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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:
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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:

The Most Glorious Entertainment Event Of Your Lifetime! 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

At the time that this film was released, it was not successful at the box office, but the film's soundtrack album did become a national best seller. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Snow takes his children walking on the beach, their shadows can be seen on the painted backdrop. 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 Walk On (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Soliloquy
(1945) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Gordon MacRae
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

It's a Wonderful Death
1 January 2004 | by (N Syracuse NY) – See all my reviews

In recent years it has become commonplace to site Frank Kapra's `It's a Wonderful Life' as one of the greatest films ever. It has become a Christmas tradition. I feel that film is overrated. The problem I have with it is that it stacks the deck in trying to convince us of the value of human life. George Bailey is a successful banker- not exactly rich but successful enough that he contributed a lot of material things to people's lives, including a housing development named after him. He also saved his brother's life so his brother could save the men on that ship, etc. etc. The message is that you are of value if you have done the sort of things they build statues of people to honor. On top of that, without George, everybody in this town is nothing. They are all drunks or crooks or prostitutes. They have no capabilities of their own. They are all dependent on George Bailey.

I much prefer Carousel, whose hero is a bum. If you were to ask nearly everybody in town- a town that has done just fine without him, as a matter of fact, what Billy Bigelow contributed to their lives, they would say nothing- if they remembered him at all. The only people who would have anything good to say about him are those that he loved and who loved him. And that is the bottom line. If a person can be redeemed by his ability to love and to inspire love in others, we all have a chance. If you have to have a bank and town named after you, the bar is too high for most of us.

As a musical, this is as good as it gets. `If I loved you' is rivaled only by `Some Enchanted Evening' as a love song and it means more as it's revealing of the character of this crude man who can't express what's in his soul and this shy girl who wants only to love and be loved. `Soliloquy' is the dramatic highlight in the history of the musical as Billy works out all his hopes and dreams in his mind and vows to do anything he can to make his daughter's life special. By over reaching his bounds, he does the opposite. `What's the Use of Wondering' expresses the doubts anyone entering a relationship has and is doubly moving as it's sung by Julie, for whom we know the song will have special relevance. `When You Walk Through a Storm' offers hope to us all. Those old guys at graduations are really worth listening to.


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