It has the most beautiful of all the Rodgers and Hammerstein songs.
And its message is so timeless: if you really love someone, he can hit you hard and you won't feel it at all.
Also: if you fuck Richard Rodgers, it doesn't really matter if you can't do a Maine accent: you'll still get the lead.
I loved the sunset on the Atlantic at the end...
I don't like ghosts coming back and interfering with the living.
That goddamn fucking whore!!!
And to think that just a few years later I'd be stuck on some teen sitcom and fucking Marty Ingels.
That last scene & song always make me cry....a good cry, a melancholy cry...good for what ails you.
Hugh Jackman was talking about a remake, is it still in Development Hell?
He's actively pursuing Anne Hathaway for his costar which should jumpstart the project. How much better would Sinatra have been than McRae?
Do any of you remember the more faithful tv version from 1967 with Carole Lawrence and Robert Goulet?
It was our high school musical, I can sing every song and I was in the orchestra. My favorite song is What's The Use of Wondering?
R7 Good luck with all of that.
I never knew You'll Never Walk Again was written for a musical and not the Jerry Lewis telethon. I never realized how beautifully it could be sung after decades of listening to Lewis croak through it. The singer in the film brought a teat to my eye.
Wow, that WAS a depressing musical!
[quote] The singer in the film brought a teat to my eye.
Shirley Jones loves her fans.
i do love the music, but the plot is a little weird. Basically it saying when your man hits you, it is ok because it means he loves you. and the father comes as a ghost and hits his daughter, and that means he loves her. In the normal world, Billy should of been arrested for battering his wife and daughter.
but the musical is rated as one of the best ones ever written.
Never fall for someone who works on a carrousel.
[quote]Billy should of been arrested for battering his wife and daughter.
And you SHOULD HAVE been arrested for writing "should of."
Shirley Jones did not fuck Richard Rogers. He was very much a stable family man.
[quote]Do any of you remember the more faithful tv version from 1967 with Carole Lawrence and Robert Goulet
I have a copy on DVD that a collector made for me. And Lawrence was not in CAROUSEL. Mary Grover played Julie and Marlyn Mason was Carrie. Carol Lawrence was in KISS ME, KATE with Goulet,Jessica Walter and Michael Callan. Goulet produced four musicals for ABC and was in three of them :CAROUSEL, BRIGADOON (Sally Anne Howes, Peter Falk) and KISS ME, KATE. The 4th production KISMET starred a horribly miscast Jose Ferrer, George Chakiris, Barbara Eden and Anna Maria Alberghetti. All four was wonderful. I have all but KATE.. that one continues to be the missing RoGo (Goulet) productions.
[quote]Billy should of been arrested
Of you forgotten 4th grade English?
[quote] In the normal world, Billy should of been arrested for battering his wife and daughter.
In the normal world of 1873 when the show takes place, women were nothing more than the property of their fathers or the men they were married to, so they had no rights.
[quote] i do love the music, but the plot is a little weird.
The plot comes from the play Liliom, by Ferenc Molnár.
Common sense wil tell ya that the ending will
and now's the time to break and run away,
but what's the use of wondrin'
if the ending will be sad,
you're his girl and he's your fella,
and all the rest is talk.
I've never seen it, but the premise sounds like a real downer, and I find You'll Never walk Alone a real downer when I hear it.
It's all about forgiveness.
Mrs. Mullins, where's MY song?
[quote]Shirley Jones did not fuck Richard Rogers. He was very much a stable family man.
Are you kidding? He fucked several of his leading ladies, including Jan Clayton and Diahann Carroll.
Gordon MacRae was pretty hot in Oklahoma but had already gone to seed and tubbiness by the time of Carousel. He did not rock those tight turtlenecks.
And it was only a couple of years later.
Actually his body is in great shape in CAROUSEL, but those horizontally striped tight period turtlenecks flatter no one. They make him look tubby, which he was not actually--but even so, he still has massive pecs that jut out.
[quote] Gordon MacRae was pretty hot in Oklahoma but had already gone to seed and tubbiness by the time of Carousel. He did not rock those tight turtlenecks.
That's what alcohol bloat will do to you...
[quote]Shirley Jones did not fuck Richard Rogers. He was very much a stable family man.
And he kept a bottle of vodka in the tank of his toilet, both to keep it chilled and out of sight. Resourceful but not all that stable.
[quote]How much better would Sinatra have been than McRae?
Sinatra had an okay voice but he was a shrimp. He would have looked foolish in that role. MacRae had the looks, the size, and a powerful voice.
Mrs. Richard (Dorothy) Rodgers invented the toilet bowl brush.
