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Oklahoma! (50th Anniversary Edition)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Set in the Oklahoma Territory in the early 1900's, this joyous celebration of frontier life is a story of tender romance and dangerous passion. Gordon MacRae is Curly, a sunny, good-natured ranch hand, and Shirley Jones is Laurey Williams, the farmer's daughter he loves. Rod Steiger is he menacing Jud, who tries to comes between them. The first Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration, this Academy Award winner for Best Score features the classic songs "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," "The Surrey With The Fringe On Top" and "People Will Say We're In Love."

Additional Features

The 2005 two-disc edition of Oklahoma! is a clear winner over the original DVD. In addition to the bevy of bonus features, it offers two different versions of the film, both of which are anamorphically enhanced for widescreen TVs. Disc 1 includes the CinemaScope version of the film. The second disc examines an interesting slice of film history: the background of "Todd-AO," the widescreen format that debuted with Oklahoma! and was intended to compete with established widescreen formats such as CinemaScope. There's a 12-minute featurette on the difference between the two formats, as well as two short features ("The Miracle of Todd-AO," 12 minutes, and "The March of Todd-AO," 17 minutes) that were created to show off the format through such gimmicks as first-person roller-coaster rides--precursors to modern IMAX films. Also on the second disc is the complete film as it was shot in Todd-AO. You'll quickly notice the difference between aspect ratios (2.55 to 2.20 for the taller Todd-AO), and that the Todd-AO version includes the overture and entr'acte and a different opening-credit sequence. (The original DVD release was the Todd-AO version.) And because the film had to be shot twice to accommodate the two formats, there are some subtle variations in actor performance, camera angles, etc.

So of the two versions of the film here, which is better to watch? One would expect it to be the Todd-AO version, which was shot in 70 mm instead of 35 mm, and at 30 frames per second rather than 24 for a smoother picture. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The Todd-AO version looks fuzzy and washed out and is clearly inferior to the DVD's CinemaScope transfer. Other bonus features include a commentary track by Oscar Hammerstein biographer Hugh Fordin and Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization president Ted Chapin and sing-along subtitles on disc 1. On disc 2 are a commentary track by Shirley Jones and historian Nick Redman (she recounts how she auditioned for the film on her way to veterinary school, and how she worried about being filmed in Todd-AO because it was "as though you could see every mark on your skin"), and black-and-white television broadcast performances of Gordon MacRae singing "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'" and Florence Henderson and MacRae singing "People Will Say We're in Love." --David Horiuchi


Special Features

  • Disc 1
  • 1955 Cinemascope feature (2.55 aspect ratio)
  • Commentary by Ted Chapin and Hugh Fordin
  • Theatrical teaser
  • Sing-along subtitles
  • Separate chapter list for songs only with Play All feature
  • Disc 2
  • 1955 Todd AO Version (2.20 aspect ratio)
  • Commentary by Shirley Jones and Nick Redman
  • Cinemascope vs. Todd AO featurette
  • Vintage stage excerpts: Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin' performed by Gordon MacRae, People Will Say We're in Love performed by Gordon MacRae & Florence Henderson
  • Theatrical teaser and theatrical trailer
  • Still galleries: Behind the Scenes
  • Lobby cards and one-sheets
  • The Miracle of Todd-AO
  • The March of Todd-AO

Product Details

  • Actors: Gordon MacRae, Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson, Charlotte Greenwood, Shirley Jones
  • Directors: Fred Zinnemann
  • Writers: Oscar Hammerstein II, Lynn Riggs, Richard Rodgers, Sonya Levien, William Ludwig
  • Producers: Arthur Hornblow Jr., Oscar Hammerstein II
  • Format: Dolby, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: November 15, 2005
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (465 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AP04NI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,043 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Oklahoma! (50th Anniversary Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

394 of 405 people found the following review helpful By dooby on November 17, 2005
Format: DVD
This is a review of only the Todd-AO version of the movie included in the recent 50th anniversary edition of Oklahoma. The main Cinemascope version on Disc One is outstanding and deserves 5 stars and more. However the accompanying Todd-AO version on Disc Two looks abysmal in comparison.

