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Carousel (1956)

Approved | | Drama, Fantasy, Musical | 16 February 1956 (USA)
Fifteen years after his death, a carousel barker is granted permission to return to Earth for one day to make amends to his widow and their daughter.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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In purgatory for his role in a botched bank robbery, former carnival barker Billy Bigelow (Jackman) is sent back to his old life to for one day, where he's to fix the problems he left behind.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Barbara Ruick ...
Claramae Turner ...
Robert Rounseville ...
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...
...
William LeMassena ...
Heavenly Friend (as William Le Massena)
...
Jacques d'Amboise ...
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Storyline

Billy Bigelow has been dead for fifteen years, and now outside the pearly gates, he long waived his right to go back to Earth for a day. But he has heard that there is a problem with his family, namely his wife Julie Bigelow née Jordan and the child he never met, that problem with which he would now like to head back to Earth to assist in rectifying. Before he is allowed back to Earth, he has to get the OK from the gatekeeper, to who he tells his story... Immediately attracted to each other, he and Julie met when he worked as a carousel barker. Both stated to the other that they did not believe in love or marriage, but they did get married. Because the shrewish carousel owner, Mrs. Mullin, was attracted to Billy herself, and since she believed he was only of use as a barker if he was single to attract the young women to the carousel, she fired him. With no other job skills and unwilling to take just any job, Billy did not provide for Julie but rather lived off Julie's Aunt Nettie. But... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Curtain up...on a wonderful new world of entertainment! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 February 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (premiere only)| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(CinemaScope 55)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original stage production of "Carousel" opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York on April 19, 1945 and ran for 890 performances (a little over two years). Of their five great musical classics - the others were "Oklahoma!", "South Pacific", "The King and I", and "The Sound of Music" - it was the one that had the shortest run, probably because of its very serious plot. But it is the one most highly regarded by many critics, and several of its songs are classics. See more »

Goofs

The film location is New England. However the Soliloquy scene was shot in Malibu. Kelp beds are plainly visible offshore and kelp only grows on the west coast of the US. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Heavenly Friend: Bigelow...
Billy Bigelow: [impatiently] Well, what'd I do now?
Heavenly Friend: Nothing. I just thought you'd wanna know - there's trouble.
Billy Bigelow: Huh! Thought you said I didn't do nothin'.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A star hurtles downward and explodes in mid-air; out of this appears the credit "Twentieth-Century Fox presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's 'Carousel'". The other credits all appear in a straightforward fashion. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Killer Bud (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

You'll Never Walk Alone
(1945) (uncredited)
Finale
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Shirley Jones, Susan Luckey (dubbed by Marie Greene), Lili Gentle, Claramae Turner, Barbara Ruick, Robert Rounseville, Gene Lockhart, and Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Classic R&H Musical With Superb MacRae and Jones...
24 June 2001 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Rodgers & Hammerstein's brilliant stage musical comes to the screen with most of the music intact--and what songs they are. Each one is a gem and fully integrated into the tragic storyline. Gordon MacRae stars as Billy Bigelow, the amusement park barker who tries to change his life when he marries Julie Jordan (Shirley Jones)-- with tragic results. MacRae's robust baritone is showcased in his big number, 'Soliloquy', performed at seaside with the ocean backdrop. Only occasionally is the use of stagebound sets a jarring note--but overall, the look and feel of the movie is one of genuinely moving musical drama.

Delightful performances from Barbara Ruick and Robert Rounseville as Mr. and Mrs. Snow. Their 'When The Children Are Asleep' is a charming highlight. Claramae Turner does an outstanding job on 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. Cameron Mitchell is a slyly villainous Jigger. Filming of the 'June Is Bustin' Out All Over' number in Boothsbay Harbor, Maine is a production highlight and choreographer's dream.

Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones are in excellent voice for 'If I Loved You'. What more could you want? An exceptional movie musical that ranks with the best of Rodgers & Hammerstein's works.


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