As if the Rodgers family isn't rich enough from all those royalties, they own the patent on one of the most ubiquitous accessories in American households.
Mrs. Oscar (also Dorothy) Hammerstein
Who's my DADDY?
Mary Rodgers Guettel
Hammerstein was a mediocre lyricist. A lot of his rhymes are amateurish and marginal. I was listening to a Broadway CD the other day and the song "Shall We Dance?" came on. When Gertrude Lawrence sang, "On the clear understanding that this kind of thing can happen" it felt like "understanding" and "happen" should've rhymed. A better lyricist like Hammerstein's protege Sondheim (who's great with internal rhymes) would've found a way to make those lines rhyme.
Another example, "What's the Use of Wond'rin'" starts with some really bad lines: "What's the use of wond'rin If he's good or if he's bad /
Or if you like the way he wears his hat?" WTF? The second line is just stupid. It's only used so that it can rhyme with "that" a few lines later.
But the ultimate Hammerstein I hate is: "When the dog bites / When the bee stings / When I'm feeling sad / I simply remember my favorite things / and then I don't feel so bad!" It reminds me of the childish poetry I used to write in grade school. You know he only used "stings" to rhyme with "things."
I find Hammerstein's obsession with birds disturbing.
r34 = Alfred Hitchcock
R32 = likes to lick crusty stuff off of stall walls at Uncle Wally's 24 Hr Porn Store.
Hammerstein was heart-felt and sincere and he spoke for millions. His disarming simplicity accounted for much of his popularity. Unlike Sondheim he had the gift of Universal Comprehensibility. Everyone who hears one of his lyrics gets it the first time. There's something to be said for that.
That play and the role of Billy Bigelow belongs to John Raitt.
"Sinatra had an okay voice but he was a shrimp. He would have looked foolish in that role."
Actually, Sinatra's shrimpy size might have worked in the role. His Billy Bigelow would have talked tough, but he was so small and frail it would have been clear he didn't do much real harm. That would have given his character a touch of much-needed vulnerability and pathos, something that the beefy, stolid McRae lacked.
Sinatra went so far as to travel to Boothbay Harbor, Maine where much of the film was shot. According to him, once he got there he learned that they intended to film the movie twice - once in 55mm and again in 35mm. He walked off the job and the studio sued him for a million dollars.
In the end, the film was shot only once in 55m. Some say that Sinatra walked off when he realized that Boothbay Harbor was a long drive away from anything resembling a city and he was unwilling to rough it out there for weeks. Gordon MacRae had to be flown in after being cast at the last second.
I've never seen this movie, but knowing that Shirley Jones is in it makes me not want to; she ruined "Oklahoma" for me.
Isn't there a line in one of the songs about Billy being "a shrimp". Although I'm glad Sinatra wasn't in it, he would've only made it worse.
R32 has a point. I'm surprised he didn't list any examples from "South Pacific", where Hammerstein's lyrics are at their most child-like, (not that that makes them unsuitable).
It is surprising to me how they wrote the character of Julie Jordan singing it doesn't matter that your man hits you, he is your feller and you must love him.
Because in the previous musical they wrote, Oklahoma, the female lead of Laurie seems a lot more independent.
But r42, it just goes to show that R&H wrote what was period-appropriate for the character, regardless of the current political sensibilities. They alternated naive and gullible Nellie Forbush with headstrong and sophisticated Mrs. Anna and in Flower Drum Song had 2 leading ladies of very opposite ways.
Not quite, R43.
In that era it was common for a man to beat his wife. But the moral of the story seems to be that it's okay to do so.
What's the Use of Wondering? makes my list of Songs for Abused/Badly in need of therapy women. i.e. My Man, Can't Help Lovin' that Man. The play Carousel was based on, by the way, was way darker than the musical by R&H. Billy Bigelow is a bully who beats his wife; R&H downplayed that, just like Maria von Trapp's bipolar disorder.
I'll take any R&H music and lyrics over most of the crap that passes for music in this era.
Whitney Houston screaming "I wanna dance wit somebody" over and over and over and over and over and over.
James Blunt croaking "You're beautiful! You're beautiful!" over and over and over and over.
move like Jagga move like Jagga move like Jagga move like Jagga move like Jagga move like Jagga move like Jagga move like Jagga move like Jagga move like Jagga move like Jagga move like Jagga move like Jagga move like Jagga
Carousel has some beautiful music, but it is definitely a bit twisted. The other musical relationship I think is abusive is My Fair Lady. She goes back to him in the end, and he has seemed to have learned nothing with his Liza fetch me my slippers closing line.
