Before I get into the crustaceans and potatoes of this motion picture I want to reminisce about the play Carousel which my older sister appeared. No, it wasn't on Broadway. Actually my sister was acting at the ripe age of 13 on stage at Camp Ma-Ho-Ge in Bethel,New York as her group called the"Subbies " were to perform the play Carousel on stage for the rest of the campers. My sister Donna's name proudly displayed in the program was to play the part of Cousin Nettie Fowler. The play focuses on the struggling Carnival barker Billy Bigelow and his love interest Julie Jordan. I figured my Sister would be insignificant and probably had a few lines here and there being a supporting actor. My Sister was in the background most of the play. When it was her turn to shine she barged through and ran with it singing "June Is Bustin Out All Over" and then took the background cast by the hand and lead them off stage through the crowd creating a makeshift conga line continuing the song as the crowd stood in deafening rousing applause. I was so proud of her. Unfortunately my Parents weren't present and that's the penalty for sending your kids off to sleep away camp.
Most musicals up until that time, the mid 1950's had the narratives on the lighter side of life. Nothing drastic like Romeo and Juliet but on the lighter side. Lovers quarrels or a young actor or actress trying to break into show business was the theme with bountiful choreography and singing. Carousel the film has all those qualifications and then some.Story takes place in a coastal Maine fishing village which also has a Carnival in it's town of Boothbay Harbor. Our star is the colorful, handsome, quick talking Billy Bigelow played by Gordon MacRae. Billy has a girlfriend Julie Jordan (Shirley Jones) who works at the local mill. They both get fired for different reasons. Billy gets fired by his boss a jealous Mrs. Mullins, (Audrey Christie) for spending more time with Julie. Julie gets dismissed from the mill for staying out past the required curfew. I assume they get married (not shown in the film), and move in with Cousin Nettie (Claramae Turner). Still infatuated with Billy, Mrs Mullins offers Billy his job back at the carnival provided he leaves his wife for her. To complicate matters Julie gets pregnant and Billy has trouble finding other work to provide for the expectant child. Desperation leads to tragedy. Just a great story layered with beautiful cinema-scope. The June Is Busting Out All Over scenes and the Clambake are brilliantly photographed. The duets with MacRae and Jones match each other perfectly and a pleasant to the ear. Just a fine mix of serious subject matter in a bustling New England Town. There are other players in this musical but if I explained them it would spoil the ending.
Action / Drama / Fantasy / Musical
Action / Drama / Fantasy / Musical
Billy Bigelow has been dead for fifteen years, and now outside the pearly gates, he long waived his right to go back to Earth for a day. But he has heard that there is a problem with his family, namely his wife Julie Bigelow née Jordan and the child he never met, that problem with which he would now like to head back to Earth to assist in rectifying. Before he is allowed back to Earth, he has to get the OK from the gatekeeper, to who he tells his story... Immediately attracted to each other, he and Julie met when he worked as a carousel barker. Both stated to the other that they did not believe in love or marriage, but they did get married. Because the shrewish carousel owner, Mrs. Mullin, was attracted to Billy herself, and since she believed he was only of use as a barker if he was single to attract the young women to the carousel, she fired him. With no other job skills and unwilling to take just any job, Billy did not provide for Julie but rather lived off Julie's Aunt Nettie. But...
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July 23, 2014 at 05:45 AM