By: Alex Phuong (Two Beers) –
Shirley Jones’s entertainment career began when she met Rodgers and Hammerstein in New York shortly after finishing high school. Her beautiful voice allowed her to star in the famous duo’s productions both on Broadway and on screen. Jones’s film debut might have been Oklahoma!, but she adores the music of Carousel. This musical showcases the talent of this beloved actress during one of the early stages of her career.
Since this film is a musical, the score is obviously gorgeous. Shirley Jones and Richard Rodgers have both expressed admiration of this film’s music. The film is also filled with beautifully elaborate musical numbers that are comparable to other musicals like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and West Side Story (1961). Carousel might not have been a box-office hit, but the soundtrack was still a best-seller. Indeed, part of the brilliance of this musical is the music itself.
Even though this is a Rodgers and Hammerstein adaptation, the film is surprisingly risqué (and this is from the same team that made Cinderella!). The film includes innuendo, mature themes, and brief language. It also deals with morbid topics, like death and resurrection. It is also a bit shocking that a G-rated film would maintain that rating in spite of the content within the actual film. Still, sometimes films can get away with that kind of material given the nature of what film censors would consider to be inappropriate.
The role of Julie Jordan is a nice follow-up to Shirley Jones’s film debut as Laurey Williams in Oklahoma! Jones’s musical talents did not stop there, though, because she would later go on to play Marian the librarian in The Music Man. She also thanked Rodgers and Hammerstein when she won the Oscar for her supporting role as Lulu Bains in Elmer Gantry. Winning the Oscar might have been the proudest moment of her career, but many musical fans still adore Jones for her work in one of the first movies filmed in Cinemascope 55, Carousel.
Carousel (1956) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time there is an elaborate musical number
Take a Drink: during every romantic situation or anything that deals with love
Drink a Shot: every time there are ocean waves that crash upon the shore