I thought McRae and Jones were good in Oklahoma. They movie itself is flat, but I don't think that is on the lead performances. I think Music Man is probably Shirley's best movie musical.
I want a womyn to sing "What's the Use of Wondrin'" at Michfest just to see how it goes over.
[quote]Whitney Houston screaming "I wanna dance wit somebody" over and over and over and over and over and over.
That's a different era.
R&H did make beautiful music together, despite Hammerstein's penchant for dumb rhymes.
I might've cast Jane Powell in "Carousel" though.
I wonder if Marilyn Monroe could have been toned down a bit for the Shirley Jones parts?
Oklahoma was release in 1955 and Carousel in 1956. Gordon must've been doing a lot of boozing in that period because he looks tubby and his pecs resemble moobs. Love Barbara Ruick and Coramae Turner! And no comment about DL fave, the late Susan Luckey. She was quite a dancer with hottie Jacque D'Amboise!
Does anyone have the dirt on that big queen who runs the R&H organization, Ted Chapin? I think he likes black guys to pee on him. Just a feeling I get when I see him on these R&H retrospectives.
The late Myoshi Umeki
"I wonder if Marilyn Monroe could have been toned down a bit for the Shirley Jones parts? "
Singing aside, she wouldn't have fit into "Carousel" or "The Music Man". In both films Shirley Jones played an old maid who isn't interested in men or marriage, until she meets the baritone.
Marilyn was ultra-femme, and never once played a character who was interested in anything except getting a man.
R45- Two more from the 60's.
"The Very Next Man" from FIORELLO!
"....who cares how frequently he strikes me,
I'll gladly fetch his slippers with my arm in
all for the privilege of wearing his ring."
wonder what they changed that verse to in the recent Encores! production of FIORELLO!
And from THE APPLE TREE. "What Makes Me Love Him?"
"He is a good man,
yet I wold love him,
if he abused me or used me ill."
I know that lyric was changed for the Kristin Chenoweth revival at Roundabout Theatre. I just can't recall what that change was.
R47- More recent productions of MY FAIR LADY have Eliza throw the slippers at Higgins head, and then they both burst out laughing.
R51- loved Susan Luckey in both CAROUSEL and THE MUSIC MAN films.
[quote] I know that lyric was changed for the Kristin Chenoweth revival at Roundabout Theatre. I just can't recall what that change was.
I believe it was. I'll have to get out one of the bootleg audios I have to be sure.
He is a good man, but far from perfect
Though on occasion, he's used me ill
R54--I have the video boot and I checked it too.
Saw Barbara Harris in the original she was wonderful. I am old.
The truly abusive relationship was Nancy and Bill Sykes in "Oliver". "As Long As He Needs Me", while a beautiful song, speaks more to the twisted and abusive relationship than Billy and Julie in "Carousel". Billy isn't a wife-beater and abuser like Sykes. He was angry, depressed and struck out (wrongly), but was truly sorry he did it clearly loved Julie.
Nancy in "Oliver Twist" is supposed to be a likeable but tragic figure, her man Bill beats her to death after she sings that lovely song about him.
But Billy and Julie in "Carousel" are supposed to have a Great Love, a passion that defies common sense and endures after death. If a remake is ever made they have to either take out the mentions of abuse, or portray their relationship as passionate but seriously dysfunctional.
You're all talking about spousal abuse and its acceptance by certain wives/girlfriends as if it doesn't exist any more.
Can the posters who don't like Shirley Jones in Oklahoma or Carousel please explain why?
She's seems a perfect fit (particularly in the former)....unless you're talking about some vocal inferiority, of which I might be somewhat ignorant.
Jane Powell? The trilling would have killed it, though not as badly as Kathryn Grayson!
r60 - that may satisfy your perceptions of what relationships are or should be, but that's not the story.
It's the Mother Partridge thing, r62. People can't see her in another role.
Jones was marvelous in the two R&H musicals and THE MUSIC MAN. And an Oscar winner to boot for a dramatic role as Lulu Bains in ELMER GANTRY.
Just my opinion
And movie roles you live to play/ They give to Shirley Jones to do!
Pia Zadora is currently starring in Carousel in Long Beach, CA., if you are interested and in the neighborhood.
R67 As what, one of the wooden horses? I think even that would be outside her range.
LOL@68! I agree!
[quote]Can the posters who don't like Shirley Jones in Oklahoma or Carousel please explain why? She's seems a perfect fit (particularly in the former).
She's got a lovely voice, and she's very pretty. She's an okay actress over all (in fact when she sings, she actually acts the songs beautifully--she had more problem with acting when delivering dialogue).
