Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae
One of my favorite musicals is the wonderful, beautiful, and (in my opinion) perfect in every way Oklahoma! Shirley Jones is so darn good in the role of Laurey that it’s almost impossible to believe it’s her first movie… yet it was!
Don’t get me wrong, I love her in this role and couldn’t love Oklahoma? any more if it I had starred in it, myself (what a perfect flop that would have been!), but if this is the only role you know Shirley Jones from, please please please make a point of seeing her other films. NOTHING in the world wrong with her performance, obviously, I just don’t think you can get a full measure of a star from one film or even two.
Another example is Olivia de Havilland. I always beg people who have only seen her in Gone With the Wind to watch her in other films as well. Was she perfect as Melanie? Of course… but, like Shirley Jones’ Laurey, Melanie is pretty much one-dimensional. Both actresses have many wonderful dimensions and possessed (and still possess!) more charisma than one role allows them to showcase.
Again, nothing in the world against Laurey or Melanie – I love them both to distraction, but BOY, you should check out these ladies when they aren’t ALL sunshine and goodness!
You can buy Oklahoma! on dvd for your collection (I have a copy in my Shirley Jones collection and am so weird about my collections, I want to order one for my Gloria Grahame collection as well… there’s no making sense of my peculiarities, don’t even try). You can also watch it on Prime Video.