Few actresses get to make their big-screen debuts in a film as eagerly awaited as OKLAHOMA! (1955), but that’s just what happened to Shirley Jones when Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein chose her over Joanne Woodward to star in the film version of their first big hit. The songwriters held up making the film until they could get just the right picture. With the arrival of Todd-AO, Mike Todd’s patented wide-screen process, they finally knew they could reveal the majesty of the frontier in all its glory, including corn as high as an elephant’s eye (16 feet tall, to be exact). But despite the production’s mammoth size, the focus remained simple, detailing the romance of farm girl Jones and cowboy Gordon MacRae. Agnes de Mille re-created much of her stage choreography, which had introduced modern dance to the stage musical, while director Fred Zinnemann brought a surprisingly realistic approach to the production.
Restoration presented in collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox and Fotokem. The original 6-track soundtrack has also been restored and re-mastered at Twentieth Century Fox, in collaboration with End Point Audio and Chase Audio by Deluxe.
Dir. Fred Zinnemann
In attendance: Shirley Jones