This routine is where two other ensemble dancers get some individual attention, but as usual, Liz
harvests the most. Unfortunately, these stills don't begin to capture the charm and beauty she
exhibits here. There's a cute vignette where she primps before the mirror in a forlorn attempt to
spiffy up her short hair while Jane looks on and shakes her head "Nope". Attention is directed to
her once again in a head-shaking/hair primping scene in the midst of the dancers. Near the end,
when the girls fall to the floor around Laurey, Liz assumes a contorted position that makes your
back ache, and does it in such a graceful and fluid movement that you wonder if she has any bones
in her body at all. She and Jane flank Laurey (Shirley Jones) and join in her song of independence -
just before the cackling laughter of Laurey's rival breaks the spell. Lots of arty ballet-type moves
here, and Liz makes her contribution. One IMDb poster said "Oklahoma" was the sexiest movie he
had ever seen. I guess that would be true if you were into 1900s ladies' underwear.
"It ain't gonna work" Jane implies in this nicely composed shot. This charming scene exemplified
for me the pixie-like quality Liz contributed to the part, as well as establishing her "little-girl"
persona. (It was here that she hooked me. Every time I view this scene, it's deja vu all over again.)
UPDATE 03-21-08: It is interesting how some memorable scenes that were unscripted come into
being. A phone conversation with Lizanne revealed that she was primping before the same mirror
with Jane in attendance, bemoaning what the studio did to her original "pixie" hairstyle. They had
modified it to a bowl-cut "like the little kids had in the 1900s" (Heck she still looks like a million
bucks!). Agnes de Mille, "who never missed a trick" spotted the scene and asked the girls to redo it
for the director. He liked it and incorporated it into this segment. Thank you, Agnes!
comes to mind here.
(My granddaughter said,
"Gee, granpa, she's buff!")
There's a lot of
good-looking women in
this segment but the
director shifts attention to
this little charmer as she
goes through her primping
This still doesn't do her
justice, you have to watch
Very cute and very foxy.
|Again Liz is singled out by another out-of-sync routine, this time displaying a winsome
dreamy-little-girl persona. She must rake in the viewers' hearts by the bushelful with this one.
This scene moved one poster to write, "Ever since I first saw this movie. . . one of my favorite moments
is her little moment of a young girl's yearning near the end of 'Many A New Day'.
It crystalizes the deMille contribution to the musical theatre. She didn't stage dances, she told stories."
If Liz's heel-to-head position, center lower right, doesn't make your back muscles twitch in sympathy,
you're a better man than I am. In motion, she reminds you of a piece of spaghetti effortlessly
swirling into a circle. Note that most of the other dancers just stretch out while Jane, in the uper left,
joins some of the others in pondering the meaning of it all.
|Not the center of attention this
time, but not too far from it
nicely composed shot.
Liz and Jane, if not in the center
of the dancers,
are usually on the periphery
of one of the stars
and often Liz
is interacting with them.
Liz mentioned that they had to
do this scene
as "things didn't look right"
In the last take they had Liz
come up to Shirley
and lay her head on her
shoulder, giving us this charming
UPDATE 07-05-08: Agnes de Mille wanted a break from all the other preening dancers and had Liz
pop up, shaking her head until her hair fluffed out, in tune with her tomboyish role. I mentioned to
her that Zinneman always seemed to shift attention to her whenever he could, and she replied that he
said that she would be featured throughout the film. When asked if she had an agent, she replied
no, as her previous work in Colorado and New York didn't call for one. Zinneman said that he
would connect her with the William Morris Agency in Hollywood (the man had a sure eye for
talent). He told her that when she was asked, to reply that she was featured in this movie, for that
would give her a leg up (no pun intended) over other actresses.