The innovating musical comedy magic that Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II first created when The Theatre Guild produced their Oklahoma! [in 1943] has been captured and, in some details, expanded in the film version. The tunes ring out with undiminished delight. The characters pulsate with spirit. The Agnes De Mille choreography makes the play literally leap.
The wide screen used for the Todd-AO process adds production scope and visual grandeur, capturing a vista of blue sky and green prairie that can be breathtaking.
Heading the cast, Gordon MacRae as Curly, and Shirley Jones as Laurey make a bright, romantic pair. The entire cast goes through its paces with verve and spirit. If the singing is good, the acting just fine, top honors go to De Mille and her dancers.
After all’s said and done, the main burden still falls on MacRae and Jones. MacRae not only looks the part of Curly, he acts it out with a modicum of theatrics. He cuts a clean-cut figure and he delivers his songs in grand style.
1955: Best Sound Recording, Scoring of a Musical Picture.
Nominations: Best Color Cinematography, Editing