Oklahoma!

I worked on my writing and did some work. I saw Ethel Merman on the Match Game, and she seemed to struggle with answers. I heard Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” on the radio. Afterwards, I watched “Oklahoma!” It was the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical from 1955 with Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae. I associate the movie with The Bob Newhart Show and an album by the Kinks, “Muswell Hillbillies.” The key songs in the movie are “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” and “People Will Say We’re in Love.” Shirley Jones was a very young woman in 1955. It was unusual to me to see her playing a character who was not so mature. Some of the cast were not too convincing at speaking with a Southern accent. Gloria Grahame looked like her upper lip was completely frozen. She had difficulty speaking, much less singing. I really didn’t understand why she was in this film. The picture quality wasn’t what I expected from this disc. I thought the color would be brighter. Two notable people in the cast were Eddie Albert and James Whitmore. It seemed that several people who couldn’t sing too well were in the cast. Not very much happens in the story. Two men, Curly and Jud, are pursuing Laurey Williams. There is a box social, and a moment of violence. It seemed strange to me that there should be a menacing stalker in the story. It seemed like an element that came out of an opera. It would have been impossible for a character to have been a victim of rape in a musical. The auction scene reminded me of Tommy Lee Jones and Sissy Spacek in “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” This movie was made before the days of women’s liberation, because all the young women want to do is get married. The one part that I thought was relevant was Curly’s comments that the world was changing, although in this small community, I don’t see how he could know all about it. Another interesting moment was Curly’s accusation that Laurey was thinking of some insult to throw at him upon his arrival. I guess there aren’t too many women to choose from in this place. Laurey is annoying, saying and doing the opposite of what she really wants. One sequence shows her dream, which seems like it was drug induced. There are a lot of sexual innuendos in the dialogue. I wonder if the audiences in 1955 knew what they were seeing. Rod Steiger was Jud, and I thought he was out of place in this movie. The trial scene was very curious. The transition from seriousness to lightness didn’t really work. The director was Fred Zinnemann, who made “High Noon” and “From Here to Eternity.” He would go on to direct “A Man for All Seasons” and “Julia.” He died in 1997. Gordon MacRae was in “Carousel.” He died in 1986. Two people considered for the main roles were Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. Mamie Van Doren was interested in the part that went to Gloria Grahame. Mamie is still alive and is 84 years old. I don’t think that “Oklahoma!” is one of the great movie musicals. So much about it seems not right, starting with Zinnemann directing a musical for the first and only time, and Gloria Grahame being tone deaf. I wondered if I saw the best edition of the disc. This one did not have a commentary track. Going back to the Kinks song, I don’t know why anyone would dream of being in Oklahoma. I thought back on “Oklahoma Crude,” which I saw not too long ago. I awoke in the middle of the night and played a video game. I also didn’t wait until Friday to watch another NUMB3RS episode, this one called “Black Swan.” Larry was without facial hair. Amita’s parents delayed their visit. David Sinclair said that he was reading an article about Billy Preston’s work on “Let It Be.” Diane Farr’s daughter was bitten by a rattlesnake recently. I saw that the A’s lost their game against the Yankees. I fell asleep while listening to Carole King’s “Really Rosie.” I had fond memories of watching that television program during the 1970s. I read that the Partridge Family complete series is going to be re-released on DVD in September. I wonder if there will be any additional special features, and what the picture quality will be like. I looked at the new movie releases for this week, and I was most interested in “Minions.” I saw that Kara Tsuboi ran into Marshawn Lynch at a screening. I won’t be able to see it until Saturday. The A’s relief pitchers have a Despicable Me backpack. Barnes and Noble is having a Criterion Collection sale this month. I am looking for some items, like “Medium Cool,” “Cries and Whispers,” and “A Hard Day’s Night.” I would like to have the Charlie Chaplin movies in Criterion Collection editions someday. “The Black Stallion” will be released on the 14th. Four of the movies that I’m still looking for on DVD are “Strohfeuer,” “Les violons du bal,” “Movie Movie,” and “Once in Paris.” I was also looking for “Confidences pour confidences” by Pascal Thomas. I’ve seen only a version of it without English subtitles. I originally saw it in a neighborhood theatre back in 1981. I am searching for the television version of Ingmar Bergman’s “Face to Face.” I saw that the students were anxious, facing their summer exams. I was glad that I wasn’t teaching any classes because of the hectic schedule. I had thoughts about lunch and going out to a movie instead of preparing for the fall semester. Some of the people who died on July 9 include Gilbert Stuart (1828), Zachary Taylor (1850), Rod Steiger (2002), and Isabel Sanford (2004). Today is a birthday for Jack White (30), Courtney Love (51), and Tom Hanks (59). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 9, Bob Dylan recorded “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1962. In 1969, The Beatles began recording their song “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.” In 1982, the Disney science-fiction film “Tron” was released. In 1983, The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” was Number One on the singles chart.

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