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Carousel (50th Anniversary Edition)

687 customer reviews

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(Nov 07, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Gordon MacRae is Billy Bigelow, a smooth-talking carny barker who falls in love with a millworker (Shirley Jones) on the colorful coast of Maine. Filmed on location, with a beautiful seaside setting as a backdrop and a thrilling score for accompaniment, their romance unfolds. But right before the birth of his daughter, Billy is killed while committing a robbery. Now in heaven, years later, he returns to earth for one day to attend his daughter's high school graduation and teach her one very important lesson.

Like its immediate predecessor, Oklahoma!, this 1956 screen musical boasted then state-of-the-art widescreen cinematography, stereophonic sound, a starring romantic duo with onscreen chemistry, and the Rodgers & Hammerstein imprimatur. Adding to its promise was a source (the venerable Ferenc Molnar play Liliom) that had already been filmed three times. Yet unlike the original Broadway production, and despite evident craft, Carousel proved a box-office disappointment. Why? Hindsight argues that '50s moviegoers may have been unprepared for its tragic narrative, the sometimes unsympathetic protagonist, and a spiritual subtext addressing life after death.

Whatever the obstacle, Carousel may well be a revelation to first-time viewers. The score is among the composers' most affecting, from the glorious instrumental "Carousel Waltz" to a succession of exquisite love songs ("If I Loved You"), a heart-rending secular hymn ("You'll Never Walk Alone"), and the expectant father's poignant reverie, "Soliloquy." Top-lined stars Shirley Jones (as factory worker Julie Jordan) and Gordon MacRae (as Billy Bigelow, the carnival barker who woos and weds her) achieve greater dramatic urgency here than in the more successful Oklahoma!, with MacRae in particular attaining a personal best as the conflicted Billy, whose anxiety and wounded pride after losing his job are crucial to the plot. It's Billy's impatience to support his new family that drives him to an ill-fated decision that transforms the fable into a ghost story. Adding to the luster are the coastal Maine locations where 20th Century Fox filmed principal photography. --Sam Sutherland

Special Features

  • Isolated Score
  • Sing-A-Long Subtitles
  • Liliom (1934 Feature) (full screen)
  • "Turns On The Carousel" featurette
  • Vintage Stage Excerpt
  • "You're A Queer One Julie Jordan" & "If I Loved You" Performed by Jan Clayton & John Raitt
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Galleries
  • Additional Songs:
  • "You're A Queer One Julie Jordan" performed by Barbara Ruick & Shirley Jones
  • "Blow High, BlowLow" performed by Cameron Michael & Chorus
  • Movietone News: "Carousel Opens at NY and Hollywood in Cinemascope 55"

Product Details

  • Actors: Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Cameron Mitchell, Barbara Ruick, Claramae Turner
  • Directors: Henry King
  • Writers: Henry Ephron, Benjamin Glazer, Ferenc Molnár, Oscar Hammerstein II, Phoebe Ephron
  • Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck, Henry Ephron
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 7, 2006
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (687 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HT3PFG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,677 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Carousel (50th Anniversary Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

238 of 246 people found the following review helpful By Tom S. on November 4, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Oh, what a beautiful collection! These 6 films from the most successful writing team in the American musical theater have been available on DVD for years--but not like this! All 6 have now been fully remastered to meet the demands of the latest TV and computer equipment. They have always been great, but they've truly never looked and sounded better than they do now.

But wait--there's more! This package includes a generous bunch of extras: documentaries, deleted material, alternate versions, interviews, running commentaries, soundtrack albums, performances by stars from the original stage productions, even a remake of STATE FAIR from 1962. The extras alone are a good reason to upgrade your copies--or to get them for the first time.

If you're looking for colorful, romantic stories with brilliant performances and a virtual catalogue of nearly 100 of the very best show tunes in history, you couldn't make a better purchase. These are, quite simply, the finest films of their kind. No serious DVD collection is complete without them. Watch. Listen. Enjoy!

