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My opinions about the Curley-Laurey-Jud "love" tri 

Is Jud Fry a bad guy, or is he a victim of society?
Jud Fry is a bad guy! 11%  11%  [ 2 ]
Jud Fry is a victim of society! 11%  11%  [ 2 ]
Jud Fry is some combination of those two elements. 42%  42%  [ 8 ]
Jud Fry is too complex to stereotype in any way. 32%  32%  [ 6 ]
I don't have an opinion about Jud Fry. 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 19

My opinions about the Curley-Laurey-Jud "love" tri 
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Post My opinions about the Curley-Laurey-Jud "love" tri
Dear Musicals.Net Posters,

Please keep in mind that the only version of Oklahoma! that I've ever seen is the movie version (1955, with Shirley Jones).

I tend to (please don't kill me) side with Jud, because I feel that he is the victim of people who place wealth, physical cleanliness, and their OWN selfish, "more civilized" brands of lust above the slightly primal desires of people like Jud Fry.

I won't deny that Jud is a lustful, physically dirty, poor hand who looks at girly pictures and dreams up all sorts of raunchy fantasies.

Yet, much of what many people put forth as their assessment of Jud's character is based upon a skewed view of Jud Fry. The other characters in Oklahoma! don't like Jud because of his class, his state of physical cleanliness, and his "animalistic" desires for sex.

When observing the relationship between Curly and Laurey, one should never leave out the slightly too obvious element of lust. If Curly didn't have a few fantasies up his sleeve, he wouldn't tease Laurey, and he wouldn't take her partytime tears as a sign of uncontrollable desire. He also wouldn't make obvious digs at Jud during the song "Poor Jud is Daid". Please note that Curly makes at least two cleanliness-related comments during the song ("beneath those 2 dirty shirts he always wore," "his fingernails have never been so clean"), and that he likens Jud to a rattlesnake, but he gives him no reason to believe that people would accept him if he wasn't scared like the rattler.

I do think that Laurey is probably scared of Jud, and that she might even feel a sort of social pressure to accept the help of her hired hand. Of course, I also tend to think that Jud is right when he says that Laurey is a cleanliness-obsessed, snooty rich girl who doesn't think that poor, dirty people are the equals of clean, rich folks.

Throughout the musical, a great cloud of intense social prejudice looms over Jud. Curly urges Jud to go out into the fresh air, and to have fun, when he knows darned well that his society will never, ever give Jud Fry any sort of a loophole into acceptability! Curly and Laurey's brands of lust are acceptable (even if they're more deviant than the audience realizes), because Curly and Laurey are socially accepted people who hold cleanliness and class above everything else. They have the upper hand over people like Jud, and that's just the sort of position that they like. They don't want to have to let poor people into their circle, lest they be embarrassed by the behavior of the hands, who are uncouth because they're never around the rich in social situations anyway.

In short, Curly wants Laurey, and Laurey wants Curly, and Jud harbors a murky desire that nobody will ever understand.

I can't personally believe that Jud is silly enough to spill his past history to Curly, and I think that he behaves desperately when he is willing to smoke his would-be bride out of her hay bale safety retreat. Of course, is Curly any better of a guy when he tries to convince Jud that death is more glamorous than life?

Many people might claim that Laurey's dream vision of Jud is accurate; yet, one must realize that that is Laurey's dream vision, and that it shouldn't necessarily be taken as fact. Jud might really want to kill Curly, but we don't know if he'd really mistreat Laurey. We only know that he wants her desperately, and that she and Curly want each other just as desperately.
8)

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Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:48 am
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Young Hoofer
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My opinion, which i talked about in the thread about the character of Laurey, is that Jud has to be played as the villain. If there is any doubt as to whether or not Jud is bad or not, the audience might feel pity for him, and that kinda ruins some aspects of the show. One thing i like in the old movie version (the Shirley Jones one) is that they show him peeking in her window early in the show. It starts to hint at one kind of a man Jud is.

