Carousel

Critics Consensus

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83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 6

61%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,112
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Movie Info

Carousel was adapted from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical of the same name--which, in turn, was based on Liliom, a play by Ferenc Molnar. Gordon MacRae stars as carnival barker Billy Bigelow, who much against his will falls in love with Maine factory girl Julie Jordan (Shirley Jones). Billy proves an improvident and unreliable husband, but Julie stands by him. Upon discovering that Julie is pregnant, the unemployed Billy sees an opportunity for some quick money by joining his unsavory pal Jigger (Cameron Mitchell). The scheme goes awry, and Billy dies. Standing before the Pearly Gates, Billy is given a chance to redeem himself by the kindly Starkeeper (Gene Lockhart). He is allowed to return to Earth to try to brighten the life of his unhappy 15-year-old daughter Louise (Susan Luckey). Billy offers Louise a star that he has stolen from the sky; when Louise backs off in fear, Billy slaps her. He feels like a failure until he and his Heavenly Friend (William LeManessa) attend Louise's school graduation ceremony. There the invisible Billy watches as the principal (Gene Lockhart again) inspires Louise (and, by extension, Julie) by assuring her that so long as she has hope in her heart, she'll never walk alone. Frank Sinatra, the film's original Billy Bigelow, dropped out of the production due to laryngitis. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Gordon MacRae
as Billy Bigelow
Gene Lockhart
as Starkeeper/Dr. Selden
Audrey Christie
as Mrs. Mullin
John Dehner
as Mr. Bascombe
William LeMassena
as Heavenly Friend
Jacques d'Amboise
as Louise's Dancing Partner
Frank Tweddell
as Capt. Watson
Richard Deacon
as Policeman
Dee Pollock
as Enoch Snow Jr.
Sylvia Stanton
as Contortionist
Mary Orozco
as Fat Woman
Tor Johnson
as Strong Man
Marion Dempsey
as Sword Swallower
Ed Mundy
as Fire Eater
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Critic Reviews for Carousel

All Critics (6)

Audience Reviews for Carousel

  • Jan 20, 2009
    A nice, congenial presentation of Rogers & Hammerstein's stage-play, but not as dynamic as <i>Oklahoma!</i>. Still, Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones are perfectly suited for their respective roles. A pleasant 1950's musical.
    Randy T Super Reviewer
  • Oct 17, 2007
    Loving the songs, not sure how much I like this version though, as all the actors look like they're about 40 years old.
    Jennifer X Super Reviewer
  • Sep 27, 2007
    One of the darkest if not the darkest of the big Hollywood or Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals this has an almost throughly unsympathic anti-hero and somewhat of a doormat, at least at first, for a leading lady. However it also has some of the most beautiful music ever written sung by two great artists. "If I Loved You" is a song so full of cautious yearning and guarded longing with beautiful simplicity it tells you so much about Billy and Julie any other back story would be wasted. "You'll Never Walk Alone" is starkly moving and "June Is Busting Out All Over" provides some much needed levity in the heavy proceedings. Shirley Jones, at perhaps the peak of her lovliness, and Gordon MacRae, always one of the most attractive men in films with his All American robustness, with their chemistry and charisma make the two main characters people you care about which especially in Billy Bigelow's case is not the easiest accomplishment. As far as their singing performances Shirley as was always the case is in exquisite voice but the real standout has got to be Gordon, blessed with a gorgeous baritone and a fine expressive style, he is terrific here particularly in his big showstopping set piece "Soliloquy". A beautiful film about imperfect people, and the redemption of one, that may not be politically correct if viewed through the prism of modern times but looked at from the persepective of the times it was made in is a great entertainment.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Aug 21, 2007
    Totally cheesy and silly. It was really dumb. And there were several neverending song and dance numbers...they just went on forever. I thought the State Fair songs were silly but these were even worse. At one point they were having a clam bake on an island and that had just sung about how awesome the month of June is before the scene. They were sitting there and a character asked them all if they had a good time and they broke into another song starting with "we had a real nice clam bake..." So 3/4 of the movie was about the man and the events going up towards his death interspersed with scenes of him in purgatory trying to argue his case and go down to his daughter. He was on earth for like 2 seconds in the movie and he tried to talk to his daughter and ended up hitting her. They let him have more time and go see her graduate and the way he saved the day was to whisper "believe it" in her ear while she was singing a song.
    Megan S Super Reviewer

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