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Annie Oakley (1935)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,016 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 14 critic

A romanticized biography of the famous sharpshooter.

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(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Annie Oakley (1935)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Preston Foster ...
Toby Walker
...
Jeff Hogarth
Moroni Olsen ...
...
Vera Delmar
...
MacIvor
Chief Thunderbird ...
Chief Sitting Bull (as Chief Thunder Bird)
Margaret Armstrong ...
Mrs. Oakley
Delmar Watson ...
Wesley Oakley
Adeline Craig ...
Susan Oakley
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Storyline

In a sharpshooting match, the manager of a Cincinnati hotel bets on the fellow who's been supplying the hotel with quail...who turns out to be young Annie Oakley. Result: Annie is hired for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (which is faithfully re-enacted in the film). She's tutored in showmanship by champ Toby Walker. But when Annie wins top billing, professional rivalry conflicts with their growing personal attachment, leading to misunderstanding and separation. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet Col. Cody, Sitting Bull, and all the two-gun heroes of the plains, in the big show that astonished two continents ... a livid background for the flaming love of Annie Oakley! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 November 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Bandoleira  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released less than 10 years after the death of the real Annie Oakley. See more »

Goofs

Annie returned to New York in 1892, and the film has the band playing "The Red Man", from "Dwellers in the Western World", which Sousa didn't write until 1910 See more »

Quotes

Rough Rider: Perfume. Dang it, you smell like Happy Minnie's back in Omaha.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: No fiction is stranger than the actual life of Annie Oakley who came out of a backwoods village half a century ago to astonish the world. See more »

Connections

Featured in George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

When Johnny Comes Marching Home
(1863) (uncredited)
Written by Louis Lambert
(Psuedonymn for Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore)
Background music for the Washington show
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
RKO hits the target with Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill
19 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Other reviewers have noted the fictional aspects of much of this film. The most significant of note are that Oakley wasn't Annie Oakley's real name, but chosen later as a stage name; and that she was married early on to Frank Butler, whose name and character were changed substantially to Toby Walker. Of course, the latter plays out in much of the film, so it may give the impression that the whole movie is fiction. But most of the incidents that take place – Annie's marksmanship, her hunting prowess, her time with Buffalo Bill, the European tours, her shooting a cigarette held in his mouth by the Austrian arch-duke – all happened. So, there's little point in further criticism of Hollywood license.

In the early part of the film, it struck me that Barbara Stanwyck was a bit too demure in the title role. I got used to the persona as the film progressed, yet I still felt there was a stiffness in her portrayal. But, after watching the movie I read some of the biography of Annie Oakley (nee Phoebe Ann Moses). She was a reserved person in real life – very polite, kind and proper. She was born in rural Ohio to Quaker parents. She lost her father when she was six, and spent several years in abusive foster homes. At age 12, she was reunited with her mother and siblings. Beginning at about age 8, she taught herself to shoot game, and that helped support her family for many years. She was very respectful of other people, and endeared herself to Buffalo Bill and many of the cast of his famous Wild West Show (the "Show" was added later).

While Hollywood completely remade her love life in this film, Oakley did have a long, lasting love with fellow sharp-shooter Frank Butler, whom she married in 1876. She was just 16 and had recently beaten Butler in a shooting contest in the 25th round. The couple began performing in shows and that's when Oakley chose her stage name. When she was 25, the couple joined Buffalo Bill in his Wild West show.

So, Stanwyck's portrayal of the persona of Annie Oakley seems right on target. All the rest of the cast do banner jobs in their roles in this film. And the direction, cinematography and other technical aspects are all excellent.

I give this movie a plus for historical value in showing us a considerable display of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Or at least, what much of it must have looked like. I don't think another film has been made that shows this much of that great historical treasure of America's past. The fact that RKO put this much of a show together for its script is quite impressive, I think. Especially for 1935. Other films have been made about Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and the West, with some reference to the Wild West Show. But no other film gives us such an extended look at what it must have been like.

One last note that viewers may find of interest. From the mid-1880s until 1911, Buffalo Bill Cody owned and lived on a 4,000-acre ranch, that he called the Scout Rest Ranch, just outside North Platte, Nebraska. As the name implies, his show put up and rested there between its tours. It also was a working ranch where Buffalo Bill raised some of the blood stock for his shows. Today, 25 acres of the original ranch are preserved as a working history state park near North Platte, NE. Cody's huge Victorian house still stands, as well as his custom-designed barn. The barn was used in photos to promote his shows. It is 148 feet long, 70 feet wide and 40 feet high. Travelers can tour the park and facilities. It's just minutes off Interstate 80 at North Platte.


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