Synopsis: Billy Bigelow has been dead for fifteen years, and now outside the pearly gates, he long waived his right to go back to Earth for a day. But he has heard that there is a problem with his family, namely his wife Julie Bigelow née Jordan and the child he never met, that problem with which he would now like to head back to Earth to assist in rectifying. Before he is allowed back to Earth, he has to get the OK from the gatekeeper, to who he tells his story... Immediately attracted to each other, he and Julie met when he worked as a carousel barker. Both stated to the other that they did not believe in love or marriage, but they did get married. Because the shrewish carousel owner, Mrs. Mullin, was attracted to Billy herself, and since she believed he was only of use as a barker if he was single to attract the young women to the carousel, she fired him. With no other job skills and unwilling to take just any job, Billy did not provide for Julie but rather lived off Julie's Aunt Nettie. But
Director(s): Henry King
Production: 20th Century Fox
  3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
128 min


- Well, what did I do now?

- Nothing.

I, uh, just thought you'd want to know.

There's trouble.

I thought you said

I didn't do nothing.

Oh, no, not you. I, uh...

I can't tell you where I heard it,

but I heard things ain't going

so good for your kinfolk...

Down on Earth.

There's trouble?

- Is it Julie?

- Well, I don't know exactly.

- Well, is it my boy?

- I told you I don't know.

Well, now, ain't that just dandy?

Here you take the trouble to tell me

there's trouble down there,

but you don't know

what kind of trouble it is.

Do me a favor, will you?

Go... Bother somebody else

while I finish these...


- All right.

I just thought you might

want to go down there, maybe help.

Who, me?

You gone loony or something?


Well, everybody's got a right

to go back for one day.

- They have?

- Sure.

That's the only reason I told you.

Hey, come here. Come here. Hey.

Not that I'm interested in going back there,

but, uh, just in case

I should be, who, uh...

Who gives out this permission?

The star keeper.

Him, huh?

Well, I'll think about it.

Was you wanted to see me?

Yes, I was.

I heard my family's in trouble down there.

Somebody tried to tell me

if I came up here and see you, why...

You'd give me permission

to go back for one day.

- Is that a fact?

- Yes.

But as I recall, Bigelow, when you first

got here, you waived that right.

- I did?

- Yep, pretty sure,

but let's look at the record.

Ah, here we are. "Bigelow. Question,

"'Is there anything on Earth

you left unfinished, Mr. Bigelow?

"The reason I ask is you're entitled to go

back there for one day if you want to. '

"Answer, 'As long as I'm here,

I might as well stay. "'

I said that?

Why, you don't think

this book's incorrect, do you?


Well, if that's the way it is,

that's the way it is.

Wait a minute, now. Wait a minute.

You know, sometimes

we make exceptions in special cases.

Special cases?

Oh, you mean, if a guy led a good life,

he'd deserve a break?

- That kind of thing, huh?

- Mm-hmm.

- I know the answer already.

- Do you, now?

Now, how do you know

how we judge things up here?

Eh, it'd just be wasting your time and mine.

Simmer down now, Billy. You're forgetting.

Here there is no time.

This is the beginning and the end.

Why don't you tell me about yourself?

What did you do down there?

What did I do down there?

Oh, you mean, "What did I do for a living?"

Well, you can start there, if you want.

Well, uh...

- I owned this carousel.

- You what?

Look. If you know this story,

what do you want to hear it again for?

Oh, I don't know the story, but I can see

through you like a pane of window glass.

Now, why don't you start over?

Well, I worked for this lady

who owned the carousel.


But I was the main attraction.

I was, wasn't I?

Every night, girls would gather around,

music would be playing,

the carousel would be going

round and round,

the whole midway would be

packed with people,

and I'd be standing up there.

All right, everybody. Hurry, hurry.

Come ride on the carousel.

One more glorious spin.

Hurry, hurry, hurry.

Step right this way, and come ride the...

The ride starts in a few minutes,

ladies and gentlemen.

Just a very few minutes.

Hurry, hurry over this way and...


- Do you mind?

Come on, everybody. Hurry, hurry, hurry.

Ride on the carousel,

the most beautiful carousel

you've ever seen.

