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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1 win & 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

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Taglines:

More than your eyes have ever seen! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While appearing in a nightclub act with his wife at Lake Tahoe, Gordon MacRae received an emergency phone call to replace Frank Sinatra as Billy Bigelow, after Sinatra walked out before filming began. Originally, MacRae was told that Sinatra left when he discovered that every scene was to be filmed twice, once for regular CinemaScope and once for CinemaScope 55. Within three days MacRae, who was already familiar with the Broadway show and had wanted to play the role, reported to the set. Shirley Jones later revealed that Sinatra really left because he got a call from Ava Gardner. She was in Africa, shooting Mogambo (1953) with Clark Gable. She'd said something to the effect that if Sinatra didn't fly to her immediately, she was going to have an affair with Gable. Fortunately, the producers discovered a way to shoot in CinemaScope 55 and then convert it to regular CinemaScope without filming the movie twice. See more »

Goofs

The film is set in Maine, but kelp beds are plainly visible offshore during the Soliloquy scene. Kelp only grows on the west coast. 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'.
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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 calling a slut? Slut yourself!" and Julie says "Yeah, slut yourself!" was edited out. The line was kept on all local station telecasts of the film, and on all video releases. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Swamp Diamonds (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Mister Snow
(1945) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Barbara Ruick
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User Reviews

Beautiful and inspiring
17 February 2002 | by Registered_UserSee all my reviews

Shirley Jones is very believable as Julie Jordan, the lovely and ever patient mill worker who falls for a carousel barker, Billy Bigelow. With such heart felt ballads as "If I Loved You" and "You'll Never Walk Alone" it definitely ranks as one of the essential Hollywood musicals. Carousel is just about the only musical made during this period that deals with darker themes (i.e. date rape, domestic abuse). One could say that it even argues in favor of birth control. Carousel will never look dated because its themes are timeless and apply to the human spirit no matter what year it is. Everybody can identify with Billy to a degree and everybody can not help but feel a deep respect for Julie by the end of her personal journey. Fans of musical drama will treasure Carousel for years to come.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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
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