Yeah, Brando is a problem... While he has a few beautifully smug moments here and there, his commitment to naturalism utterly ruins everything from the earful-of-cider story to "Luck Be a Lady." He looks embarrassed a lot of the time, which is the last thing Sky Masterston should ever be. Jean Simmons, on the other hand, tears into "If I Were a Bell" with such carnal gusto that I can only assume trenchcoats spontaneously materialized on every viewer in a theater, male or female.
This artifice gave rise to a strangely heightened sense of immediacy: it thrust performance front and center, as if theatrically, and gave Mankiewicz’s distinctive cast—headed by Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine—a proscenium-like showcase, and they make the most of it.
Conceivably the best picture Sam Goldwyn ever produced, this 1955 blockbuster musical has an undeservedly bad rep, largely because the two leads . . . aren't professional singers. In fact, they both do wonders with Frank Loesser's dynamite score because they perform their numbers with feeling and sincerity, and their efforts to live up to their material are perfectly in tune with the aspirations of their characters (as well as the songs themselves); in short, this may be the only Method musical.