But the reason why she's bad for both these roles in because she can't do regional American accents at all--she just stumbles all over them (even more ineptly than Gordon Macrae does). In THE MUSIC MAN she's not required to do a regional accent, and she comes off much better.
Oh yeah, like Gloria Grahame was brilliant with the Okie accent!
70+ posts and no mention yet of Gene Nelson's thighs, Cameron Mitchell's pecs or Rod Steiger's furry chest?
No one ever said Gloria Grahame was brilliant with the Okie accent.
Oscar Hammerstein II was fascinated with transcribing American regional accents into his lyrics, and he should not have been. It usually spelled awkwardness.
I cahn't say cain't!
Charlotte Grenwood must have been surprising casting as Aunt Eller for the Oklahoma film. Didn't she usually play more sophisticated dames?
That role would have been a natural fit for Marjorie Main or Mary Wickes.
Haven't you ever seen Charlotte Greenwood do one of her famous high kicks? She often played sophisticates with a ribald side Aunt Eller was a good fit.
Don't miss the Lincoln Center "Carouself" on PBS next Friday, April 26th! It is gorgeous!
[quote]Can the posters who don't like Shirley Jones in Oklahoma or Carousel please explain why? She's seems a perfect fit (particularly in the former)....unless you're talking about some vocal inferiority, of which I might be somewhat ignorant.
[quote]I've never seen this movie, but knowing that Shirley Jones is in it makes me not want to; she ruined "Oklahoma" for me.
Her voice is fine, (although Powell’s and Grayson’s are more developed). She’s right in type. And I didn’t think her General American accent was bad in “Oklahoma”, (in fact, I don’t like when actors overdo accents).
But, I got a cold, insincere vibe from her, which turned me off her. I might’ve overstated it when I said “she ruined it”, but I would’ve preferred a different actress in the part.
I wonder why R&H didn't sell the film rights to Carousel and Oklahoma to MGM which might have made better versions of those early shows in the late 1940s while the studio was still at the top.
Of course, MGM usually cut most of the original songs out of their versions of Broadway musicals, so perhaps that answers my question.
On the other hand, I think MGM did retain most of Show Boat's score (lyrics by Hammerstein) and Annie Get Your Gun's, which R&H produced on Broadway.
Young Howard Keel might have made a strapping Curly or Billy.
Arthur Freed's Unit
R&H were very involved in the production of the movie “Oklahoma” and their other adaptations. MGM probably wanted to change things. Or maybe their bid just wasn’t high enough?
[quote]Young Howard Keel might have made a strapping Curly or Billy.
Indeed. Since he played both roles in the West End and was a big movie star at the time, he must've been considered. Maybe MGM wouldn't let him out of his contract?
R10 had me laughing out loud.
Hugh Jackman & Audra MacDonald on You Tube.
Hugh hits a note that was positively operatic. Brilliant.
[quote] Hugh hits a note that was positively operatic.
He does? Link, please.
"Oklahoma" at Proms 2010
[quote]The note he hits is towards the end.
I wouldn't as far as to call that operatic.
I know it has its faults but of all the musicals this is the one that, without fail, will make me cry. So if I am in the mood for a glass of wine and a good sob, I will put this on.
[quote]So if I am in the mood for a glass of wine and a good sob, I will put this on.
"Mame" is another musical that can elicit the same response.
[quote]Young Howard Keel might have made a strapping Curly or Billy.
Only if they could have found him in that mess of Ann Miller's house!
At 8:18 Gordon McCrae sings the most beautifully haunting notes in film history. Very under rated performer. Carousel has some of the best music R and H ever wrote. The overture? Spectacular. All of Billy's trangressions are allowed because he died a violent death. That was the way back in the days of the Hays code.
Aren't all the scenes in Carousel with The Starkeeper about Billy learning humility?
It seems to me that R&H do not let him off easy for his transgressions.
One problem with most productions is that Billy is so often cast with an actor 35 or over. It would be easier for the audience to understand the character's flaws if he were a brash 20-something, though perhaps a performer of that age would not be able to sing the role with the necessary depth. I suppose that was a lot of the criticism directed to Michael Hayden in Nicholas Hytner's 90s revival in London and Lincoln Center.
Yes, the script makes it clear that the community and the Starkeeper (Read: God) do not approve of Billy's abusive ways and that he needs to atone for them. Hammerstein's attempts to "understand" him and paint him as misguided could be taken as a bit suspect, I grant you, but I don't think he in any way condones Billy's behavior. Julie's acceptance of it is very much in character for her and for working-class girls of the period, who didn't have many (or any) better options. I don't think Hammerstein would have a problem with us having a problem with Julie's accepting Billy's abuse, if that makes sense. It's the beauty of their music and the simple poetry of their lyrics that allows us to see into their souls and underneath the limits of their backgrounds and cultural attitudes. This is a much more complex and rich musical than the movie shows or than it is often given credit for. Wish I could have seen the Lincoln Center revival, questionable singing from the lead aside.
