Oklahoma! Overview:

Oklahoma! (1955) was a Musical - Romance Film directed by Fred Zinnemann and produced by Arthur Hornblow Jr., Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers.

The film was based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs written by Samuel A. Taylor performed at the Guild Theatre, NY from Jan 26, 1931 - Mar 21, 1931.


In this beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical (their first brought to the screen), an adorable 19-year-old Jones, in her screen debut, must choose a suitor to accompany her to a social: the righteous cowboy (MacRae) or the brooding farm hand (Steiger). From this simple scenario develops humor, fighting, dancing (including a breakthrough dream sequence choreographed by Agnes De Mille), and singing. The entire production was filmed twice, with one take for the new Todd A-O format and one for the regular CinemaScope aspect ratio. There is now laserdisc version of the Todd A-O takes, which some consider vastly superior. Includes the enduring songs "People will say were in love," "Oh, what a beautiful mornin'," and "Oklahoma!"

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Oklahoma! was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2007.

Academy Awards 1955 --- Ceremony Number 28 (source: AMPAS)

Best CinematographyRobert SurteesNominated
Best Film EditingGene Ruggiero, George BoemlerNominated
Best Music - ScoringRobert Russell Bennett, Jay Blackton, Adolph DeutschWon

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Quotes from

Aunt Eller Murphy: [with gun in hand] SING! SING! C'mon now! Sing!

Jud Fry: Look at me. I'm a hired hand. I got dirt on my hands. Pig slop. I ain't fit to touch you, am I - you're better. Oh, you're so much better, Miss Laurey Williams! Well we'll see how much better you are, and then you won't be so free and easy and hifalutin' with your airs! You such a FINE lady!

Ali Hakim: I wanted to marry her when I saw the moonlight shining on the barrel of her father's shotgun.

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Facts about

The general release version, shot in CinemaScope, is the one that played most theatres throughout the USA. This version was not released until late 1956, after the first-run Todd-AO version had played New York for more than a year and after the film versions of two other Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II stage musicals, "Carousel" and "The King and I", had already been released throughout the United States.
James Mitchell was working on The Prodigal at the same time as the dream ballet.
The poignant scene in "Many a New Day", where the blonde "Goon Girl" Lizanne Truex rests her head on the shoulder of Shirley Jones, came on the 43rd take. Director Fred Zinnemann was unhappy with the way the girls gathered around Ms. Jones, and he came up with this idea.
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Best Music - Scoring Oscar 1955

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National Film Registry


Released 1955
Inducted 2007

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Also directed by Fred Zinnemann

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Also produced by Arthur Hornblow Jr.

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Also released in 1955

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