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Oklahoma! (1955)

Curly McLain (Gordon MacRae) is a cowboy in the territory of Oklahoma (shortly to become a state). He is courtin’ Laurey (Shirley Jones), a sweet strawberry-blonde farm girl who’s been raised by her Aunt Eller (Charlotte Greenwood).

He’s invited Laurey to a ‘social’. She wants to go but thinks he’ll get big-headed if he realises how much she likes him.

To make Curly jealous, she agrees to go with the hired-hand, Judd (Rod Steiger), but he’s so mean and moody she wishes she hadn’t.

She should be worried because Judd has been in love with her from afar for a good while – and would kill to stop anyone else getting her . . .

This delightful Rogers and Hammerstein operetta was, not surprisingly, a big hit on Broadway before director Fred Zinnemann turned it into an exuberant film, replete with such favourites as Oh What A Beautiful MorningI’m Just A Girl Who Can’t Say No and Surrey With The Fringe On Top.

Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones have beautiful voices that blend effortlessly and phrase lyrics superbly. Even Rod Steiger’s Poor Judd Is Dead is a very pleasant surprise. The story goes that he always had a naturally operatic voice – he just couldn’t hold a key.

Agnes De Mille’s choreography ranges from boisterous to ballet.

Curly McLain
Gordon MacRae
Ado Annie Carnes
Gloria Grahame
Will Parker
Gene Nelson
Aunt Eller
Charlotte Greenwood
Laurey Williams
Shirley Jones
Ali Hakim
Eddie Albert
Andrew Carnes
James Whitmore
Jud Fry
Rod Steiger
Gertie Cummings
Barbara Lawrence
Jay C. Flippen
Roy Barcroft

Fred Zinnemann