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Carousel (1956)

Approved | | Drama, Fantasy, Musical | 16 February 1956 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Henry King

Writers:

Phoebe Ephron (screenplay), Henry Ephron (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gordon MacRae ... Billy Bigelow
Shirley Jones ... Julie Jordan
Cameron Mitchell ... Jigger Craigin
Barbara Ruick ... Carrie Pipperidge
Claramae Turner Claramae Turner ... Cousin Nettie
Robert Rounseville Robert Rounseville ... Mr. Enoch Snow
Gene Lockhart ... Starkeeper / Dr. Selden
Audrey Christie ... Mrs. Mullin
Susan Luckey ... Louise Bigelow
William LeMassena William LeMassena ... Heavenly Friend (as William Le Massena)
John Dehner ... Mr. Bascombe
Jacques d'Amboise Jacques d'Amboise ... Louise's 'Starlight Carnival' Dancing Partner (as 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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

20th Century-Fox proudly presents the first motion picture in the new CINEMASCOPE 55 See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel See more »

Filming Locations:

Boothbay Harbor, Maine, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System) (Stereo)| Stereo (Westrex Recording System) (Stereo)

Color:

Color (CinemaScope 55)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though this film version is considered far from definitive, three alterations to the score forever changed future performances. The first line in the lyric of "You'll Never Walk Alone" was changed from "When you walk through a storm, keep your chin up high" to "When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high" for the screen version. The revised lyric was generally adopted and is the one most often heard today. The film version cut a haunting section of "Soliloquy," in which Billy muses about his barroom cronies growing "weary of hearing day after day the same old words that I always say" before launching into the strain of "My Little Girl." That section has never resurfaced; it's believed that composer Richard Rodgers cut the section himself during the show's Broadway run. Finally, "The Highest Judge of All," Billy's entry into the afterlife, was deleted from the film score, and is only rarely performed in modern-day revivals. See more »

Goofs

When Jigger first talks to Billy about a robbery, the sound of an outboard motor can be heard in the harbor. 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 »

Alternate Versions

In the film's first two telecasts on ABC-TV in 1966, Mrs. Mullin's line "I don't run my business for a lot of sluts!" followed by Carrie's retort "Who you callin' a slut? Slut yourself!" was edited out. The line was kept on all local station telecasts of the film, and on all video releases. See more »


Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

More special than "Oklahoma" movie
18 October 2003 | by gkeith_1See 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)


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