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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter deals with the problematic movie adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel from a number of perspectives, including the team’s reluctance to allow their musicals to be adapted into movies too quickly and particularly the use of the new CinemaScope 55 widescreen process for making the movie; the R&H brand clearly had a role to play in the emergence of new, competing technologies, the chapter explains. The mid-1950s saw a war of technologies between the major studios, not only because of rivalry within the industry but also because of the decline in cinema audiences caused by the rise of television. Rodgers and Hammerstein were happy to jump on the bandwagon offered by CinemaScope 55 because it also meant a roadshow release to a limited number of theatres in major cities, with longer playing rime, souvenir programmes, higher admission rates, and the more proscenium-like screen proportions. Although the film was not a success, the chapter explains how technology became a huge player in the development of the screen musical in the 1950s.

Keywords: Carousel, Rodgers, Hammerstein, CinemaScope 55, widescreen

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