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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.


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Cast verified as complete

Billy Bigelow
Julie Jordan
Jigger Craigin
Carrie Pipperidge
Claramae Turner ...
Cousin Nettie
Robert Rounseville ...
Mr. Enoch Snow
Starkeeper / Dr. Selden
Mrs. Mullin
Louise Bigelow
William LeMassena ...
Heavenly Friend (as William Le Massena)
Mr. Bascombe
Jacques d'Amboise ...
Louise's 'Starlight Carnival' Dancing Partner (as Jacques D'Amboise)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Banas ...
Ruffian in Louise's Ballet (uncredited)
Third Policeman (uncredited)
Drusilla Davis ...
Girl at Clambake (uncredited)
First Policeman (uncredited)
Marion Dempsey ...
Sword Swallower (uncredited)
Harrison Dowd ...
Clem (uncredited)
Bill Foster ...
Man at Clambake / Dancer (uncredited)
Second Policeman (uncredited)
Lili Gentle ...
Young Girl #1 (uncredited)
Cheryl Holdridge ...
Young Girl #2 (uncredited)
Larry Johns ...
School Principal (uncredited)
Harry C. Johnson ...
Juggler (uncredited)
Strong Man (uncredited)
Bambi Linn ...
Dancer (uncredited)
Edward Mundy ...
Fire Eater (uncredited)
Mary Orozco ...
Fat Woman (uncredited)
Enoch Snow Jr. (uncredited)
Midget (uncredited)
William Sharon ...
Policeman (uncredited)
Sylvia Stanton ...
Contortionist (uncredited)
Dolores Starr ...
Snow's Daughter (uncredited)
Frank Tweddell ...
Capt. Watson (uncredited)

Directed by

Henry King

Written by

Phoebe Ephron ... (screenplay) and
Henry Ephron ... (screenplay)
Oscar Hammerstein II ... (book by)
Ferenc Molnár ... (from the musical play based on "Liliom" by)
Benjamin Glazer ... (adapted by) (as Benjamin F. Glazer)

Produced by

Henry Ephron ... producer
Darryl F. Zanuck ... executive producer (uncredited)

Music by

Alfred Newman ... (uncredited)

Cinematography by

Charles G. Clarke ... director of photography

Film Editing by

William Reynolds ... film editor

Editorial Department

Leonard Doss ... color consultant

Art Direction by

Jack Martin Smith
Lyle R. Wheeler

Set Decoration by

Chester Bayhi ... (set decorations)
Walter M. Scott ... (set decorations)

Costume Design by

Mary Wills ... (costumes designed by)

Makeup Department

Ben Nye ... makeup artist
Helen Turpin ... hair stylist

Production Management

Joseph C. Behm ... unit manager (uncredited)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Stanley Hough ... assistant director

Sound Department

Bernard Freericks ... sound
Harry M. Leonard ... sound

Special Effects by

Pat Patterson ... special effects crew (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

Ray Kellogg ... special photographic effects

Camera and Electrical Department

Bob Rose ... additional grip (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Charles Le Maire ... wardrobe director (as Charle Le Maire)
Sam Benson ... wardrobe (uncredited)

Music Department

Robert Russell Bennett ... orchestrator
Ken Darby ... associate: to Alfred Newman
Earle Hagen ... orchestrator
Oscar Hammerstein II ... lyrics by
Gus Levene ... orchestrator
Bernard Mayers ... orchestrator
Alfred Newman ... conductor / music supervisor
Edward B. Powell ... orchestrator
Nelson Riddle ... orchestrator
Richard Rodgers ... music by
Herbert W. Spencer ... orchestrator (as Herbert Spencer)
John Williams ... additional orchestrator (uncredited)

Other crew

Rod Alexander ... choreographer
Agnes de Mille ... choreographer: Louise's ballet derived from the original by (as Agnes De Mille)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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 Billy figured he could be the breadwinner through his association with a criminal lowlife named Jigger Craigin, which led to his death. In going back to Earth, Billy not only hopes to help his child, but "tell" Julie of his true feeling for her. Written by Huggo

Plot Keywords
Taglines 20th-Century Fox proudly presents [Rodgers and Hammerstein's CAROUSEL] See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel (United States)
  • Karussell (Germany)
  • Carrusel (Spain)
  • Carrossel (Portugal)
  • Charkh o Falak (Iran, Persian title)
  • See more »
  • 128 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

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 in this film, after Sinatra walked out before filming. 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. Ironically, 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 carousel has numerous colorful incandescent light bulbs. Thomas Edison introduced the first practical incandescent light bulb in 1879. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in That's Dancing! (1985). See more »
Soundtracks The Carousel Waltz 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 »
Quotes Nettie: [singing] When you walk through a storm / Hold your head up high / And don't be afraid of the dark.
See more »

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