Frank Sinatra Almost Did “Carousel”

Reading about the upcoming Blu-ray releases of Rodgers and Hammerstein‘s “Carousel” and “The King and I,” I learned that Frank Sinatra was originally cast as Billy Bigelow in the former. But he walked off the set when told he’d have to shoot each scene twice a la “Oklahoma!” (which was shot in 35mm and Todd-AO). This proved not to be true as only one version was shot, in CinemaScope 55mm. The explanation is that right after Sinatra bolted, “Carousel” producers found a way to film the scene once on 55mm and then transfer it onto 35mm. Here’s Sinatra singing “Soliloquy,” Billy’s big number.

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