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|Index||72 reviews in total|
This is a very deep and moving musical that I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved Shirley Jones and Gordan MacRae in Oklahoma! and the pair was just as amazing in "Carousel". A work of art in every aspect, although a very sad movie in general. The two songs that really stand out in this musical were "If I Loved You" and "You'll Never Walk Alone". Some of the lines in "You'll Never Walk Alone" go like, "When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high, and don't be afraid of the dark." Which is really true of any of our lives and it easy to make connections with the troubles in our life to the troubles in theirs, that are reflected in this outstanding musical. Be ready to be moved in many different ways. Both were amazing while songs like "June is Bustin' Out All Over" provided a bit of "happy" relief. I recommend it for anybody looking for a truly touching and romantic experience with an amazing score of songs. You'll love it.
Handsome film musical based on Molnar's play Liliom, with a memorable Rodgers and Hammerstein score. The cast sings and dances beautifully all the way throughout. The show is lively and full of energy. The photography in the film is also stunning, as is the use of color. Features the classic song "You'll Never Walk Alone."
Nearly as well done one as 'Oklahoma', this is the rare musical where
everyone does their own singing and does it well, unlike 'South
Pacific' and 'Camelot' where the stars were cast for their box office
power and someone else sang for them.
Each time I've seen this movie on TV, the lovely duet 'If I Loved You' is photographed from a distance, at least when Gordon MacRae sings his part. Perhaps the close-up take was ruined and this was substituted, but you can't see any facial expressions. All you see is MacRae gesturing, walking back and forth while you hear his voice. You don't even see his lips move. It's too bad, because vocally, this version of the duet is superior to the original Broadway cast version with Jan Clayton and John Raitt. Raitt was great, but Jan Clayton's voice is too weak and delicate. In the movie, Shirley Jones is every bit the vocal equal of Gordon MacRae. Now compare how 'If I Loved You' is photographed with 'Soliloquy' or even when MacRae returns for 1 day and softly and beautifully reprises 'If I Loved' to the middle-aged Julie.
The casting of MacRae is perfect, not just vocally either. Even though this movie came out just 1 year after 'Oklahoma', MacRae is visibly heavier and seedier around the edges. At some level, Billy Bigelow understands he's a self-destructive loser and needs Julie more than Julie needs him. His strutting act is tinged with shame. He's not that much different from his pal Jigger, except that Jigger is not handicapped by conscience. Even though Frank Sinatra (who was originally cast as Billy) played many characters like this, I think MacRae had the better voice for this part and actually seemed to be in real life the handsome golden boy going bad.
Julie is partly a loser because she knows better, and she deserves better than Billy Bigelow. Other reviewers have criticized the play for an unrealistic portrayal of a woman sticking with a shiftless abusive husband. Seems to happen a lot still. The seaside setting in Maine is so picturesque, the songs are so lovely, you almost forget that this story is more commonly found in a city slum or a trailer park. Jones and MacRae sing their parts like champions, just as they did in 'Oklahoma'. Their singing transcends the sordidness of their story.
The pairing of Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae is the best of all the movie musicals. Shirley Jones had the best soprano voice in movies with the possible exception of Julie Andrews. You could actually make out the words in her singing. She had none of the pretentious trilling of Kathryn Grayson. MacRae could go from soft crooning to operatic high notes with ease. I've seen Oklahoma and Carousel on stage many times and have yet to hear them sung better than the movie versions.
Rodgers and Hammerstein avoided making Carrie and husband Mr. Snow money driven caricatures by their mutual love for each other in the tender 'When The Children Are Asleep'. As much as the emotional center belongs to Billy & Julie, one must admit that it is the Snow family that's the prototype for the successful American Family. Mr. Snow's plowing his profits from one fishing boat to build up to a fleet could be applied to restaurants, taxicabs or stores.
The dream dancing in Carousel is better than in 'Oklahoma'. Jacques D,Amboise has a tremendous screen presence, and Susan Luckey is a better actress than Bambi Linn in Oklahoma.
Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical-fantasy Broadway hit, originally based on Ferenc Molnar's non-musical play "Lillian" (filmed itself in 1930 and 1934), comes to the screen strangely enervated, without inspiration, with disconcerting flashback structure and sluggish pacing. Due to a misunderstanding about the way the picture was to be filmed, Frank Sinatra bowed out of playing Billy Bigelow at the eleventh hour, so the "Oklahoma" sweethearts Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones are reunited here; they have a nice rapport, though this story is much tougher in tone, and MacRae and Jones do seem a bit innocuous in these settings. MacRae swaggers about amiably, but he doesn't convince us he's abusive (he's too likable). Story begins in Heaven, with fancifully silly decor, but the narrative gets more sobering as the film continues--and yet the handling is still giddy and upbeat. It doesn't quite mesh, and there are too many songs, but with a big budget and this curious material it's certainly interesting. **1/2 from ****
One of the darkest if not the darkest of the big Hollywood or Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals this has an almost throughly unsympathetic anti- hero and somewhat of a doormat, at least at first, for a leading lady. However it also has some of the most beautiful music ever written sung by two great artists. "If I Loved You" is a song so full of cautious yearning and guarded longing with beautiful simplicity it tells you so much about Billy and Julie any other back story would be wasted. "You'll Never Walk Alone" is starkly moving and "June Is Busting Out All Over" provides some much needed levity in the heavy proceedings. Shirley Jones, at perhaps the peak of her loveliness, and Gordon MacRae, always one of the most attractive men in films with his All American robustness, with their chemistry and charisma make the two main characters people you care about which especially in Billy Bigelow's case is not the easiest accomplishment. As far as their singing performances Shirley as was always the case is in exquisite voice but the real standout has got to be Gordon, blessed with a gorgeous baritone and a fine expressive style, he is terrific here particularly in his big show-stopping set piece "Soliloquy". He was rushed in when Frank Sinatra walked out in a huff and it was a lucky break for the film, Sinatra with his at times boorish entitlement would have engendered zero sympathy, a vital component to making the character at least somewhat engaging. Sadly this was his last big picture since it was the end of the cycle for big Hollywood musicals. A waste of a superior talent. A beautiful film about imperfect people, and the redemption of one, that may not be politically correct if viewed through the prism of modern times but looked at from the perspective of the times it was made in is a great entertainment.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First, I've got to get something off my chest. I was reading in the
discussion section the thread entitled "This film is an atrocity". Some
of the dumbest comments I've ever read on IMDb. We have some reviewers
who can't differentiate between "I didn't like this film" and "This is
a horrible film". There is a difference. I personally can't stand
opera, but that doesn't mean that I don't recognize its beauty and the
talent it takes to perform one. And in fact, that's one of the things
some of our reviewers don't get...more than some musicals, this film is
-- in a sense -- an opera.
Second, thank god that Frank Sinatra walked away from this film. First, it would have been type casting. But second, he was all wrong -- including physically wrong -- for the part of Billy Bigelow. Having said that, I see Sinatra's Reprise recording of "Soliloquy" to be the definitive recording of the song.
Now, more directly to the film. I can see why modern audiences might not enjoy this film. It has a slow pace in a few places. Some of the modern interpretive dance, which really is quite good, might not appeal to many. And, the film excuses hitting women.
On the other hand, when you think about it, the film tackles more substance than musicals often do. The plot is a little thin, but that's so you can fit in the music. And the music here is truly notable: "Soliloquy", "If I Loved You", and the stunning "You'll Never Walk Alone" (although I was a bit disappointed with the orchestral arrangement here, particularly in the first appearance of the song).
Shirley Jones's performance was -- once again -- virtually flawless. It's a travesty that her type of film virtually disappeared from movie screens, relegating much of her later career to weak films, few of which are notable.
Gordon MacRae is excellent here, and I say that as no fan of his.
Claramae Turner's part gets little screen time, but her nearly-operatic performance of "You'll Never Walk Alone" is timeless. Cameron Mitchell...well, I never quite saw what Hollywood saw in him...and still don't. Gene Lockhart is worth mentioning here. He was a character actor with a long and substantial career, and this movie was filmed just about a year before his death, although he performed in 2 films after this, including "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit".
All in all, despite what some of our reviewers have written, this is a significant film, though it may not be entertaining to modern audiences. It will be remembered more for several of its musical pieces, rather than for its plot. I'm glad I finally watched it -- once -- but I probably will not view it again. That era has passed, and personally I don't feel this is the best of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. However, still recommended from an historical point of view in film history.