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Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:47 pm
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I too definately sympathize with Jud..but I'm not sure I take it as far as you have in your description here. I can see why you have, however, since you've only seen the original film. Your thoughts on Laurey based on that version are pretty accurate in my opinion, that's how I felt after I watched it too. I would suggest the London cast DVD to you..every single character is much more developed and more enjoyable. Laurey isn't played as flat/just a snob, and you can really see where this fear of Jud is coming from. It is not that she is just a snob and too rich and obsessed with cleanlines..infact in this version she comes off as a very ordinary girl (aside from being more headstrong than the others) but she is seen working and in overalls and such. I don't think she puts herself in a class above others. And I don't think she is intentionally trying to hurt Jud either. In their scene at the end, you can kind of tell that. She tells him that she remembers the things he is telling her about the two of them, even though she probably doesn't. But she fakes that she does. You said earlier that Jud doesn't show that he would be a threat to Laurey, that it was just in her dream. But the thing that triggers her to blow up at him is when she pulls away from him out of instinct when he tries to embrace her and he gets very angry with her and threatens her and keeps her in his arms and begins kissing her neck against her will. I would have told him off too. I don't think she wanted it to come to that, but it did. It is tragic though..because he is a tragic man. It's the shame he is the way he is. It's unfortunate for him and it's unfortunate for Laurey because she didn't want to be caught up in all of this. She did it out of what she thought was a harmless way of getting back at Curly. But the whole ordeal got bigger than what she could handle. And I don't think she realized that she was toying with Jud's feelings when she began this whole thing. She did it out of a somewhat selfish motivation for getting back at Curly, but I don't think she realized exactly what she was doing and how it would effect him. She was too caught up in her feelings for Curly and how to deal with those feelings.


Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:33 pm
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kythca wrote:
My opinion, which i talked about in the thread about the character of Laurey, is that Jud has to be played as the villain. If there is any doubt as to whether or not Jud is bad or not, the audience might feel pity for him, and that kinda ruins some aspects of the show. One thing i like in the old movie version (the Shirley Jones one) is that they show him peeking in her window early in the show. It starts to hint at one kind of a man Jud is.


you need some sympathy for Jud if not he is a stock character out of a melodrama. thats one of the mai reasons the original film doesnt work. they cut "Lonely Room" the only song in the show that give Jud some flesh ands blood emotions.

its possible to sympathize with a character without liking them. and Jud needs some sympathy.
Also without some sympathy we dont know why Laurey is facinated by him.

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Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:46 am
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Young Hoofer
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I know. I am so mad "Lonely Room" is cut from the original movie. (As is "It's a Scandal, It's an Outrage"!). "Lonely Room" changes everything, and is personally, one of my favorites from the musicals. If I were a guy, I would love to play Jud. We did Oklahoma! at my school this past year, and our Jud was EXCELLENT!


Fri May 18, 2007 5:51 pm
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I fink Jud Fry deep down isnt a bad guy he is just a GUY!! lol. he just makes a bad situation (for him) worse by going about stuff the wrong way!!

Big Dave


Sat May 19, 2007 1:12 am
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Young Hoofer
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I can honestly say that while "Lonely Room" adds a complexity to the character, the characters themselves in "Oklahoma" are simplistic. We're going next week, and I've probably heard the script read in its entirety 50+ times. You slowly come to realize... Laurie, Curly, Jud... really anybody besides maybe Ali Hakim and Aunt Eller aren't all that intelligent. Or maybe it's just me that's tired after years of doing R & H.

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Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:01 pm
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tortallcit wrote:
I can honestly say that while "Lonely Room" adds a complexity to the character, the characters themselves in "Oklahoma" are simplistic. We're going next week, and I've probably heard the script read in its entirety 50+ times. You slowly come to realize... Laurie, Curly, Jud... really anybody besides maybe Ali Hakim and Aunt Eller aren't all that intelligent. Or maybe it's just me that's tired after years of doing R & H.


I couldn't disagree more. I just played Laurey, so I'm very close to this character, and she's one of the most complex characters I've ever played. There are so many layers there, this tough exterior, this girl with a big heart and big dreams struggling to survive as a woman basically by herself in the wilderness. Oklahoma is really the story of her maturity into womanhood and it is by no means a simplistic or easy role to accomplish. Laurey is really a hidden gem of a role, she might seem like the stock ingenue but she's anything but.


Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:14 pm
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