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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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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Barbara Ruick ...
Claramae Turner ...
Robert Rounseville ...
...
...
...
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:

20th Century-Fox proudly presents the first motion picture in the new CINEMASCOPE 55 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:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

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

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 »

Goofs

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 »

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 Myra Breckinridge (1970) 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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The very finest of Rodgers and Hammerstein!
1 January 2003 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

The film of this classic musical is a joy to watch and listen to.

The music is undoubtedly the finest Rodgers and Hammerstein

score.

Of the many fine moments in the film two astounding highlights

must be Billy's Soliloquy and the Shirley Jones' and Gordon

MacRae's lover's duet "If I loved you".

To this is added two great ballet sequences "June is Bustin' out all

Over" and Louise's ballet.

The film is Rogers and Hammerstein at their most dark and

introspective, which may account for the film's relatively lacklustre

reception at the time of its initial release but the at the same time

explains the ongoing appeal of this truly timeless classic film.

It is a fine memorial to both composer and lyricist and to the

artistry of Gordon MacRae whose performance of the soliloquy is

the benchmark against which all performances are judged.

The film was produced in Cinemascope 55 a large film fomat

which overcame many of the problems that were inherent in early

Cinemascope films (even though the film was actually released

only in standard 35mm form ..a bit like a 35mm print of a 70mm

film this still results in a far better image) and gives the film its

immaculate look.

The Fox DVD is crisp and the sound, though very clearly a 1950s

recording is clean and well balanced.

I just wish I could see this film in a cinema on the biggest of

screens... it would be an even more special experience!


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