Again I am a woman of my word and this is one I’ve wanted to do for a long time. One of the greatest musicals of all time, not just on Broadway but on film in 1955, Oklahoma proved to be another hit for Rogers & Hammerstein and the beginning of a wonderful musical career for one shining star. Oklahoma also won two Academy Awards for the score and sound. Spoilers ahead as usual. I DO NOT OWN THE PICTURE.
It would seem everyone in Oklahoma is getting ready from a big party in town that night. Curly (Gordon MacRae) wants to ask the woman he loves, Laurey Williams (Shirley Jones in her first film) to the party and while Laurey clearly feels the same way, she is upset he asked her the day of the party instead of a few weeks earlier. To make Curly jealous she agrees to go with Jud (Rod Steiger), the hired hand for her Aunt Eller (Charlotte Greenwood) despite being terrified of him. Curly and Laurey play back and forth for a while before eventually giving in to their feelings, but Jud is not going to go away that easily. Meanwhile a friend of Laurey’s, Ado Annie (Gloria Grahame) has been spending time with a traveling salesman Ali Hakim (Eddie Albert) but when the man she loves Will Parker (Gene Nelson) returns intending to keep his promise to marry her, once he has $50 to pay her father (because I guess that’s how it worked back then I don’t know) Annie becomes torn between the two men, though Ali does not want to marry her at all. Once all of them at the party that is when the fun really begins.
It took me a long time to find this musical; it doesn’t air on TV that much but thankfully someone uploaded it on YouTube. I had heard great things about it and it lived up to the hype; this isn’t something you can read about on Wikipedia and get the idea you have to watch it to feel the emotions. Watching Carousel before I already knew how good MacRae and Jones were together, and I definitely liked their chemistry more in this film than Carousel. I also loved the side story with Annie and the two men she must choose from. I of course cannot forget the amazing soundtrack. Every song is great, but three stand out for me. The opening song by MacRae “Oh What A Beautiful Mornin'” is a classic, “People Will Say We’re In Love” is a romantic duet between Jones and MacRae, admittedly I did not like this as much as “If I Loved You” and last but not least “Oklahoma” at the end of the film is the best known song from the show and movie. If you can find Oklahoma I encourage you to watch it.