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Carousel (1956)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Musical  |  16 February 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 4,217 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 23 critic

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 ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Carousel (1956)

Carousel (1956) on IMDb 6.9/10

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


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

Plot Keywords:

carousel | barker | death | love | carnival | See All (66) »


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


Drama | Musical


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 February 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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


(CinemaScope 55)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although this film was publicized as being filmed and shown in CinemaScope 55 (a larger-than-usual, 55 millimeter system with 6-track stereo), it was only shown in standard 35mm CinemaScope, at a screen aspect ratio of 2.55: 1. However, a 6-track version of the soundtrack had been made in addition to the standard 4-track version, and it was a 6-track dub which was used in the film's premiere. See also The King and I (1956). See more »


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 »


[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 »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Mole People (1997) See more »


June Is Bustin' Out All Over
(1945) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Claramae Turner, Barbara Ruick, and Chorus
Danced by Fishermen, Sailors, and their Girlfriends
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

More special than "Oklahoma" movie
18 October 2003 | by (Columbus, Ohio USA) – See all my reviews

The underdog of the two movies, but not in my book. "Carousel" so sweet, but I hate the darker parts. Hard to watch Jigger & Billy in their evil planning & trying to carry it out. I like all the song-and-dance movies. Here, "Louise's Ballet" really special, with Jacques d'Amboise now an older ballet teacher & mentor of youth. This movie shows him when he was borrowed as a young star (prodigy) from American Ballet Theater (?). Hate the part where Louise is taunted by all those rich kids. Liked the part at the end where Julie is older & more mature; wiser. Still misses her ne'er-do-well husband.

Loved the boat song with Julie's two friends: "When the Children Are Asleep". A tearjerker, but how true.

This story gives a midwesterner a view of late 1800s New England life, about uneducated young people. A female mill hand, and a male carousel barker. No wonder they had no money. People were going to college in those days, but not very many apparently. Billy's other money-making alternative was to steal. So sad.

Gordon MacRae had such an awesome voice. Shirley Jones' voice is beautiful, as is that of Claramae Turner (Cousin Nettie). The big group dance off Nettie's roof is totally excellent & breathtaking. Reminds me of "7 Brides for 7 Brothers".

Too bad people these days only know of Shirley Jones from "Partridge Family".

9/10 (dark violence)

16 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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