And this year it's faster and faster.

The ride of a lifetime. Fifteen minutes

for five cents is all, five little cents.

Get in line.

Young lady, where's your ticket?

- I don't have any.

- You can buy one.



Julie, come on. Hurry. Come on.

She's coming after us again. Let's run.

No, I ain't scared of her.

Listen, you little...

I've got one more thing to tell you.

If you ever so much as poke your nose

in my carousel again,

I'm gonna have you thrown out,

right on your little pink bustle.

You've got no call to talk to her like that.

She ain't doing you no harm.

Oh, ain't she? I suppose you think

I wanna get in trouble with the police

- and maybe lose my license?

- What is the woman talking about?

Letting my barker fool with you.

Ain't you ashamed?

- I don't let no man fool... - He leaned

against her all through the ride.

He leaned against the horse,

but he didn't lay a hand on me.

Oh, no, Miss Innocence.

And I suppose he didn't put his arm

around your waist neither.

And suppose he did. Is that a reason to go

and have a "capuleptic" fit?

You mind your own business, you hussy.

Go on back to your old carousel

and leave us alone.

- Yeah, leave us alone, you old...

- I don't run my business for a lot of sluts.

Who you calling a slut? Slut yourself.

- Yeah, slut yourself.

- Shut up!

Jabber, jabber, jabber, jabber, jabber.

What's going on anyway?

Spitting and sputtering like

three lumps of corn a-poppin' on a shovel.

- Mr. Bigelow, please...

- Don't yell.

- I didn't yell.

- Well, don't.

What's the matter?

I want you to take a good look

at that girl, Billy.

She ain't never to be allowed

on my carousel again.

Next time she tries to get in, if she dares,

I want you to throw her out,

you understand?

- Throw her out!

- All right, all right.

Well, you heard what the lady said.

Go on. Go on home.

- Shoo, get.

- Come on, Julie.

- No, I won't.

- Would you like a nice, cool drink, Billy?

- Sure.

- Mr. Bigelow.

Tell me, please, honest and truly.

If I come back to the carousel again,

would you throw me out?

What did she do anyway?

She said you put your arm

around my waist.

Aha, well. There's something new.

Can't put my arm around a girl without

first asking permission, is that how it is?

No, I just don't want

that one around no more.

You come around all you like, see.

You ain't got the price,

Billy Bigelow will treat you to a ride.

Big talker, ain't you, Mr. Bigelow?

I suppose you think

I can't throw you out too if I want to?

You're such a good barker,

I can't run my business without you,

is that it?

Well, just for that, you're discharged.

Your services are no longer required.

You're bounced. See?

Very well, Mrs. Mullin. Very well.

Well, now, you know,

I could bounce you if I felt like it.

Well, you felt like it just now.

So I'm bounced, bounced.

Well, now, you don't have to pick up

every word I say. I only said that I...

Said that my services

were no longer required.

Very good, Mrs. Mullin.

We'll let it go at that.

All right, you devil.

We'll let it go at that.

- Mr. Bigelow, if she said she's...

- You keep out of this.

But I don't want this

to happen on account of me.

- Apologize to her.

- Aha!

Me apologize to her? For what?

For giving my carousel a bad name?

A ba...

The day you bought the carousel,

Mrs. Mullin, it got a bad name.

After all I've done for you, that's what...

- Now I am through with you.

- Go on.

- And it's for good, do you hear?

- Go on.


Through for good.

And I won't take you back

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Phoebe Ephron

Phoebe Ephron (née Wolkind; January 26, 1914 – October 13, 1971) was an American playwright and screenwriter, who often worked with Henry Ephron, her husband, whom she wed in 1934. Ephron was born in New York City to Louis and Kate (née Lautkin) Wolkind, a dress manufacturer.Ephron was active as a writer from the early 1940s through the early 1960s. Her four daughters – Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron, Hallie Ephron and Amy Ephron – all became writers, like their parents. Ephron was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium , along with writing partners Richard L. Breen and husband Henry Ephron, for their work on Captain Newman, M.D. (1963). She died in 1971, aged 57, in her native New York City. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Carousel" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jul 2024. <>.

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