Carousel, presented by the Theatre Guild in April 1945, ran 890 performances at the Majestic Theatre. It here gets the supertreatment in 55mm CinemaScope. There are two production numbers in the picture that are close to classic. Add the staging of the famed ‘Soliloquy’, as sung by Gordon MacRae for strong impact. Musical numbers are all in extremely good taste. Reservations as to some scenes and a certain slowness in pace are minor.
The stars of Carousel [based on Ferenc Molnar’s Liliom, as adapted by Benjamin F. Glazer] remain Rodgers & Hammerstein. The cast is uniformly attractive, from MacRae as the shiftless ne’er-do-well Billy Bigelow, to pretty Shirley Jones as Julie.
Production number that precedes the gay clambake is a tribute to the ingenuity of choreographer Rod Alexander.
If this scene is great, the finale, when Julie’s daughter, Louise (danced by Susan Luckey), does a number with handsome Jacques D’Amboise, is even more of a rocking production success [derived from the original stage ballet by Agnes DeMille].
Carousel keeps elements of drama, humor and sentiment but starts out with MacRae already dead and in heaven. His courtship and marriage are then told in flashback.