Oklahoma! 2012
Posted on: 1st May 2012 21:32:29


Welcome to the May 2012 Edition -- OKLAHOMA


As we revisit this film I cannot say it is “classy” –not in the true sense.  The men and women in the story (Shirley Jones and Gordon MaCrae in particular), do not scream high fashion as Ann Miller, Fred Astaire and Lyn Bari did in Easter Parade and Orchestra Wives, but they do exude a certain “home spun goodness” to which we as an audience are immediately drawn.

Who can resist Gordon MaCrae as Curly, bursting on to the scene in Oh What a Beautiful Morning with that larger than life voice and those “right from the prairie” chiseled features? Not I and certainly not my group the moment he begins to sing we all sing!   

Then there’s Shirley Jones’ , Laurey. What a great character she is!   She may present as a “simple” girl from the farm but as the story unfolds we find she is as complicated/moody as any “classy” lady.

First, she insults Curly (“thought you was somebody…Singin’ like a bullfrog!”). She warms to him (cuddling up to him in Surrey with the Fringe on Top), and just as quickly turns on him “for telling (her) lies”, when she discovers the Surrey is just a “purty” Curley made up to impress her.  Her attitude and moods are a great source of conversation for the ladies in my group who tend to blame their changes in mood on their spouses as Laurey certainly does here.

Her moods, however, do not deter Curly from his quest to ”woo” her. (Here’s another great word that is under used).  “Wooing” is exactly what courtship is all about and this film thrives on it.

Curly never wastes an encounter beginning with singing at Laurey’s window, and transitioning to the beautiful duet, People Will Say We’re in Love, followed by bidding for “her” at the box social (masked nicely in film as a bid for her picnic basket) and ending with Curley’s proposal.

This sequence of events is a great way to open conversation about the art of “wooing” (gentlemen) and being “wooed” (ladies).  Great stories come out about gentlemen gift giving and the ladies generally not expecting much (“it was the Depression you know!), but definitely welcoming most of the attention. (“He just wore me down”).  That phrase, “wore me down” can give rise to great stories about proposals and weddings.  “We got married just before he went into the service”. “We got married ‘cause I didn’t want her going on any more trips alone with her girlfriends!”   “We got married in a courthouse”!

Every opportunity I have to sit in a group or individual treatment session I find I gravitate to  this activity because I find reminiscing to be such a great tool to further, not only my patient’s language and cognitive abilities, but also their ability to interact with others and share stories about lives well lived.  Where else can you talk about dating, flirting, marriage proposals and jealous fiancés? Nowhere but Movies and Music!



Thanks for looking in!


See you in June as we celebrate Brides and (Shotgun) Weddings with Seven Brides for Seven Brothers!












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