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.
In the Oklahoma territory at the turn of the twentieth century, two young cowboys vie with a violent ranch hand and a traveling peddler for the hearts of the women they love.Written by
Scott Lane <email@example.com>
Tone deaf, Gloria Grahame, who played Ado Annie, sang without dubbing, which required that her songs to be edited together from recordings made almost literally note by note. See more »
During the auction scene, when Aunt Eller forcefully slams the gavel on Curly's high bid, the hammer breaks, and the head launches towards the camera, almost hitting the lens. See more »
There's a bright golden haze on the meadow, There's a bright golden haze on the meadow. The corn is as high as a elephant's eye, And it looks like it's climbin' clear up to the sky. Oh, what a beautiful mornin', Oh, what a beautiful day! I got a beautiful feelin' Everything's goin' my way.
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Theatrical versions -- The Todd-AO 70mm version and the CinemaScope 35mm version are completely different, with different opening credits, each scene being shot twice and with different sound mixes. In the Todd-AO version, the titles appear against a black background; then, the black background fades out to reveal two rows of giant cornstalks, through which the camera tracks, until it finds Gordon MacRae singing "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin". In the CinemaScope version, we first see the cornstalks, the camera tracks through them; then, as the words "Rodgers and Hammerstein present" appear on-screen, Gordon MacRae appears and rides up to the camera and then past it off left, as the title "Oklahoma!" appears. The rest of the opening credits in this version are shown against, first, a background of a barn, then, a meadow with a tree nearby. As the credits end, the camera cuts back to MacRae and he begins singing. At the end of the Todd-AO version, we see the words "Distributed by Magna". At the end of the CinemaScope version, we see the words "Distributed by RKO Pictures". See more »
I emphasize 60 because the musical debuted on Broadway in 1943, even though the film version was released 12 years later.
An unforgettable score. Perfect singer-actors. Tantalizing cinematography. It does not seem to get much better than this.
The main thing I admire about Oklahoma is that like the Rodgers and Hammerstein adaptations that would follow it (Carousel, South Pacific, Flower Drum Song, and, of course, The Sound of Music), the movie was fronted by legitimate musical talent, unlike in My Fair Lady and West Side Story. Further, it was a movie that did not rely on major stars, Rod Steiger notwithstanding, to make it an enjoyable picture. (Lest you forget this movie 'introduced' Shirley Jones as Laurey. Lest you would also like to know, the stage musical Oklahoma debuted on March 31, 1943, which coincidentally was a birthday of Miss Jones (I won't say which one). Prophetic? Maybe.
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