Genre Guesstimation – Carousel (1956)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s genre has been chosen by Virginie of The Wonderful World of Cinema and we will be reviewing our favorite Movies Based on Plays.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of July by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Virginie!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Movies Based on Plays.

“Simmer down now, Billy; you’re forgettin’ – here there *is* no time; this is the beginning and the end” – Starkeeper

Number of Times Seen – 1 (8 Jul 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A carousel worker who died years earlier, gets a chance to return to Earth and help his wife and daughter who are in trouble.

My Take on it – This is another Rigers and Hammerstien musical that I’d heard of years ago, but never had the chance to see hat it was all about.

The prmise is quite interesting but it unfortunately isn;t prsneted well enough and fails to be as inpirational as one would expect from a story like this.

Th music of the film is great and they have some very memorable songs here.

The story itself though unfolds in a strange manner and comes across feeling much too tame which is a shame since this is the kind of story that should feel much more impactful and poignant.

The flashback scenes allow for the characters to feel quite developed which helps us care more about them, but the scenes taking place in the “present” on Earth feel too rushed which causes problems especially since one would expect them to be much more impactful in what it is trying to accomplish here.

Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones are both quite good here and is easy to believe the love they each have for one another even when they both suffer because of it.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that doesn’t work to be as inspirational as one would expect. The music is done well and there are some great songs that are quite memorable. The way that the story unfolds feels too tame especially given the impact of things and that’s quite a shame. The story is able to properly develop the main characters through the course of the flashback sequences, but the scenes in the “present” feel rushed and don’t allow us to truly feel the impact of things like one would hope for.  It’s easy to believe the love between Jone and MacRae.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – While appearing in a nightclub act with his wife at Lake Tahoe, Gordon MacRae received an emergency phone call to replace Frank Sinatra as Billy Bigelow in this film, after Sinatra walked out before filming. Originally, MacRae was told that Sinatra left when he discovered that every scene was to be filmed twice, once for regular CinemaScope and once for CinemaScope 55. Within three days MacRae, who was already familiar with the Broadway show and had wanted to play the role, reported to the set. Shirley Jones later revealed that Sinatra really left because he got a call from Ava Gardner. She was in Africa, shooting Mogambo (1953) with Clark Gable. She’d said something to the effect that if Sinatra didn’t fly to her immediately, she was going to have an affair with Gable. Ironically, the producers discovered a way to shoot in CinemaScope 55 and then convert it to regular CinemaScope without filming the movie twice. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Not really. Great idea, but it isn’t presented well enough.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)


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2 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – Carousel (1956)

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur July Finale – Blithe Spirit (1945) – The Wonderful World of Cinema | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1956 | MovieRob

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