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The Carousel Movie 
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Broadway Legend
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I saw the DVD and if I recall production notes correctly, I think Rodgers and Hammerstein didn't have as much input in the movie as they had with Oklahoma! But I believe that the show Carousel is Rodgers and Hammerstein's personal favorite.

The film definately is of a different time. It came out in 1956 and I just can't relate to it. MacRae's tough guy attitude that you see in a lot of male roles in pre-1960s film still seems so odd. I thought Shirley Jones was a good actress but in this film she was so bland and stiff. I never bought the idea that her character and Gordon MacRae's fell in love. I kept thinking, what are those two doing together? If anything, it was physical attraction only and that wears off. In Billy Bigelow's death scene, I got the impression Julie didn't really care, at least not as much as a wife who loved her husband would. And that stuff about being hit and not feeling the pain, I wonder how that idea would go down today? It sounded like, if you really love him, when he hits you...you won't feel the pain....riiiiiiight. :roll: Nice test for girls to see if you really love a guy. Ask him to hit you and if it hurts...leave him. That old generation and its mores seems so alien now. Julie's friend Carrie seemed to marry out of a need for security, ie. needing some guy to take care of her. That's another idea that seems to be somewhat out of touch today.

It was not until the last 15 minutes of the film did I see any point to the story. I have some idea of what the message was but it still seems somewhat ambiguous. One idea was Billy trying to put in the mind of his daughter not to allow his own past mistakes shape her life. Billy also wanted to tell Julie that he loved her. That seemed to be such a shallow gesture when considering the position he left them in. I'm not convinced that he truly loved her. But Carousel does seem to be one of the more interesting shows to try to understand its meaning, and whatever that meaning is...are they right?

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Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:21 pm
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Young Hoofer
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:21 pm
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I absolutely love the show, but I really didn't like the film at all. I just found myself getting really bored.


Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:26 am
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Young Hoofer
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Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:05 am
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Oh my god...... I love the film..... I can remember watching as a child at around 6 years old and it been my favourite ever since

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Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:48 am
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You love the film version??? ugh!! you must have never seen it on stage then. the film slaughters the entire point oft he piece.

Trust me, once you see the real thing you'll hate the .

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Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:52 pm
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Supporting Player
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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 10:53 am
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I'm in the show thing week (playing Enoch Jnr)

I hate the film
I love the show
Althought act one does drag a bit.


Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:37 am
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Young Hoofer
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No I have been in the show twice ..... and watched it serveral time .....but still love the film ...reminds me of sunday afternoons sitting on my Grandfathers knee watching Doris Day and Julie Andrews and all other musicals ahhhhhhh

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Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:18 am
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Tony Winner
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I like the film version too, but I've also never seen the stage production. I despise Shirley Jones as Julie though; she made the character so annoyingly one-dimensional and dull.

Is there a recording of the stage production? I only have the movie soundtrack, but now that I know that they cut music out, I want the whole show.

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Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:55 am
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Tony Winner
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Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:33 pm
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I thoroughly enjoyed it, although that's probably for two reasons:
1) I loved the music.
2) I've never seen the stage version, so I have nothing to compare it to.
I also have an alarming tendancy to like movies that others despise. But I admit to agreeing with nearly all the critiques people have. Doesn't mean I'm going to stop forcing everyone to watch the sing-along Karoke version with me, though.

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Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:38 pm
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Tony Winner
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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:17 pm
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Location: Canada
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Pounce wrote:
I saw the DVD and if I recall production notes correctly, I think Rodgers and Hammerstein didn't have as much input in the movie as they had with Oklahoma! But I believe that the show Carousel is Rodgers and Hammerstein's personal favorite.

The film definately is of a different time. It came out in 1956 and I just can't relate to it. MacRae's tough guy attitude that you see in a lot of male roles in pre-1960s film still seems so odd. I thought Shirley Jones was a good actress but in this film she was so bland and stiff. I never bought the idea that her character and Gordon MacRae's fell in love. I kept thinking, what are those two doing together? If anything, it was physical attraction only and that wears off. In Billy Bigelow's death scene, I got the impression Julie didn't really care, at least not as much as a wife who loved her husband would. And that stuff about being hit and not feeling the pain, I wonder how that idea would go down today? It sounded like, if you really love him, when he hits you...you won't feel the pain....riiiiiiight. :roll: Nice test for girls to see if you really love a guy. Ask him to hit you and if it hurts...leave him. That old generation and its mores seems so alien now. Julie's friend Carrie seemed to marry out of a need for security, ie. needing some guy to take care of her. That's another idea that seems to be somewhat out of touch today.

It was not until the last 15 minutes of the film did I see any point to the story. I have some idea of what the message was but it still seems somewhat ambiguous. One idea was Billy trying to put in the mind of his daughter not to allow his own past mistakes shape her life. Billy also wanted to tell Julie that he loved her. That seemed to be such a shallow gesture when considering the position he left them in. I'm not convinced that he truly loved her. But Carousel does seem to be one of the more interesting shows to try to understand its meaning, and whatever that meaning is...are they right?


I must agree with a lot of the things you said, Pounce. And I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks the film didnt do the show justice. I only saw the film for the first time last night, but I found myself loosing attention during some parts. Other parts were ok, but at the end of the movie, I can't say I enjoyed it.

The music was amazing, no doubt, in the stage show, but in the movie, some of the songs that usually catch my interest didnt quite do that, either.

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Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:50 pm
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Tony Winner
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Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:08 pm
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I;m just wondering if any of you could do BETTER with the film. I doubt it. The film does have its flaws -- but for that material, I was satisfied with the approach.

Shirley Jones bad? If she was good enough for RIchard Rodgers and Hammerstein, she should be good enough for you. So you know more than these masters of Broadway shows? :roll:


Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:57 pm
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Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
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GungaDin wrote:
I;m just wondering if any of you could do BETTER with the film. I doubt it. The film does have its flaws -- but for that material, I was satisfied with the approach.

Shirley Jones bad? If she was good enough for RIchard Rodgers and Hammerstein, she should be good enough for you. So you know more than these masters of Broadway shows? :roll:


anybody with half a brain could make a better Carousel film. especially today when you dont have to cut the illusions to wife beating or change Billy's suicide to an accident.

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Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:19 am
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Fresh Face
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 9:30 am
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I just read yesterday that a new film version starring Hugh Jackman as Billy is in pre-production for 2008. I sure hope it's better than the old film version... I tell people how much I love the show and they just don't understand because they've only seen the movie.


Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:03 pm
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