Ugh. I watched "Carousel" the other night. What a terrible movie! (Spoilers ahead!)
The film is lovely to look at and I like a couple of the songs very much. (I am not a big fan of "You'll Never Walk Alone" though and most people love it so obviously I am an aberration!)
But the storyline? Ye gods.
Billy Bigelow (as played by Gordon MacRae) is a horrible person with no redeeming qualities that I can see (besides his good looks which are really those of Mr. MacRae). His job is a carnival barker. He loses that job and never gets another because he has "no skills" according to his wife. The one job offer he gets he turns down flat. And his big plan to make money is to participate in a robbery and then move to San Francisco.
It does not go well. We know this from the start because Billy is shown polishing stars in a Heaven-like place so you know he'll die at some point during his flashback story.
You have to wonder what Julie Jordan (as portrayed by Shirley Jones) sees in him besides a physical attraction. Once they get married it's revealed that Billy has hit Julie because he was angry. Supposedly this only happened once but everyone refers to Billy beating his wife.
So Billy is a big ass and Julie looks just like you'd expect a downtrodden wife to look. It's a shame because Shirley Jones is so young and pretty that you want her Julie to smile and laugh rather than brood and be afraid of Billy.
Then when Billy comes down from Heaven to spend a day helping his 15-year-old daughter Louise he ends up hitting her too!
But she tells her mother it felt like a kiss, not a slap. Here's the exchange between them:
"But is it possible, Mother, for someone to hit you hard like that - real loud and hard, and it not hurt you at all?"
"It is possible dear, for someone to hit you, hit you hard, and it not hurt at all."