A posting on the IMDb "Oklahoma!" message board back in February 2006 re-animated
a 50-year-old question of mine as to the identity of the two young girls who have a crush
on Will Parker and have a continuing, albeit sometimes subtle, presence throughout the
It struck a chord in others as well and generated some interesting discussions in the
ensuing months. I led the parade with incorrect identifications based on a misreading of
Hollywood's method of crediting their performers. For the next four months, I identified
Jenny Workman and Virginia Bosler on this website as the two girls. That lasted until
June 2006, when two residents of New York City went to The Font of All Knowledge at
that city's public library dance section and discovered the girls' true identities. That
prompted a massive rewrite of this website as well as correcting some posts on other
All of this wheel-spinning could have been prevented if, instead of including that
bothersome anti-piracy warning and useless period commercial extolling the virtues of
Todd-AO, they included an electronic copy of the souvenir program that was handed to
the patrons at those movie houses showing the Todd-AO version in 1955. Parts of that
informative program are reproduced below, including the Smoking Gun section that
names the dancers. The program did introduce a new question however, when they used
the term "goon girls" in identifying our girls. Is that a Hollywood term for a certain type
of role or is it an old frontier epithet for moonstruck girls? Anyone?
UPDATE 03-21-08: A phone conversation with Lizanne cleared this one up. Director
Fred Zinneman wanted the part of Ado Annie to be played comically, but Gloria
Grahame always put a sexy twist to the role. Zinneman then told Lizanne and Jane that
he would use them througout the film to compensate for Gloria's interpretation. There
was some discussion as to what to call the girls. Zinneman opined that since they were
always "gooning around" (as in fooling), they should be called "Goon Girls". When told
of their new name, Lizanne and Jane said "Thank you", then looked at each other and
said, "Oh God, there goes our career!".
|Playboy can keep their centerfolds -- this on-site snap outshines them all.
Lizanne and Jane are front row, right, along with the major stars of the movie.
Once again, if they were given this much prominence,
why couldn't they have been singled out in the credits?
|THE DEFINITIVE PROOF
(In a portent of the current blurry Todd-AO release,
the pictures in the booklet are not the sharpest.)
|The Holy Grail
discovered - page 17
of the brochure,
bottom line, continuing
to the next.
I offer a belated
tip 'o the derby
R & H Organization
ALL the dancers
who took part
in this movie.
there would always be
the "Well, the blonde
pixie LOOKs like . . ."
Besides naming names, this informative booklet is a treasure trove of a few scenes that are
not shown in the movie and would otherwise probably be lost. The left hand long shot
picture is from "All Er Nuthin' " which was treated as a closeup in the movie. No doubt
the director needed the tight shot in order to catch the full impact of Lizanne's toxic look
of disapproval. Then again, we have . . .
UPDATE 12-04-06: Guest Book poster Ian emailed me the part of his comment that was
cut off due to space limitations there. He proposed, accurately I think, that the closeup
altered the scene's intent. Looking at the left hand photo, Ado Annie rolls up her sleeve
and looks like she's going to intervene, and THAT caused the peel-the-paint-off-the-wall
glare by Lizanne and not Will's peck on Jane's cheek. It is an interesting example of how
cropping a picture can change the import of the scene. That left-hand picture is the actual
size displayed in the program and the distortion is ironic, considering Lizanne's diminuitive
size, which is more realistically shown in the centerfold shot shown below. The kid barely
comes up to the shoulders of the other performers.
|I about dropped
my teeth when I
saw this bit on
The first picture
is a slightly
that was found in
I now wonder just
WHO owned that
My apologies to
(second from the
right) , who I
page of this
Compare it to the
Update 10-28-06: I just finished reading Ethan Mordden's 1992 book titled "Rodgers &
Hammerstein", hoping he would offer some insight into the filming of this movie.
Disappointingly, he dewlls almost entirely upon the stage production, but does offer a few
stills. One of them is a much sharper photo of this scene, but our girls are not waving.
The cut line goes from left to right identifying every single actor in the foreground,
EXCEPT OUR TWO GIRLS. Once again, the dancers are treated as throwaways. For
Heavens' Sake, is too much to ask to give them at least a modicum of credit? After all,
they added a nice subplot to the movie and in fact, got equal or more screen presence than
some of the other credited performers!