- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- Ellen Aberegg
The music is outstanding! Theology rough but the point is well summed up in graduation speech. Love is never wasted.
Not the best R&H musical, but still worth a watch.
- Tom N
Advertised as the first motion picture filmed with Cinemascope 55 (55mm film), and released in the same year as Walter Lang's "The King and I", "Carousel" is one of many musicals written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II that would be adapted for the silver screen by 20th Century Fox, 14 years before Robert Wise's Oscar-winning "The Sound of Music" (1965) that would become the staple of R&H's catalogue. Gordon MacRae, who has proven his vocal and acting talents in Fred Zinneman's "Oklahoma" (1955) returns as the leading man Billy Bigelow, alongside Shirley Jones, also from "Oklahoma", as Julie Jordan, Billy's wife. The film is reminiscent to that of Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" (1947), in that it focuses on a man who has been dead for 15 years and is given a chance to go back to Earth for a day to fix up some trouble regarding his wife and kid, but before he can do so, he tells the starmaster his story that led him up to that point. The songs and musical score, of course, are nothing to scoff at, as it IS Rodgers & Hammerstein after all. However, the story isn't as noteworthy as a lot of their other musicals. Overall, it's not my top favorite in the R&H catalogue, but it's still a brilliantly shot and well choreographed musical worth a watch in the long run.
Dark for a musical, but I liked it
- Dancing Doll
Just having seen South Pacific earlier this week, I preferred Carousel, and was relieved that there was no off-putting screen tint in this one. I was not expecting to be crying in a genre that I generally consider to be light and happy, however it was unique unlike most fluffy musicals. It reminded me a bit of West Side Story only in its serious, hearty subject matter and melancholy tone. Took me a while to move past the whole 'yeah he hit me but he's a good man' sentiment from Shirley's character towards the beginning, but I'm glad I stuck with it and gave it a chance. The dancers and singers were all talented, unlike in Oklahoma, which was hampered by Gloria Grahame's singing. The ballet reenacting a carousel towards the end was creative. If you like musicals and are in a more serious mood, I recommend this film.
Waste of time
I have made myself sit through this whole movie and I am wondering why. I've seen many musicals on TCM that were so much better. The dialogue sounded like a couple of 6th graders made it up. Gordon McRae was much better in other films. In this one, he just seemed like he wanted to be somewhere else. Most of his lines were recited with his back turned to the camera. The musical numbers were substandard and the choreography was even worse. I'm not surprised Frank Sinatra turned the role of Billy down. At least I can say I've seen this movie. I'll not be tuning in the next time it's on.
So true Dan Hand...
...I was listening to Shirley's explanation of the "real reason" why Sinatra didn't do the role, and I'm saying to the TV, nah ah, Mogambo was made in like 1952 or 53, and Carousel was made in 1956. I think by 1956, Ava and Frank had been separated for a while. Yep, that story was definitely not the true reason Sinatra decided not to do the movie. He was most likely being a d**k and had a temper tantrum. I'm sure Robert Osbourne knew the dates didn't connect, but being a gentleman, he probably didn't want to correct her. The dates are obviously easy to check and figure out. So whoever the person was who told Shirley the Ava/Frank story was pulling her leg. Anyway, you and I Dan, figured it out right away. Fabulous movie this is though. I never get tired of watching it and I tear up everytime in the sad scenes, like right now at the end here.
SORRY, SHIRLEY JONES!
- Dan Hand
You need to be a bit less credulous of tales told by anonymous audience members who claim insider information. Miss Gardner's African adventure for "Mogambo"-- on which Mr. Sinatra invited himself, by the way, rather than her ordering him to come-- took place a couple of years before "Carousel" was filmed. The former was released nearly two and a half years before the latter. (In fact, Sinatra's famously career-rejuvenating, Academy Award-winning performance in "From Here to Eternity" had been released barely two months prior to "Mogambo" in 1953.) His breathtakingly irresponsible behavior in walking away from the role in "Carousel" that he had so long coveted was, alas, all too much in keeping with his mercurial personality.
