master Damon Runyan himself. Sky, the man of whom I speak, is a superhero. First he is cool. I do not mean cool in the way of Boba Fett, who had no other raison d’etre than to look cool and appeal to the hearts of boys 8 to 12 everywhere to move merch. I mean that his character trait is nervelessness. He is renown for wagering a thousand dollars on the path of one raindrop over another, and for not taking penicillin because he had a bet that his fever would break 104. Both of which bets he is revealed to have won.
This is his second superpower, he is lucky. And if you are saying luck and cool are not the makings of a superhero, I refer you to Deadpool and Domino.