Oklahoma! (1955)

FRED ZINNEMANN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  USA, 1955Magna Theatre Corporation, Rodgers & Hammerstein Productions.  Screenplay by , , based on the musical play by , , from the play Green Grow The Rushes by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1955.  

Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones in Oklahoma!

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first musical success arrives on the big screen with all its gorgeous beauty and lively songs intact. Shirley Jones couldn’t be cuter as Laurey Morgan, a young girl in turn-of-the-century Oklahoma (a territory on the verge of becoming a state at the time), who resists her feelings for Curley () while being harassed by the menacing (and, well, insane) Jed ().  On the side, and Gloria Grahame have a little romance in dire straits because Ado Annie (Grahame) just “cain’t say no” to any men who “talks purty” to her. All the songs are memorable, climaxing with the Act I Finale ballet sequence, probably one of the best examples of dance on film (choreographed by Agnes deMille) and the best part of the film. The music is all scored richly and to perfection, with state-of-the-art sound adding much to the overall experience.

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