In some ways its not fair since one is pure stage the other a movie although the 1955 movie is extremely stagey.
The performances. Gordon MacRae has the better voice but I never felt outside of his singing he always seemed distant to his role. It seemed singing a song was more important then dialogue. Also little chemistry between his Curly and Jones Laurey. Jackman version plenty of chemistry.
Hugh Jackman was Curly. Total immersion in the role. Also MacRae seemed too serious.
Shirley Jones she is Shirley Jones. Beautiful voice and really good actress.
Rod Steiger. Oh my god. The definitive Jud Fry. Too many times even Jackman version. Jud is a threat but not smart would could easily be beaten. Steiger smart, clever, and a dangerous force of nature.
In the dream sequence Jud says nothing. Every gesture, every movement compares well to the tornado. Violent not a movement wasted. He does not need to say a word you know his thoughts his face and movements speak for him
×Gloria Grahame as Annie. I do not know if she was a comic actress or not. She was hysterical to watch as Ado Annie.
The Jackman stayed more true to its roots.
Hugh Jackman doing theme song.
Gordon MacRae’s version. This also shows lack of chemistry between the characters. They act like they are on their first date. As good of a voice he has it comes across as a singing performance not as part of the story.
If I must chose one to recommend. The MacRae version solely for Jones, Steiger and Graham.