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>
Finding "corn as high as an elephant's eye" proved to be quite a challenge. Since filming was to take place out of season, no tall cornfields were to be found anywhere. The job was given to the people of the University of Arizona Agricultural Department, who planted each stalk in individual containers and held their breath. With rain and good luck, the corn grew to a height of 16 feet, causing Oscar Hammerstein to quip: "The corn is now as high as the eye of an elephant on top of another elephant." See more »
When everybody stops by Aunt Eller's on the way to Skidmore's party. she invites the ladies to come in and freshen up. The Goon girls are among the first to be greeted by Laurey. When Aunt Eller asks Curley if he is going to water his horses too, The Goon girls can be seen behind Curley; in the next shot, they are back on the porch again. 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 "A Magna Release". At the end of the CinemaScope version, we see the words "A Magna Production - Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures". See more »
I've just hopped, skipped and jumped through seven pages of back-to-back kudos and other favorable comments on this great movie, and can do little but add mine to the chorus. Therefore, I'd like to focus on some minutiae.
The outstanding actress, among the many, is Gloria Grahame. In my humble opinion, she LIVED the part of Ada Annie. Watch her facial expressions during "I caint say no" and "All or Nuthin' ". The woman radiates sensuality with every line.
In the version shown recently on TV (04/03/06), it appears some lines were cut from "I caint". Unless I'm hallucinating, I remember her singing the following lyrics:
"Cain't seem to say it at all - I hate to disserpoint a beau When he is payin' a call! - Fer a while I ack refined and cool, - A settin on the velveteen setee - Nen I think of thet ol' golden rule, - And do fer him what he would do fer me!"
and at that point she starts idling her hips and flashes a grin of triumph that just REEKS sensuality. Anybody else remember this?
Another subplot(?) rarely mentioned is those two young girls who have a crush on Will and show up in every dance routine. I was enchanted by that little blonde pixie and have been going nuts trying to find out who she was. I suspect she is "Jennie Workman", the first credited dancer (she had one line in "Kansas City"). If so, sadly, she has only this one movie to her credit. If anyone has info on this little charmer, please email me.
I saw this movie soon after it's release in 1955, and was floored by the brilliance of the lyrics, actors in out-of-part roles doing a fantastic job, and the innovative dance routines, including the surreal barroom scene - it IS a dream after all. Fifty years later I still get the same WOW! reaction despite viewing this movie on an almost weekly basis this past month (that darned pixie has got me hooked!).
I wish some local theaters, facing declining audiences and the "home theater" threat, would feature a weekly "Classics Night" and show films like this again. Even a 52" HDTV pales in comparison to the Big Screen impact of some of these old movies, and this one would knock the socks off not only the current generation, but old geezers like myself who remembers when GOOD movies were the norm.
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