Oklahoma!Director: Fred Zinnemann
Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1943 Broadway musical was considered revolutionary for a multitude of reasons, not least of which were the play's intricate integration of song and storyline, and the simplicity and austerity of its production design. The 1955 film version of Oklahoma! retains the songs (except for "Lonely Room" and "It's a Scandal!," which are usually/i>… See more details below
Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1943 Broadway musical was considered revolutionary for a multitude of reasons, not least of which were the play's intricate integration of song and storyline, and the simplicity and austerity of its production design. The 1955 film version of Oklahoma! retains the songs (except for "Lonely Room" and "It's a Scandal!," which are usually cut from most stage presentations anyway) and the story, but the simplicity is sacrificed to the spectacle of Technicolor, Todd-AO, and Stereophonic Sound. The story can be boiled down to a single sentence: a girl must decide between the two suitors who want to take her to a social. In her movie debut, 19-year-old Shirley Jones plays Laurie, an Oklahoma farm gal who is courted by boisterous cowboy Curley (Gordon MacRae) and by menacing, obsessive farm hand Jud Frye (Rod Steiger). Fearing that Jud will do something terrible to Curley, Laurie accepts Jud's invitation to the box social. But it's Curley who rescues Laurie from Jud's unwanted advances, and in so doing wins her hand. On the eve of their wedding, Laurie and Curley are menaced by the drunken Jud. During a fight with Curley, Jud falls on his own knife and is killed (this sudden-death motif was curiously commonplace in the Rodgers and Hammerstein ouevre). The local deputy insists that Curley be arrested and stand trial, but he is outvoted by Curley's friends, and the newlyweds are permitted to ride off on their honeymoon. Counterpointing the serious elements of the story is a comic subplot involving innocently promiscuous Ado Annie (Gloria Grahame), her erstwhile sweetheart Will Parker (Gene Nelson) and lascivious travelling salesman Ali Hakim (Eddie Albert). None of the Broadway cast of Oklahoma! was engaged for the film version, though Charlotte Greenwood is finally able to essay the role of Auntie Eller that had been written for her but she'd been unable to play back in 1943. The evergreen songs include "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," "Surrey with the Fringe on Top," "People Will Say We're In Love," "I Cain't Say No," and the rousing title song. Two versions of Oklahoma! currently exist: the Todd-AO version, filmed on 65-millimeter stock, and the simultaneously shot CinemaScope version, shipped out to the theaters not equipped for the wider-screen Todd-AO process. Both versions have been issued in "letterbox" form on laser disc, and the subtle differences in performance style and camera angles in each and every scene are quite fascinating.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- 20th Century Fox
- [Wide Screen]
- [DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
- Sales rank:
Cast & Crew
|Gene Nelson||Will Parker|
|Charlotte Greenwood||Aunt Eller|
|Gloria Grahame||Ado Annie Carnes|
|Rod Steiger||Jud Fry|
|Eddie Albert||Ali Hakim|
|Jay C. Flippen||Skidmore|
|James Mitchell||Dream Curly/Dancer|
|Bambi Linn||Dream Laurey/Dancer|
|Ben Johnson||Cowboy at Train Depot|
|Rory Mallinson||Young cowboy at box lunch auction|
|Robert Russell Bennett||Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Russell Bennett||Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Jay Blackton||Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Agnes de Mille||Choreography|
|Adolph Deutsch||Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Fred Hynes||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Richard Rodgers||Score Composer|
|Rodgers & Hammerstein||Score Composer|
|Oliver Smith||Production Designer|
|Joseph C. Wright||Art Director|
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
My mother had seen the original on broadway as a very young girl and had taken the whole family to see a play acted out by some highschoolers at the local college. This turned out to be a flop, since some acts and most of the songs, including the famous "Oklahoma!", had been taken out. My oldest sister just recently took out this movie. It proved better than the play we had seen, and the songs were very catchy. I never understood why my mother loved the "Oklahoma!" song until I watched it. Despite the plot, which overall would be rather of a pleasant bore had it not been for some arousing scenes (such as when the wagon Laurie and Jud is in starts headlong into a coming collision with a train), as the story is nothing extraodinary, the "Oklahoma!" song sticks with me even now. The text and lyrics seem to catch a certain old mid-western aroma of the late 1800's/ early 1900's that is patriotic in its own way. A nice movie, you will hum "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin', Oh What A Beautiful Day, I Gotta Wonderful Feelin', Everythings Goin' My Way" for many days to come.
This movie was filmed in the brief Hollywood era when some films were being filmed in two formats simultaneously...This package includes both the Cinemascope version and the "for many years" seldom seen TODD-AO version, which utilizes differnent takes and camera setups much of the time...It is fun to compare the two. For me, in many ways the TODDAO version seems fresher...and the camera work is better...Certainly, the sound of the TODD AO version is much more spectacular. In either version you have a classic R and H score, well performed and sung. If you haven't seen this one in many years, it is certainly worth a look at these restored versions.
This is definitely my favorite of all of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. At first glance it seems to be just a frivolous musical, but it is worth a second look. The music is complex and fun, and the lyrics are wonderful and quite profound. In fact, my tattoo actually says "All the sounds of the earth are like music..." which is a line from the opening song "Oh What a Beautiful Morning." everytime I watch this movie it makes me feel happy, and that's really the most important thing about a movie.
This movie is nostalgic. It brings back many memories. Watch if you enjoy musicals.
Oklahoma is great. The film has the extra bonus of the "Goon Girls". These are the young girls with a crush on the character Will. They are Jane Fischer and the little blond pixie Lizanne Truex. They were hired to do the train station scene, but so impressed the director that they were written into the musical. Lizanne is amazing, kicking the hat of Will at the station, clicking her heels in the dream sequence and bouncing into the side of Gene Nelson (Will) at the barndance. Enjoy this timeless jewel.
Having grown up with the original play and then some of the revivals and then the movie, it was wonderful to relive it again. Had been looking to add this to my library and to share it with those who have never seen it. As a beginning to American theater and later movie musicals this genesis of an experience is truly magnificent. Looking from 1943 and seeing the development of the musical is a true history of the theater and of the music video field. This is from where West Side Story came and Michael Jackson's Thriller album and the others in the music video genre. Agnes Demille was a genius as were Rogers and Hammerstein.
In this classic digitally remastered movie, fans can relive the hit musical over and over again. The DVD version is packed full with extras and has better quality that the good old VHS.
I enjoyed the musical so much. I can't stop singing O'What a Beautiful Morning.