(See previous post: “Shirley Jones: From Book to Movies.”) I haven’t watched The Cheyenne Social Club (1970), a comedy Western directed by Gene Kelly, and starring 62-year-old James Stewart as a cowpoke who inherits an establishment that turns out to be a popular house of prostitution. Henry Fonda plays Stewart’s partner. And I’m sure Shirley Jones, as one of the sex workers, looks lovely in the film. Hopefully, director Kelly gave this likable, talented actress the chance to do more than just stand around looking pretty.
But then again … For all purposes, The Cheyenne Social Club ended Shirley Jones’ film stardom; that same year she turned to TV and The Partridge Family. Jones would return to films only nine years later, as one of several stars (among them Michael Caine, Sally Field, Telly Savalas, and Karl Malden) in Irwin Allen’s box office and critical bomb Beyond the Poseidon Adventure. In the last three decades, she has been seen only sporadically on the big screen, almost invariably in cameos or small supporting roles in little-seen efforts.
The good news (one hopes): according to the IMDb, Shirley Jones has three movies coming out, though it’s unclear whether those will get big-screen releases or if they’ll head straight to DVD. They are the following titles: Brad Wise’s comedy A Strange Brand of Happy; John Gulager’s horror thriller Zombie Night, also featuring Darryl Hannah and Anthony Michael Hall; and John Orrichio’s musical drama Johnny Blue.
Shirley Jones movies: TCM schedule (PT) on August 28
3:00 AM APRIL LOVE (1957). Director: Henry Levin. Cast: Pat Boone, Shirley Jones, Dolores Michaels. C-99 mins.
5:00 AM A TICKLISH AFFAIR (1963). Director: George Sidney. Cast: Shirley Jones, Gig Young, Red Buttons. C-88 mins. Letterbox Format.
7:00 AM THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS (1965). Director: Andrew L. Stone. Cast: Lionel Jeffries, Shirley Jones, Stella Stevens, Honor Blackman, James Booth. C-99 mins. Letterbox Format.
9:00 AM PEPE (1960). Director: George Sidney. Cast: Cantinflas, Dan Dailey, Shirley Jones, Carlos Montalbán, Carlos Rivas, Maurice Chevalier, Bing Crosby, Richard Conte, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis Jr., Jimmy Durante, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Greer Garson, Hedda Hopper, Joey Bishop, Ernie Kovacs, Billie Burke, Peter Lawford, Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Jay North, Kim Novak, André Previn, Donna Reed, Debbie Reynolds, Edward G. Robinson, Cesar Romero, Frank Sinatra, Charles Coburn, William Demarest, Michael Callan, Ann B. Davis, Vicki Trickett, Matt Mattox, Hank Henry, Suzanne Lloyd, E.E. Fogelson, Jack Entratter, Jane Robinson, Bunny Waters, Dean Martin, Tony Curtis, Sam Harris, Joe Hyams, Franklyn Farnum, ’Snub’ Pollard, Ray Walker, Robert Williams, and the voice of Judy Garland. C-158 mins. Letterbox Format.
12:00 PM ELMER GANTRY (1960). Director: Richard Brooks. Cast: Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, Arthur Kennedy, Dean Jagger, Shirley Jones, Patti Page, Edward Andrews, John McIntire, Hugh Marlowe, Joe Maross, Philip Ober, Barry Kelley, Wendell Holmes, Dayton Lummis, Rex Ingram, Norman Leavitt, Ed Nelson, Barbara Luna, John Qualen, Michael Whalen, Max Showalter, Jean Willes. C-147 mins. Letterbox Format.
2:45 PM THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE’S FATHER (1963). Director: Vincente Minnelli. Cast: Glenn Ford, Shirley Jones, Stella Stevens. C-119 mins. Letterbox Format.
5:00 PM THE MUSIC MAN (1962). Director: Morton DaCosta. Cast: Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett. C-151 mins. Letterbox Format.
8:00 PM CAROUSEL (1956). Director: Henry King. Cast: Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Cameron Mitchell. C-129 mins. Letterbox Format.
10:30 PM THE CHEYENNE SOCIAL CLUB (1970). Director: Gene Kelly. Cast: James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Shirley Jones, Sue Ane Langdon, Elaine Devry, Robert Middleton, Arch Johnson, Dabbs Greer, Jackie Russell, Jackie Joseph, Sharon DeBord, Richard Collier, J. Pat O’Malley, John Dehner, Sam Edwards. C-102 mins. Letterbox Format.
12:30 AM THE HAPPY ENDING (1969). Director: Richard Brooks. Cast: Jean Simmons, John Forsythe, Shirley Jones, Teresa Wright, Lloyd Bridges, Dick Shawn, Nanette Fabray, Bobby Darin, Tina Louise, Kathy Fields, Karen Steele, Gail Hensley, Eve Brent, William O’Connell, Barry Cahill, Miriam Blake. C-112 mins. Letterbox Format.
Shirley Jones movie schedule via the TCM website. Burt Lancaster and Shirley Jones Elmer Gantry photo: United Artists.