Sunday, June 26, 2011

088 - Carousel (1956)

DVD Box
Source: Wikipedia
Carousel tells the story of a former carousel barker who is allowed one more day on earth to visit his wife and daughter.

Billy Bigelow (Gordon MacRae) is told that he is allowed one final day in earth to see his family but initially waives the right. From here he launches into the story of his life.

When he was alive as a carousel barker, Billy meets Julie (Shirley Jones) and, after being fired from his job by his boss Mrs Mullin, he marries Julie soon after. Billy and Julie move to Julie's cousin's property on the coast where Billy decides it is easier living off her cousin that finding himself a job. After being told that Julie is pregnant, Billy must choose whether to go back to a life of crime or be unable to support his child.

Carousel is Rodgers and Hammerstein's second successful musical after Oklahoma only a few years before. The film was released eleven years after the musical and just one after Oklahoma's big screen debut marking a successful time in the industry for musicals.

As with most musicals of the era, Carousel features characters randomly bursting into song and its moments of dancing can be easily compared to scenes from Mary Poppins.

With Carousel though, only one song has really kept its success into today's modern society and anyone travelling to a Liverpool FC - or Celtic FC - football match will hear the chords of "You'll Never Walk Alone" being bellowed by the supporters from the stands. The title song is perhaps the next most famous song with its bouncing tune as the carousel moves around.

The aforementioned dancing is spectacular in places as people - literally - dance from the rooftops around the dockside. This, however, is short lived and when there isn't dancing you will be sat there wishing there was.

Overall there were some fantastically catchy moments but the intermittent scenes of boredom did little for me.

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