For those who are unaware, the producers filmed two versions of Oklahoma simultaneously, the one commonly seen which is the Cinemascope version and the other, the Todd-AO version which is the one that Rodgers and Hammerstein preferred. It is seldom seen because theaters did not possess the special equipment to project these Todd-AO movies (extremely widescreen with curved edges to give an enveloping effect). The 2 movies are not the same. They did not just use different cameras or lenses to film the same scene. The films are different in that every scene is restaged specifically for either Cinemascope or Todd-AO. This is obvious in a side by side comparison - the individual scenes are subtly different. Some scenes are shot at slightly different angles, some scenes are shot at different times of the day, some scenes include cast members seen in one version but not the other while all scenes show subtle variations in performances between one version and the next. But the most obvious difference is that only the Todd-AO version includes the Oklahoma Overture as well as the Intermission, En'tracte and Finale (Exit Music) which Richard Rodgers wrote for Oklahoma but never included in the Cinemascope version. The end result is that the Todd-AO version runs for 147mins while the Cinemascope version runs for just 139mins, a fact that Fox fudges by giving the runtime of the movie as 145mins.

The Todd-AO version presented here is virtually unrestored. It is so dark you can barely read the opening credits.
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165 of 177 people found the following review helpful By Richardson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 18, 2005
Format: DVD
UPDATE: My review was based on the HORRIBLE DVD set... the new BLU RAY is absolutely amazing and the TODD AO Version smokes the BR of the Cinemascope version.... I am choosing to leave the rest of the review intact as Amazon.com will apply it to everything with Oklahoma in the title and it still stands not only for the DVD set BUT... the DVD that comes with the recent Blu Ray still stinks... they did not upgrade the DVD version of Oklahoma when they found the new elements and upgraded the Blu ray discs.... so... If you are looking for a review of the Blu Ray... it's 5 stars... the DVD is 1 star and that review and comments follow...

I am happy to see a bunch of other folks were as horribly dissapointed as I was to throw this DVD into the player and instead of being treated by what should be a breathtakingly sharp and stunning Todd-AO version on disc two....see a muddy mess...which isn't near the 35mm version on disc one!

Fans of the Todd-AO process (watch Patton some time folks) know what an absolutely unsurpassed format it was....and the DVDs that have come out (like the aforementioned PATTON) that have been taken from it stun with clarity and color...
I don't know how many generations removed from the original disc 2 of this set is ....but its not worth a $50 DVD players time...

Its particularly ironic that 20th Century waste so much other space on the disc on short features extolling the virtues of Todd-AO...only to present such a garbage transfer....
SHAME ON YOU FOX....this should be as gorgeous as the Sound of Music ...and its a big big letdown....and I like many others have been counting the days for this release...

....I am updating this review...with the official excuse from FOX home Entertainment...which follows..
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By David Fox on November 11, 2005
Format: DVD
It's been a while since I've written a review of a DVD, but I had to comment on this new 2-disc special edition of Oklahoma. First of all, it's wonderful to have the Cinemascope version available on DVD at last. This is the familiar version that I grew up with and watched (admittedly in pan-and-scan) on TV for years and years. Then in the mid-90s I heard about a "new" version of Oklahoma that had not been seen for years, filmed in Todd-AO. I eagerly rushed out and bought the laserdisc of this version, and brought it home. I was STUNNED! The picture was clear as crystal, sharply in focus and had almost a video-like clarity to it, due to the 30 frames-per-second Todd-AO process. The colors were sharper than I'd ever seen this movie in, and the sound was as if it had been recorded in a modern studio yesterday.

Then a few years later the advent of DVD came about and I couldn't wait for the Todd-AO version to come out and knock the socks off the laserdisc transfer. Unfortunately, I was disappointed; while a lot of the clarity was still there I could tell a lot of the sharpness was lost in the digital transfer to DVD. The lack of an anamorphic picture was not a problem as I did not yet have a wide-screen HDTV; All in all, though, the laserdisc version still looked better.

Then I bought my Sony 46" widescreen TV, and once again waited. . .thinking the next DVD version of Oklahoma would correct not only the problems with the digital transfer but will also be anamorphic, creating an even sharper image. Tonight I picked up the new 50th anniversary DVD. First I put on the Cinemascope version. It looked excellent!. . .much better than any previous version on video of the Cinemascope Oklahoma, including the Cinemascope laserdisc which was pretty fuzzy and faded.
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Oklahoma!
I hate most DVDs for that reason, and many more. DVDs are supposed to be superior to VHS, but so many of the DVDs are shorter, and the cut scenes really do ruin the movie. I hate the letterbox as well. It cuts off the actors' feet and sometimes the tops of their heads, which ruins the dance... Read More
Mar 24, 2015 by F.U.AMAZON |  See all 3 posts
That blonde-haired little pixie
AWESOME!!! I absolutely LOVE her!!! Thanks for the info.
Jul 4, 2010 by dollybones |  See all 5 posts
Somebody please tell me, is the VHS full screen? Be the first to reply
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