An ex-husband and wife team star in a musical version of 'The Taming of the Shrew'; off-stage, the production is troublesome with ex-lovers' quarrels and a gangster looking for some money owed to them.
In the Oklahoma territory at the turn of the twentieth century, two young cowboys vie with a violent ranch hand and a traveling peddler for the hearts of the women they love. Written by
Scott Lane <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Gloria Grahame frequently disappears from musical numbers, presumably because she was unable to manage the choreography. She appears in "The Farmer and the Cowman" only long enough to sing her verse, but is nowhere to be seen up to that point, and vanishes immediately after. As the song "Oklahoma!" begins, Grahame can be seen on the porch with Gene Nelson, though she is clearly ad-libbing her discomfort as she hides behind him, and she doesn't sing the lyric with the rest of the cast. Once Nelson hops off the porch to join the ensemble, Grahame disappears for the remainder of the number. See more »
When Will Parker is giving Ado Annie the "Oklahoma Hello," you can see a camera shadow as it pushes in on their kiss. 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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