A remarkable musical with some of the best songs ever, great dancing, but what really makes this movie is the PLOT. This is a movie about Life after Death, and how people let the decisions of others guide their own hopes and dreams. This movie is beautiful, but also deep and perplexing.
This movie has one of favorite endings…a beautiful rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” A very moving ending which will inspire you to let go of the past and search for your own future.
A UNIQUE PLOT
This is not a screwball comedy, but it is a very surprising plot. A man has been dead for 15 years, and he relives his past and tries to find a path to make up for the wrongs of his past. This movie has a Beauty and the Beast feel to it. Shirley Jones is beautiful, trusting, and naive. Gordon McRae is “Billy Bigelow” who is a coarse, disengenuous, and anger-filled loner who woos Shirley Jones into an ill-advised love affair. Their world’s lead to a tumultuous ending and sorrow and regret rule in the afterworld, and dreams were put on hold on earth.
The hero is a bum, who really hasn’t changed even after being in the afterlife, but the message is AWESOME, that no matter what your parents did (or didn’t do) you can rise above your past, and become someone great and do amazing things.
THE MUSIC of RODGERS and HAMMERSTEIN
Not all songs are equal…this movie has two of the best songs EVER in musicals.
One of the best love songs…”If I Loved You.” Sang by the main characters in the early part of the film, and then reprise which also can bring tears to your eyes, as the first version was sang at an “innocent” time of youth, and the second version was sung after the death of Billy Bigelow and the hope that angels can talk to humans whom they love.
Also, One of the best inspirational songs…”You’ll Never Walk Alone” sung by the main characters and a choir at the end of the movie…breathtaking and beautiful!
This movie features a very young Shirley Jones who was the only performer ever to have a personal contract directly with Rodgers and Hammerstein to make movies for them! She was unique in her beauty, innocence, and majestic singing. She really is a joy to watch!
Give This movie a chance…it will probably surprise you. I rated this movie a 9 out of 10…it is one of my favorite musicals.