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Annie Oakley (1935)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, Western | 15 November 1935 (USA)
A romanticized biography of the famous sharpshooter.



(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Jeff Hogarth
Vera Delmar
Chief Thunderbird ...
Chief Sitting Bull (as Chief Thunder Bird)
Margaret Armstrong ...
Mrs. Oakley
Delmar Watson ...
Wesley Oakley
Adeline Craig ...
Susan Oakley


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


The sharpshooting star of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show lives again to thrill you in a drama of fighting men and red romance! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

15 November 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Bandoleira  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first Western for both director George Stevens and star Barbara Stanwyck. Stevens of course would go on to make one of the definitive films in the genre - Shane (1953). See more »


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 »


Toby Walker: Well dog my cats!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over a background of a woman in a cowboy hat shooting at a target. See more »


Referenced in Susan Slept Here (1954) See more »


Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves)
(1887) (uncredited)
Written by Juventino Rosas
Played at the gun club during the photograph
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Fictionalized But Interesting Story
6 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is listed under the "western" genre, but it is not a western, unless you consider Cincinnati part of the wild west. Also it is listed as a drama, which is true, but it also contains comedic elements, often attributable to the Sitting Bull character.

People write about how fictionalized the story is, but actually many of the main elements of the story are true.

In the film, Toby Walker (Preston Foster) is a sharpshooter from New York who visits Cincinnati for an exhibition. There he signs a contract to perform in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. Most of that is true, though his real name was Frank Butler and he was from Ireland.

While in Cincinnati, he makes a wager with a local inn owner that he can beat any challenger. The innkeeper calls on Annie Oakley (Barbara Stanwyck) to do the shooting. In real life, the name "Annie Oakley" came shortly afterward and Annie wins the contest, unlike in the film where she loses intentionally because she feels sorry for Toby.

Annie also signs up with Buffalo Bill and the story follows both trick shooters on the tour. I will not detail the remaining storyline, but it bears a resemblance to "A Star is Born".

As depicted, Annie really was from Ohio--a small hamlet named North Star. She was born in a log cabin and actually had a very hard childhood.

Toby Walker is portrayed as a rather nasty guy, at least at first. The same approach was later used in "Annie Get Your Gun" on stage and screen. But the film has a great Hollywood ending.

The depiction of the Wild West Shows is abbreviated but accurate. It is almost like viewing a piece of history. When the film starts, the year is approximately 1875. The Battle of Little Bighorn took place in 1876, so tales of "dangerous" Indians were current. Sitting Bull really did join the show for about four months, though it was later, approximately 1884. He and Annie did develop a special bond.

My point in mentioning this bit of history is to explain that the timing in the film may not have been totally accurate, but the appearance of Sitting Bull in the Wild West Show was a remarkable thing, so it is understandable that the script writers wanted to include him in the story.

The film does a good job of portraying Annie as the nearly mythical person she actually was. I like Barbara Stanwyck's portrayal. Though Ms. Stanwyck might be more of a looker than Annie, the real Frank Butler did marry her and was dedicated to her throughout his lifetime.

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