|Actors:||Shirley Jones, Gordan MacRae|
Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones experience the miraculous powers of love in this inspiring Rodgers and Hammersmith masterpiece. Gordon MacRae is Billy Bigelow, a smooth-talking carny baker who falls in love with a mill-worker on the colourful coast of Maine. Filmed on location, with a beautiful seaside setting as a backdrop and a thrilling score for accompaniment, their romance unfolds. But right before the birth of his daughter, Billy is killed while committing a robbery. Now in heaven, years later, he returns to earth for one day to attend his daughter's high school graduation and teach her one very important lesson.
Featuring classics like "If I Loved You" and the inspirational "You'll Never Walk Alone", Carousel is the most poetic and lyrical of all the Rodgers and Hammersmith musical.
If all you can think of when you hear the names Rodgers and Hammerstein is Maria frolicking around the mountains in The Sound of Music, then get ready for Carousel! The 1956 film adaptation of the stage musical was directed by Henry King (The Song of Bernadette, Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing) and starred Gordon MacRae (On Moonlight Bay) as Billy Bigelow and Shirley Jones (The Partridge Family, The Music Man) as Julie Jordan. The film tells the story of two lovers (Billy and Julie) who society dictates should not be together; him a burly carnival worker and her, the petite millworker. The two marry and are expecting a child when the stress of unemployment sees Billy agree to assist in a robbery. Things don’t go to plan and Billy, attempting to escape the police, falls onto his own knif...
The 1956 film adaptation of the stage musical was directed by Henry King (The Song of Bernadette, Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing) and starred Gordon MacRae (On Moonlight Bay) as Billy Bigelow and Shirley Jones (The Partridge Family, The Music Man) as Julie Jordan.
Things don’t go to plan and Billy, attempting to escape the police, falls onto his own knife and dies. This isn’t a spoiler – trust us – but is in fact essential to establish the film for Billy’s return from Heaven to Earth fifteen years later to make amends.
The core of this film is the relationship between Billy and Julie, and neither being able to be entirely honest about their love for one another. The film showcases some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most romantic and complex music; songs such as The Carousel Waltz, If I Loved You and perhaps the most famous, You’ll Never Walk Alone. Sung skillfully by MacRae and Jones, the famous controversy surrounding this film involved Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra.
Sinatra was originally cast as Billy, even going as far as to record all of his songs prior to filming. The trouble arose when he arrived on set to discover each scene was being filmed twice, once each for different film formats. He left the set saying, “You’re not getting two Sinatras for the price of one!”
Carousel is without a doubt one of the most romantic musicals from the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein period. Trade in Maria and King Mongkut of Siam (The King and I) for Billy and Julie, and don’t forget your tissues!