They Shot a Classic Western, Then Started Over and Shot It Again


The Huge Image

  • Oklahoma!
    was launched in 2 codecs: CinemaScope and Todd-AO, doubling the manufacturing workload.
  • The movie utilized old-school roadshow techniques for 2 separate releases throughout the U.S.
  • The basic musical masterpiece underwent restoration in 2014, reintroducing the Todd-AO model.


Musical motion pictures have at all times been divisive; just look at 2024’s Mean Girls re-adaptation. However 1955’s display screen model of Oklahoma! has stood the take a look at of time for generations, and it isn’t exhausting to see why: its basic Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein songs are the definition of “earworms,” and the forged is full of beautifully proficient stars of the period. The story itself is optimistic and comforting, and as a complete, it is really a musical masterpiece that almost everybody has seen. Nonetheless, not everybody has seen the identical model.


Oklahoma! was made throughout a pivotal and experimental time in cinema historical past, as CinemaScope, a 35 millimeter movie format, and Todd-AO, its 70 millimeter competitor, had been each rising formats through the time of the movie’s manufacturing. Moreover, the musical lent itself effectively to a well-liked launch format referred to as the “highway present.” With so many competing parts and pleasure for the movie’s launch, twentieth Century Studios needed to resolve which format would greatest profit the movie’s launch—or did they? Why select one once they may have all of them? The outcome was a manufacturing that doubled its work load, a number of codecs, and two completely different variations of the long-lasting movie.


Oklahoma! (1955)

In Oklahoma, a number of farmers, cowboys and a touring salesman compete for the romantic favors of assorted native girls.

Launch Date
November 23, 1956

Director
Fred Zinnemann

Forged
Gordon MacRae , Gloria Grahame , Gene Nelson , Charlotte Greenwood

Runtime
145 minutes

Writers
Sonya Levien , William Ludwig , Richard Rodgers , Oscar Hammerstein II


twentieth Century Fox Filmed Two Variations of ‘Oklahoma!’ on the Identical Time

Movie is an ever-changing medium, particularly these launched in Hollywood’s golden age. Among the most successful films of all time got here from that period, and although Oklahoma! got here in direction of the tip of the interval, it was produced throughout considered one of its most experimental moments. CinemaScope, the 35mm movie format, lasted for many years, however started in 1953, roughly simply two years earlier than Oklahoma! entered manufacturing, according to BFI. In 1955, Todd-AO, a 70mm vary that stuffed screens like by no means earlier than, set the stage for big-event motion pictures utilizing the same format at present, similar to Dune: Half Two.


With Oklahoma! being such a highly-anticipated movie, twentieth Century Studios needed to resolve which format would greatest swimsuit the movie, however as an alternative of selecting, the corporate determined to make use of each codecs for the film’s manufacturing. In 1955, although, a easy computerized resizing was not an choice, so, they determined to movie the image twice. In an archived article from Arizona Highways, the studio had supposed to shoot the movie twice from the start, with every scene being shot individually with each cameras. This led to an costly manufacturing, which needed to be financed independently, in response to TCM, although it did show to be obligatory in the long run.

‘Oklahoma!’ Had Two Separate Releases within the U.S.

Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae in Oklahoma!
Picture by way of twentieth Century Studios

Remakes that attempt to outshine their predecessors are nothing new on the earth of flicks. Oklahoma!, nonetheless, primarily tried to take action with the identical movie. With each a manufacturing shot on a CinemaScope lens and one other one with Todd-AO’s revolutionary 70mm digital camera, the movie wanted two completely different releases. Not all cinemas throughout the U.S. had been outfitted to point out Todd-AO movies, so Oklahoma! employed an outdated movie technique that allowed each variations to have their very own respective releases.


Roadshow releases had been a method for numerous years earlier than Oklahoma! got here round. These distributions made for a extra “theatrical expertise,” the place film goers got a program and seen a characteristic with out previews or newsreels. Tickets had been usually offered at an upcharge for roadshow movies, and the films chosen for this form of launch had been sometimes longer than two hours, usually offered with an intermission. Movies like Gone with the Wind loved profitable runs below this format, as did the Todd-AO model of Oklahoma!. Launched on October 11, 1955, Oklahoma! premiered the Todd-AO model first on the Rivoli Theatre in New York Metropolis, and, according to Playbill, helped revive the roadshow presentation for future film musicals. It was an enormous success, working for 51 weeks within the format, according to the Library of Congress. Nonetheless, Oklahoma! did buck a large roadshow custom.


Sometimes, a roadshow model would run previous to a large launch, however Oklahoma! launched its 35mm model on the similar time. The CinemaScope run was extra extensively accommodated by theaters across the nation and allowed for the movie to do much more enterprise on the field workplace. Thus far, Oklahoma! is taken into account a gold customary of each American film musicals and musicals usually, having been revived on Broadway and in London’s West Finish a number of instances. A significant 1998 manufacturing in London that includes Hugh Jackman because the lead cowboy, Curly, was even filmed and presented in theaters in 2023, a tribute to the success that has at all times include Oklahoma!. Within the years earlier than Jackman’s flip, the unique movie had a large house media launch, however with two variations of the identical film in existence, it begs the query: which Oklahoma! is the one which viewers have watched over the many years?

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Which Model of ‘Oklahoma!’ Has Most Audiences Seen?

Oklahoma!‘s preliminary house media launch was the CinemaScope model, because the format was simpler for house theater programs to accommodate. As well as, it was the model that the majority audiences had been conversant in, however primarily as a result of it was the one model out there. That every one modified in 2014, although, when the Todd-AO version was restored for re-release on the TCL Chinese language Theatre IMAX, as a part of an occasion referred to as CinemaCon. According to Deadline, the restored model of Oklahoma! kicked off the festivities because the occasion’s first screening, and the Todd-AO reduce was launched on house media for the primary time on Blu-ray in an version that additionally included the CinemaScope model.


Whereas remakes are nothing new, Oklahoma! definitely made historical past by remaking itself throughout its preliminary manufacturing. A cornerstone of manufacturing experimentation, the movie was shot twice to make one lasting basic, and whereas most audiences know the CinemaScope model, it is an thrilling alternative to check it to the Todd-AO model, now that it has lastly been restored.

Oklahoma! is out there to observe on Tubi within the U.S.

Watch on Tubi


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