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In the Oklahoma territory at the turn of the twentieth century, two young cowboys vie with an evil ranch hand and a traveling peddler for the hearts of the women they love. Written by
Scott Lane <email@example.com>
In Sheila MacRae's autobiographical book "Hollywood Mother of the Year" in her chapter titled, "Curly, Billy, and Me", she revealed that Gordon MacRae had very few waves in his hair. This posed a problem since he would be playing a man who got his nickname from his curly locks. Movie hairdressers tried to fix it but Oscar Hammerstein was unhappy with the results and suggested that Gordon get a permanent. Gordon refused but instead agreed to allow his wife Sheila to finger-curl his hair each morning so his character's name, Curly, was believable. See more »
At the train station, Will Parker gets off the train and gives Aunt Eller a white box of something. Aunt Eller sits down on a bench and the camera shows her from the back, looking at Will. He says something like "let me show you guys something", to his other cowboy friends and starts to walk toward them. Aunt Eller puts the white box on the bench to her left and starts to stand up. In the shot immediately following, now showing the front of Aunt Eller, she puts the white box to her left and stands up again in the exact same way she did before. See more »
There's a bright golden haze on the meadow, There's a bright golden haze on the meadow. The corn is as high as a elephant's eye, And it looks like it's climbin' clear up to the sky. Oh, what a beautiful mornin', Oh, what a beautiful day! I got a beautiful feelin' Everything's goin' my way.
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I emphasize 60 because the musical debuted on Broadway in 1943, even though the film version was released 12 years later.
An unforgettable score. Perfect singer-actors. Tantalizing cinematography. It does not seem to get much better than this.
The main thing I admire about Oklahoma is that like the Rodgers and Hammerstein adaptations that would follow it (Carousel, South Pacific, Flower Drum Song, and, of course, The Sound of Music), the movie was fronted by legitimate musical talent, unlike in My Fair Lady and West Side Story. Further, it was a movie that did not rely on major stars, Rod Steiger notwithstanding, to make it an enjoyable picture. (Lest you forget this movie 'introduced' Shirley Jones as Laurey. Lest you would also like to know, the stage musical Oklahoma debuted on March 31, 1943, which coincidentally was a birthday of Miss Jones (I won't say which one). Prophetic? Maybe.
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