Oklahoma! is a 1955 American musical film based on the 1943 musical of the same name by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, which in turn was based on the 1931 play Green Grow The Lilacs written by Lynn Riggs. Directed by Fred Zinneman, it stars Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones (in her film debut), Rod Steiger, Charlotte Greenwood, Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson, James Whitmore, and Eddie Albert. Released on October 11, 1955, the film won two Academy Awards for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture and Best Sound Recording.
Good-natured cowboy Curly McLain admires the beautiful morning while riding his horse to the farm of Laurey Williams, his secret love, and her aunt, Aunt Eller. At the farm, he invites Laurey to a box social being held that night to raise money for a new schoolhouse. Frustrated that he waited so long to ask her, Laurey refuses his invitation. Curly tempts her by describing the surrey he plans to drive her in, then tells her he made the story up to get back at her for refusing him. Laurey gets her own revenge by agreeing to go with their menacing field hand, Jud Fry.
Cowboy Will Parker arrives by train from a trip to Kansas City and seeks out his sweetheart, Ado Annie, who, in Will’s absence, has become smitten with itinerant peddler Ali Hakim. Will tells Annie that he has earned the $50 her father, a farmer who does not like cowboys, told him he had to earn before he would allow him to marry Annie, but he spent it all on presents for her. Annie tries to resist Will, but eventually gives in, leaving her torn between Will and Ali.
The townspeople gather at Aunt Eller’s farm to refresh themselves before the box social. Will makes his $50 back by selling his presents to Ali Hakim, who pays Will more than each gift is worth to get Annie back together with Will. Gertie, a flirtatious woman with a loud, annoying laugh, flirts with Curly and upsets Laurey, despite her promises to not let his games bother her, and Curly flirts back to make Laurey jealous. Curly asks Laurey again if she will go to the social with him, but Laurey, fearful of Jud, refuses again. Curly angrily confronts Jud in the smokehouse, leading each man to fire their gun. Curly stalks off and Jud again threatens Laurey if she changes her mind. Uncertain what to do, Laurey uses a bottle of smelling salts she bought earlier from Ali, hoping to find her answer in a dream. She dreams that she marries Curly, but Jud eventually kills him.
As Jud drives Laurey to the box social, he tells her he is in love with her and tries to kiss her. She whips the horses, causing them to bolt. Once Jud gets them under control, Laurey leaves Jud behind and drives to the social alone.
At the social, despite the host's encouraging everyone to get along, Ado Annie’s father belittles the cowboys, causing a fight to break out which Aunt Eller breaks up. When the auction of ladies’ picnic hampers begins, Ali Hakim deliberately outbids Will to get Annie to forget her feelings for him and so Will can keep the $50 he needs to marry Annie. Curly and Jud get into a bidding war over Laurie’s hamper. Curly sells his saddle, horse, and gun to raise enough money to beat Jud’s highest bid and win. Laurey fires Jud after he confronts her and Jud sneers that she will never be rid of him. When Laurey tells Curly what happened, he offers to stay the night at their farm for protection, then goes further and proposes marriage, which Laurey accepts. Meanwhile, Will tells Ado Annie she must stop flirting with other men, despite not being willing to stop flirting with other women. Ali Hakim tells Annie she is better off marrying Will and then resumes his travels.
Weeks later, Curly and Laurey are married. After the ceremony, Jud appears and tries to kill Curly, but Curly kills Jud in self-defense. The townspeople hold an impromptu trial in Aunt Eller’s kitchen where Curly is found not guilty. He and Laurey leave for their honeymoon, admiring the beautiful morning.
- Gordon MacRae as Curly McLain
- James Mitchell as Dream Curly (dancer)
- Shirley Jones as Laurey Williams
- Bambi Linn as Dream Laurey (dancer)
- Gene Nelson as Will Parker
- Gloria Grahame as Ado Annie Carnes
- Charlotte Greenwood as Aunt Eller
- Rod Steiger as Jud Fry
- Eddie Albert as Ali Hakim
- James Whitmore as Andrew Carnes
- Barbara Lawrence as Gertie Cummings
- Jay C. Flippen as Skidmore
- Roy Barcroft as Marshal
Magna held invitational screenings of Oklahoma! over three days at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City starting on October 11, 1955. The official public premiere was on October 13. The film was shown on a two-a-day reserved seat policy with three shows at the weekends and holidays and grossed $573,493 in its first 12 weeks in New York. The film opened on the same roadshow basis at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles on November 18 and then at the McVicker's Theater in Chicago on December 26.
In its initial theatrical release, the Magna Theatre Corporation handled the distribution of the roadshow presentations in 70 mm Todd-AO. In 29 American and 2 Canadian cities it grossed $8,970,087 from 4,672,184 patrons. RKO Radio Pictures distributed the general release version (in 35 mm anamorphic CinemaScope), which was released after its roadshow run ended. Later, when RKO was experiencing financial turmoil, 20th Century Fox assumed distribution of the general release edition. Outside the United States, the film was a box office disappointment.
All rights to the film are owned by the estates of Rodgers and Hammerstein. In 1982, the US/Canadian distribution rights to this film were acquired by The Samuel Goldwyn Company and re-issued both the 70 mm and 35 mm versions theatrically. The original 70mm version was restored and screened for the first time since its initial engagements. In April 2014, a restored version of the Todd-AO version was screened at the Fifth Annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. The eight-month restoration was developed in conjunction with 20th Century Fox and the studio's film preservationist Schawn Belston.
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at Oklahoma!. The list of authors can be seen in the . As with 20th Century Studios Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|