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.
Matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a partner for "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder, convincing his niece, his niece's intended, and his two clerks to travel to New York City along the way.
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
In 1956, Twentieth Century-Fox had two Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II films in release - this film and The King and I (1956), as well as the CinemaScope version of Oklahoma! (1955). "Carousel", although a critical success, was a box-office failure (probably because of its very serious, downbeat plot), while "The King and I" was a smash hit both critically and financially. Because of this, Fox put all of its Oscar campaign clout behind "The King and I". The result was that "The King and I" was nominated for, and received, several Oscars, while "Carousel" became one of only three Rodgers and Hammerstein films to be completely shut out of the Academy Awards (the others being the critically savaged and unsuccessful 1962 remake of "State Fair" and the equally critically savaged 1999 animated remake of "The King and I"). Conductor and music supervisor Alfred Newman led the orchestra for both "Carousel" and "The King and I", and won for the latter film. One of "Carousel"'s art directors, Lyle R. Wheeler, and one of its set decorators, Walter M. Scott, also worked on "The King and I", and, like Newman, won Oscars for that film. See more »
Mockingbird calls are heard in a scene between Billy and Louise near the end. At the time the film is set (between the early 1870s and the late 1880s), the mockingbird range was entirely in the American South. There were no mockingbirds in Maine - not even in the year the film was made (by which time the mockingbird's range had extended to New York and New Jersey). See more »
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 »