When Hollywood star Marlon Brando hired to do his first musical film, the method actor was incredibly nervous! In order to quell his fears, he turned to costar Frank Sinatra for guidance. However, Frank Sinatra held a grudge against Marlon because the younger actor had beaten him out for the picture’s lead role. Frank left Marlon hanging, kicking off a bitter feud between the two on the set of the film that culminated in Frank Sinatra having Marlon Brando kidnapped. Join Facts Verse as we explore how Frank Sinatra hated Marlon Brando enough to kill him.
When Marlon Brando was cast in the 1955 Hollywood adaptation of the Broadway musical Guys and Dolls. Marlon was cast in the lead role of Sky Masterson. Even though the newly established method actor had absolutely no experience performing in musicals. One person who was surprised by the decision was Marlon’s costar in the film, established crooner Frank Sinatra. In fact, Frank had campaigned from the role himself, instead having his talents relegated to the role of second lead Nathan Detroit.
Frank Sinatra had pleaded with the higher-ups at studio MGM to get the role of Sky Masterson in the Hollywood adaptation of Guys and Dolls. However, the studio heads didn’t feel that the crooner was right for the role. Before deciding on Marlon Brando, there are other actors that might be possible in playing the lead role in the film adaptation include Gene Kelly, Kirk Douglas, and Cary Grant. Apparently, Cary called Marlon up and told him to take the role in order to piss off Frank Sinatra.
The studio and creative team behind Guys and Dolls were certainly interested in having Marlon Brando take on the lead role, despite his lack of musical experience. Marlon was the new hot thing in Hollywood. MGM was sure that they could make magic by casting him in a musical. When Marlon expressed his hesitance to take his role in the musical film, director Joseph L.
Marlon Brando and Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s lack of experience filming musicals meant that Frank Sinatra was one of the most experienced people on the set of Guys and Dolls. However, the legendary crooner wasn’t willing to lend any advice to costar Marlon Brando. Early on into the production, Marlon Brando turned to Frank Sinatra for support. Angry about losing out on the lead role and hesitant about the much younger actor. Frank Sinatra refused to give it. Marlon apparently asked Frank Sinatra to help him rehearse the film’s musical numbers, to which Frank retorted that he wasn’t interested in Marlon’s “method acting”.
Marlon had reluctantly signed on to play the lead in Guys and Dolls believing that his singing voice was going to be dubbed over by a more talented singer in the final product. However, this didn’t end up being the case. Instead of dubbing over Marlon’s voice, MGM went all-out teaching the star how to sing. Still, Marlon ended up needing many takes for some scenes in the film as a result of his inexperience. In addition to Marlon’s lack of experience singing, his acting style also differed from Frank’s. Marlon’s need for extra takes during both his singing and talking scenes got on Frank’s nerves.
Although Marlon Brando was apparently uncomfortable with his vocal performance. The production team behind Guys and Dolls ended up getting enough footage of the actor that they were able to cobble together ; A final product that made it look like the actor could sing. Marlon’s lack of singing talent was just one of the reasons that Frank Sinatra was mad that the younger actor had secured the lead role over him. Near the start of Guys and Dolls’ production. Marlon Brando had won an Academy Award for his performance in the film On the Waterfront. When Marlon beat Frank yet again for the lead in Guys and Dolls, the legendary crooner was fuming.
Despite the call from Cary Grant pleading for Marlon Brando to piss Frank Sinatra. By taking the role of Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls. It doesn’t appear that Marlon had any personal vendetta against Frank Sinatra when he took the role. Instead, Marlon simply felt that the role of Sky Masterson was going to be a good way to expand his horizons. Marlon tried to work amicably with Frank, but the crooner wasn’t having it. When Marlon realized that Frank hated him, the younger actor slowly started to hate the established Hollywood veteran.
Not too long into the production of 1955’s Hollywood adaptation of Guys and Dolls. The on-set feud between stars Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra made it so that the two refused to talk to each other when the cameras weren’t rolling. They communicated via third parties, and Frank took every opportunity to disparage his younger costar. Marlon’s method acting and need for extra takes resulted in Frank Sinatra giving the younger star the derogatory nickname “Mumbles”. Marlon leaned into the criticism. Going out of his way to require even more takes in order to piss off Frank.
Marlon Brando purposefully messed up his lines so many times that Frank became nauseous from consuming too much of the desert. Many feared that things between Marlon and Frank were going to end up getting physical. It seems that they did in an unusual way. The event that allegedly made things finally come to a head between Marlon and Frank. When Frank’s wife showing up on set one day and taking a romantic interest in the younger actor.
At the time that he was filming Guys and Dolls, Frank Sinatra was towards the end of his marriage to Ava Gardner. The two were rampantly unfaithful towards each other. But that didn’t stop Frank Sinatra from getting jealous and angry. It is because when Ava reportedly started showing some romantic interest in Marlon Brando. Marlon was the hot new thing in Hollywood, and it only made sense that Ava wanted to get a piece. Ava certainly got away with cheating on Frank many times. But her cheating on him with Marlon Brando crossed the line. Instead of taking his anger out on Ava, Frank took it out on his costar.
Soon after the incident involving Marlon Brando and Ava Gardner; Marlon abducted one night while driving around on his motorbike. Three men allegedly came at him with guns and forced him into the back of a black car. Inside the car, the three men told Marlon that they were either going to kill him or castrate him, a threat that the actor apparently took very seriously. Thankfully, the actor didn’t meet his end.
The three men dropped Marlon Brando off in the Hollywood Hills, where the actor frantically flagged down a car and managed to get a ride back to his home. When questioned about his injuries, Marlon claimed that he had gotten into a motorcycle accident. The three men had thankfully refrained from harming Marlon’s face, allowing the filming of Guys and Dolls to continue. From that moment on, Marlon Brando kept his distance from Frank Sinatra when the cameras weren’t rolling. And he apparently even hired a new bodyguard to accompany him on set.
Marlon never ended up pointing the finger at Frank Sinatra, though the actor’s lifelong friend Carlo Fiore did. According to Carlo, there’s no doubt that Frank Sinatra was behind the incident. Carlo is the only person that Marlon ever revealed the truth about his supposed motorcycle accident to. And he would go on to share the story after Marlon and Frank’s deaths.
If Frank Sinatra had come into the production of Guys and Dolls with a more pleasant attitude, he and Marlon Brando may have been friends. Frank’s bitterness on the set of the film extended past his feud with Marlon. And also extended to his relationship with the film’s writer and director. Frank reportedly defied the direction of filmmaker Joseph L. Mankiewicz numerous times during the filming of the picture, and the crooner went on to pledge that he was never going to work with the director again.
Marlon Brando’s bad time on the set of Guys and Dolls made it so that he didn’t want to do much publicity for the picture. But MGM managed to convince the star otherwise by purchasing him a brand new new Thunderbird. Though Marlon was incredibly happy about the Thunderbird. He still couldn’t make it through all the film’s scheduled publicity due to the production’s bad blood.
Although Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando couldn’t get along on the set of the 1955 Hollywood adaptation of Guys and Dolls. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Frank Sinatra allegedly had Marlon Brando kidnapped during the filming of Guys and Dolls, or did you think that the two were really great friends?