1955 Motion Picture

Rodgers & HammersteinOklahoma

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1955 Motion Picture

Music by Richard Rodgers | Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II | Screenplay by Sonya Levien and William Ludwig | Original Choreography by Agnes de Mille | Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs

The blockbuster film adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! premiered at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City on October 11, 1955. The film was the first ever shot and presented in the Todd-AO 70mm Widescreen format, which required some theatres to have their screen areas renovated. It was also the first to have a road show-style promotional rollout, a format that many other movie musicals of the 1960s took on. Following rave reviews, Oklahoma! won Academy Awards for Best Sound Recording and Best Scoring of a Musical Picture, winning two out of four nominations. In 2007, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.


Led by Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones and Rod Steiger, the cast of the 1955 film adaptation of Oklahoma! recorded their tracks prior to the film’s shooting, as was the custom. The motion picture soundtrack recording was released on Capitol Records and spent a staggering 400 weeks on the album charts, including a full month at the #1 spot. The album was later certified as a two-time, multi-platinum record. The same year, Nelson Riddle released a cover album of songs from Oklahoma!