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Carousel

Gordon MacRae , Shirley Jones , Henry King    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Product Description

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Like its immediate predecessor, Oklahoma!, this 1956 screen musical boasted then state-of-the-art widescreen cinematography, stereophonic sound, a starring romantic duo with onscreen chemistry, and the Rodgers & Hammerstein imprimatur. Adding to its promise was a source (the venerable Ferenc Molnar play Liliom) that had already been filmed three times. Yet unlike the original Broadway production, and despite evident craft, Carousel proved a box-office disappointment. Why? Hindsight argues that '50s moviegoers may have been unprepared for its tragic narrative, the sometimes unsympathetic protagonist, and a spiritual subtext addressing life after death.

Whatever the obstacle, Carousel may well be a revelation to first-time viewers. The score is among the composers' most affecting, from the glorious instrumental "Carousel Waltz" to a succession of exquisite love songs ("If I Loved You"), a heart-rending secular hymn ("You'll Never Walk Alone"), and the expectant father's poignant reverie, "Soliloquy." Top-lined stars Shirley Jones (as factory worker Julie Jordan) and Gordon MacRae (as Billy Bigelow, the carnival barker who woos and weds her) achieve greater dramatic urgency here than in the more successful Oklahoma!, with MacRae in particular attaining a personal best as the conflicted Billy, whose anxiety and wounded pride after losing his job are crucial to the plot. It's Billy's impatience to support his new family that drives him to an ill-fated decision that transforms the fable into a ghost story.

Adding to the luster are the coastal Maine locations where 20th Century Fox filmed principal photography. Newly remastered by THX, Carousel looks and sounds better than ever, but VHS tape buyers take heed: as a movie conceived for the then-new widescreen platform (it was the first to be shot in the studio's second-generation CinemaScope 55 format), this is one film that doesn't benefit from pan-and-scan editing, which lops off half the screen's image, virtually eliminating the sweep and spectacle of big production numbers. The widescreen version is vastly superior. --Sam Sutherland

Product Description

Gordon MacRae is Billy Bigelow, a smooth-talking carny barker who falls in love with a millworker (Shirley Jones) on the colorful 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the money Jan. 10 2010
By Shahana
Format:DVD
This 12 disc set is well worth the money if you like musicals. Besides the actually movie some have old productions of the film or stage play. Also you can listen to just the songs or have the songs play and have the words across the bottom karaoke style. Film quality on my 46 inch HD TV is much better than I expected also. Many other items also.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carousel Feb. 16 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am choreographing a production of Carousel and wanted to refresh my memory. Although outdated, they don't make movies like they use to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic Feb. 22 2012
Format:DVD
what a classic colletion. these movies are great but of course they are not the only classics out there by rodgers and hammerstein. but still what a fantastic buy and value!
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2.0 out of 5 stars cd's April 13 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
only half the CD's advertised. it is false advertising. you present a package, then you present a clearing house package for less, but you don't tell us it's not the same package.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection March 18 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Love it for the songs. Love it for the story. Love it for the acting. I just love it. Great movies in a nice collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE COLLECTION Jan. 31 2014
By elaine
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this item because years ago when my kids were small we would watch these progams. I think they knew all the songs.. I had to have the dvd's just in case video (VHS) goes awahl.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny Oct. 24 2013
By Brian
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
To see the enjoyment on my wife's face watching the old films was great, they certainly don't make them like that anymore.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection! July 31 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful set of Rogers and Hammerstein musicals. They are all 2 disc editions with lots of special features. Shipping was very prompt, and I couldn't be happier with my purchase.
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