[quote]One problem with most productions is that Billy is so often cast with an actor 35 or over.
Heath Ledger could have done this back in 1999.
OK, troll. But you know what, if he could sing, maybe he could have. He certainly had the right look. I don't know about in 1999, but in his 20s for sure.
I meant to say the movie "Mame". My comment was meant as a joke about how poorly the 1974 movie is regarded on DL. The story of the original musical is sort of sad.
Kansas City Repertory Theatre just presented the Living Room production (small fringe company) of CAROUSEL in their enormous theater on the UMKC campus. The first production at the Living Room company downtown got good reviews and was a sell out two years ago. All of the seats at the Spencer Theatre where KC Rep has it's home were removed and the space was reconfigured as a black box enviornment with seating all around. Actors made their entrances from the aisles. Some scenes were performed on the stairs. This production only used a piano and electric guitar. It was modern dress, not period and all of the scenes took place in darkened settings that were 'lit' when one or more of the actors pulled a light bulb chain and the area was illuminated. These light bulbs were hanging all over the performance space/stage.
I understand it was a reinvention of a classic ut I hated it. No choreography to speak of. Louise's Ballet lasted about four minutes. The gilr playing the role did a few twirls and one of the longshoremen taught her how to smoke a cigarette. No fantasy carney barker for her.
Although there were some good performances in this, I hated it....
Oh, and the Carousel Waltz was trimmed to just a few minutes and presented while cast members standing still and looking at other members of the cast took turns switching those bare white light bulbs on and off.
Looking forward to the PBS broaddcast
[quote]Wish I could have seen the Lincoln Center revival, questionable singing from the lead aside
R96 here- It was wonderful. Beautiful set design. Just thrilling. Although his vocals left a lot to be desired, Michael Hayden was a hell of a good actor. So were Audra McDonald and Sally Murphy. And what can you say about Audra's vocals? Perfection.
The ballet in the Lincoln Center revival was unforgettable. It stopped the show in a way I've never seen any show stopped.
I think the problem with the show is the scene between Julie and her daughter after Billy slaps his daughter. Julie says that it is possible for a man to slap a woman good and hard and for it not to hurt at all.
And FYI, in the original play, the "Billy" character does not find redemption and does not make it to heaven.
Carousel is one of the worst film adaptations of one of the most beautiful Broadway musicals ever made. If any musical is worth refilming, it's Carousel....certainly not Gypsy, for heaven's sakes!
The "Carousel Waltz" is a beautiful and underrated piece of music, one of the best waltzes ever written.
I'm so glad R101 mentioned the stellar score from Carousel. When I was in college I played in the orchestra in summers on Broadway and was lucky to play second trumpet there. The Carousel Waltz is exquisite when interpreted as first an out-of-tune victrola starting up.
A proper old carousel playing the Carousel Waltz is just the best thing. It makes me feel like a kid and any other piece of music is just a huge let down.
[R54] Interesting that the two musicals you mentioned with "abused woman" lyrics were both written by Sheldon Harnick. I wonder if his dad knocked his mom around a bit. Wonder if Mrs. Sheldon has a shiner on occasion.
Carousel on TCM this morning. The ballet is probably the most interesting part. I find that the 3 ragamuffins who dance with Louise in the beginning are quite hot. One shows some nip that has potential. They have great butts, and do some amazing acrobatic dancing. They are overlooked in these comments because of the incredible hotness of Jacque D'Amboise. Jacque is amazing. Dances like gravity doesn't know him. Incredible ass. Too bad he is straight.
Regarding Sinatra as Billy, there are costume test pix out there as Sinatra in his Billy duds. He looks ridiculous. Too skinny. Too New Jersey Italian to be believable as a Maine carnival barker. I think they did much better with Gordon, although I was disappointed on how tubby he looked with those moobs! In "Oklahoma", he looked incredibly hot.
One of only two films shot in Fox's 65mm widescreen process CinemaScope 55. The other film was THE KING AND I. Fox abandoned the process in favor of Todd-AO.
R&H originally wanted Judy Garland -- believe it or not -- as Julie. But Garland wanted "Soliloquy" re-written as a duet with Billy. R&H refused to permit the change. Garland out, Jones in
Even 12 years ago, Hugh Jackman didn't have a beautiful voice.
He sounds like a male Ethel Merman in that clip.