There are many people today (as well as many people back when this was first released) who don't care for the dark story in this, one of the least financially successful of the Rodgers and Hammerstein filmizations. However, the film is lovely and a grand filming of a classic. The "opening up" of the story with beautiful Maine locations makes it's beauty breathtaking at times, and no one can fault the handling of the grand musical score. Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones do more than justice to the beautiful songs, and the choreography of such great numbers as "June is Bustin' Out All Over" is superb. This is a film that, despite it's darker elements does leave you with an uplifted feeling. A masterful job by Twentieth Century-Fox.
The first time I saw Carousel, I was ten years old and staying up late on a weekend. As I turned the dial, I came across the opening scene as Billy was sitting on a ladder in Purgatory (not heaven), polishing stars. This scene fascinated me. At this point I became engrossed in the movie which was to be my favorite for a lifetime. The music is perfect as it ranges from the dynamic "Carousel Waltz" to the simple and beautiful "If I loved You". As in The other R&H musicals that address social issues (racial prejudice in South Pacific and sexual harassment in Oklaholma), Carousel takes on spousal abuse and social discrimination. The scene, where Julie puts Billie's star in her pocket, as her daughter asks, if it was possible to be hit and for it not to hurt, has such deep emotion. Gordon Macrae and Shirley Jones are so right together in their roles as Julie and Billie. Frank Sinatra could never have pulled it off. I'm so glad he walked out on the role of Billy Bigelow. My only regret is that at least two numbers, that I am aware of, were edited out of the final version, "You're a Queer One Julie Jordan" and "A Whaling We Will Go" (not sure if this is the correct title). They were cut do to the extended length of the film. Another hour would have been fine with me.
It was one of the first if not the very first musical I ever owned. I loved Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae together in it. They did good in Oklahoma too but I saw Oklahoma after I'd seen Carousel. I know that Frank Sinatra was first choice for Billy and I've heard him sing If I loved you and I didn't like it at all. I know that if he had been in it I probably wouldn't have liked it. I've read that Gene Kelly was second choice and while I love Gene and can picture him making a good Billy no one could pull it off like Gordon MacRae. Still to this day like 8 to 9 years after my first time watching it I cry when Billy dies although you know in the beginning he's dead. It still gets me. It's sad that they didn't say I love you until it was after it was too late but in some ways you could tell that they knew that the other one knew they did. I just wish that Julie would have seen Billy again. I love this movie and it is one of the best musicals of all time and a great movie all together. I'm a huge fan of Rodgers and Hammerstein and this movie is a big reason why.
So let me state for the record that I love a good musical. People breaking out into random song and dance to express their emotional problems never bothered me. That being said, Carousel was such a disappointing chore of a movie to watch that most of the entertainment value came out of me and my family's heckling. So why did I give it a 3 instead of nothing at all? Well it wasn't a complete waste. I can appreciate a well choreographed dance scene, and the vocal talent was pretty good, but the songs were terrible! Lets have a clambake and then sing in groups about seafood? The characters were so flat and stumbled into such forced and trite situations to drag along a plot that barely registered. About half an hour into the movie I mentioned out loud how I wish the film were more about a carousel and less about absolutely nothing. I know movies that have been adapted from stage shows have a sort of hokey and exaggerated quality to the acting, but there's a point of absolute ridiculousness where I draw the line. Where was that line for me? I held out until one of the characters told a girl she could defend herself from stalkers by giving them a big sensual hug. Being from a completely different generation who's attention span has evolved to being inpatient of anything that doesn't read like a commercial or music video, I can still take into consideration that Carousel was made at a point in movie history where directors took their time to relay the story. But Jesus tap dancing Christ,it took EVERY character SO long to say what was on their mind, you could have cut a good 45 minutes out of this movie and not have missed anything. what astounded me most was it's classic status and high IMDb score. I can kinda speculate that the only people really interested in looking up the information about this movie are the ones who loved it. So for every user that gave it 10 stars, there's probably 10 more users who couldn't be bothered to even finish watching this exhausting Rogers and Craperstine clunkerdump.
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