PS: You'll also want to add FLOWER DRUM SONG to your collection. It's now (finally) available on DVD, and it's every bit as lovely as these films.
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134 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Lowell S. Harris on November 25, 2006
Format: DVD
This is one of the finest DVD collections ever produced. Fox has added the same three anniversary editions from last year--"Oklahoma," "State Fair," and "The Sound Of Music"--to a thin-pack set with this year's bonanzas: "Carousel," "The King And I," and for good measure, although it's not an anniversary, "South Pacific." Extras abound here with such delight that it should take the dedicated viewer many nights to fully appreciate all the contents. For example, the 1934 "Liliom," the French film based on Ferenc Molnar's play, that establishes the story of "Carousel" as a drama, is a special gift from Fox. The 55mm and Todd- AO versions of several films are now fully available and the Road Show version of "South Pacific" is presented. Richard Barrios, one of our major experts in film musicals provides the commentary (with others) for "State Fair," "The King And I," and "South Pacific." There are excerpts from TV and Broadway versions of songs and numerous other bonuses that are exhilarating.

Remember, too, that "South Pacific" had what was in 1958 considered by many in the industry to be the finest example of sound design and engineering to that time, and it won the Oscar for Best Sound.

The compact set, which is apparently the new industry standard, also features a short but very useful booklet. If you love Richard Rodgers and his second partner, Oscar Hammerstein II, this box set should be number one on your list right now.
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596 of 676 people found the following review helpful By forrie on April 5, 2002
Format: DVD
This review is about the DVD presentation only. The movies are ALL CLASSICS and worth the price of admission. But I must caution the investor of the this Box Set.
THE GOOD NEWS: These are the greatest Rodgers & Hammerstien II musicals now in a Box set. They have all been digitally remastered both picture & sound. The colors, picture quality excellent and the sound crystal clear. THE BAD NEWS: All this work but "State Fair" is lost in the WideScreen aspect ratio presentation.
Qualifying Statement: I am a Home Theatre, HDTV - 55" x 16:9 WidesScreen, Progressive Scan DVD, Dolby Prologic Sound System owner. I have over 400 DVD movies ,mostly remastered, WideScreen (preserved in the original theatrical aspect ratio), Anamorphic or enhanced for 16:9 TV's.
NOTE: Full Screen - 4:3 (1:33 to 1 ratio) made for TV or film before 1953. WideScreen - 4:3 letterbox (horizontal top & bottom black bars adjusted for any aspect ratio 165/185/225 to 1 etc. It is still letterbox) are movies made after 1953. (to compete with the popularity of Television) ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN IS THE ONLY TRUE HDTV 16:9 PRESENTATION. This format automatically adjusts to the Television being used. To get the High Definition picture the DVD MUST BE ANAMORPHIC & ENHANCED FOR 16:9 TELEVISIONS!!!!!!
Now in SUMMARY: STATE FAIR Full Screen Technicolor is the best presentation and the movie. Oklahoma, Carousal, The King & I and South Pacific are WideScreen (4:3 Letterbox - small picture horizontal & vertical black bars) great color, music but small picture very disappointing. Finally the Sound of Music was adjusted to an Anamorphic WideScreen but was not enhanced for the HDTV 16:9 format. The results is a very grainy picture.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 2002
Format: DVD
The collaboration of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein 2nd was for the 20th century what the genius of William Shakespeare was in the Bard's time. As the two songwriters moved from other collaborators to create what became "Oklahoma!" they took theater to a new height, by turning the musical play into the most effective, persuasive form of entertainment conceivable. (That is until the death of Hammerstein, and the inability of today's craftsmen of musicals to really understand the revolutionary nature of Rodgers and Hammerstein, the evolution of song styles, and the inability of the musical of today to associate itself with the popular music of our time.) These are the film versions of their major plays, and the 1945 version of "State Fair." For the most part, these are very good adaptations of the stage works, finally presented in their widescreen format so the viewer can see what it was that awed the audience of the 1950s. "Oklahoma!" is the Todd-AO version which, until now, had never been presented outside its initial 1955 theatrical release in specially-equipped theaters. "South Pacific," which like "Oklahoma!" Rodgers and Hammerstein produced themselves, finally gives the viewer the spectacular view of the Hawaiian scenery that supports the film. And, perhaps because it is widescreen (or perhaps because the 2001 remake stunk so bad), the film really seems finally to work for the home viewer, colored filters and all. In fact, the widescreen ratio of the film seems to make the colored filters of "South Pacific" less jarring. Some of the DVD's in this collection contain the original theatrical trailers, while others do not.Read more ›
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Question about DVD Features
It means "pan and scan"
Jan 13, 2007 by Ricardo Zaldivar |  See all 2 posts
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