I have loved Carousel since high school when my high school choir teacher had us sing "This Was A Real Nice Clambake". I went out and bought the album(soundtrack) and was carried away by the beautiful score. The movie could never have been a disappointment to me. It was moving and thrilling and schmaltzy, but I cared not, I loved it. I suppose I am just a Rogers and Hammerstein "cockeyed optimist" (like the song says in South Pacific!). Which brings me to another subject that I longed to comment upon and it has to do with young people who do not like musicals, including fine, classic ones like Carousel, but insist upon putting their comments down with all their vast knowledge and experience! The people of the past enjoyed "schmaltz" in their entertainment and were upset when it was NOT included! That is one thing that many young movie-watchers do not understand. It is important, when critiquing, to judge as people of that time would judge, NOT with current comments. That would be hard to do, granted, but one must not let one's prejudices against past ways and styles interfere with one's true vision!The truth is Carousel is a lovely movie musical of the l950s and unforgettable by me "If I Loved"it. And I do!
- Wei-Sun Leong
The lyrics of Carousel are outstanding but I was disappointed with the movie. The success of a story is to have the audience be sympathetic to the protagonists, Julie Jordan and Billy Bigelow; but unfortunately, both lack character development to move the story forward, i.e. from a love-struck relationship to a one of understanding that love is conditional that both, especially Billy, be able to provide for each other. Billy never seems to realize this responsibility as he rejects first, the offer of Mr. Snow, then of Mrs. Mullin to (re)gain income other than ones of (gambling and) thievery of which he pays with his life; the fact that he is a grifter and a card sharp already marks him for the fall. It's Billy's exasperating recklessness and lack of good sense that does little to endear him; and when he dies, there is a respite that Julie may find someone who can better reciprocate her affections. Julie too is a perplexing character, who first, never blossoms from her credulous persona to a lady; and second, she fails to challenge Billy in that to win her love, he must also be the man who can provide, not just bluster. The ending is somewhat ironic in that while Billy fumbles in his attempt to console his daughter with fatherly advice it is the Starkeeper in the guise of the town doctor, who in giving the school-graduation speech, inspires the daughter to find the spiritual strength she so needs. Compared to West Side Story's Maria and Tony, whose love begins as infatuation and then matures to unpretentious love, an intimacy that have us empathize with Maria as Tony dies so senselessly it's the lack of such emotional dynamics in the Julie and Billy characters which is wanting in a story of love, misdeed, and redemption.
It has been a year since I have seen this movie, I remember the very first time I watched though. It was beautiful, the set , the music, the way in which it made me want to climb into the 'movie',I did not understand the true meaning then. I was about ten years old, it was not until thirty years later I felt the need to see this 'movie' and I thought I would speak up, I am bored and restless of the same themes, I like them also but John Wayne and Clint Eastwood do not bring lively, (and this movie shows how something special CAN be done) dancing, music and feel good times. Recently, I could not believe my luck, Oklahoma! Picnic and Meet Me in St.Louis were on in the space of a week!! WOW ... Lets keep it up Please
- RG St Peter
From stage to the screen, I agree somewhat with some on the scenery, not that it could be better, I have seen this in the movies when it first came out, the music does make the story, Jones and MacRae singing is beautiful, Today it still gives me a sense of ease, and it bring tears, when a musical can still do that, it is worth more then anything. The future generation doesn't know what they are missing! No one can make, produce, film, or redo-broadway, as the orginals musicals of "yesterday" It takes talent, that is long gone today.
possibly best of all musicals
I agree with Richard Rodgers and this is R&H's best musical. Lacks the maddening-crowd's pleasing sugary story-line. Savor Broadway's finest music and significant dance scenes of Agnes DeMille that are ethereal.
- Jay Higgins
This movie contains everything I hate about these types of musicals. It is was over sentimental, unnaturally colorful, it's overblown with phony art direction and wooden performances. Even the songs aren't that great. It's just too much of everything.