Fred and Lilly are a divorced pair of actors who are brought together by Cole Porter who has written a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. Of course, the couple seem to act a great ... See full summary »
Shortly after the end of World War II, British Colonel Michael 'Hooky' Nicobar is assigned to a unit in the British Zone of Vienna. His duty is to aid the Soviet authorities to repatriate ... See full summary »
Billy Bigelow has been dead for fifteen years, and now outside the pearly gates, he long waived his right to go back to Earth for a day. But he has heard that there is a problem with his ... See full summary »
A story very loosely based on the love story of Annie Oakley and Frank Butler who meet at a shooting match. Fabulous music although the lead characters have virtually nothing to do with the actual historical figures. Annie joins Frank Butler in Col. Cody's Wild West Show. They tour the world performing before Royalty as well as the public at large.
After Judy Garland was fired from the film, MGM flirted with the idea of casting Ethel Merman in the role she originated on Broadway, but producer Arthur Freed vetoed the idea, as Merman was dissatisfied with her previous film experiences. See more »
In the first shooting match scene between Annie and Frank, electric transmission lines can clearly be seen in the background. Historically, this match took place in Cincinnati in 1881. The first electrical transmission grid was not erected until 1886 in Barrington, MA. See more »
I have had many outings with this popular musical by Irving Berlin. First, I saw it live on Broadway (my first show) starring Bernadette Peters. Then I listened to the original Broadway cast soundtrack with Ethel Merman, which led me to think that Peters really wasn't that good after all. Then finally, I got to see this movie about three years ago. Plus, last year I was in "Annie Get Your Gun" at Portland Players, portraying several minor characters. It's too bad it followed the modernized version more closely than the original, which was changed for the sake of political correctness! Oh well.
Seeing the movie helped me to understand the plot of the whole story better; plays don't always do it for me (not the first time around anyway). It's by no means a great film. It's a bit slow (notice the point where Annie is anticipating what she'll do when she bumps into Frank on the boat) and the music is not performed quite as well as I would have liked to hear (at least, not when compared to what I'm used to). Yet it's still worth watching if you're a fan.
Judy Garland was originally intended to play Annie Oakley, but had to quit because of her "unfortunate condition". She was replaced by Betty Hutton, who had a much more appropriate voice for the role. So many people have expressed disappointment that Garland had to leave the set, claiming that that was what kept it being great. That kind of thinking gets to me. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is so wonderful that their presence automatically guarantees that a movie will be a masterpiece. I've seen footage of Garland on the DVD. She was better than I expected, but I'm still not sure she would have worked. Just check out "I'm an Indian Too". She's just too pure. More robustness was needed. Betty had it all, and was just a little ways behind Merman.
Howard Keel is just right as rival sharpshooter Frank Butler. He has the exact attitude needed for Frank's jealousy whenever Annie gets more fame than he, and also the right attitude for expressing how much he loves her. Colonel Buffalo Bill is well played by Louis Calhern, replacing Frank Morgan who had suddenly died (This could nave been a second picture with him and Judy Garland acting together- the first being "The Wizard of Oz", of course.). Sitting Bull is played to perfection by J. Carol Naish, who had, I believe, played the same role in an earlier film about Annie Oakley. I love the part where he corrects the illiterate Annie on her pronunciation of the word "champaigne". Edward Arnold is perfectly cast as Pawnee Bill, Buffalo's fierce competitor. Keenan Wynn quite nicely fits the role of Frank's manager, Charlie Davenport. Solid contributions are also made by Clinton Sundburg (Foster Wilson, the property man) and Benay Venuta (Dolly Tate).
Berlin's memorable score includes such familiar songs as "They Say It's Wonderful" "Doin' What Comes Naturally", "Anything You Can Do", "You Can't Get A Man With A Gun", "I Got The Sun In The Morning", and, oh yes, "There's No Business Like Show Business"- and there really ain't. Also included are "I'm an Indian Too" and "Colonel Buffalo Bill", two fine songs that were unjustly removed from the modernized version. It's no real surprise that this movie won the Best Score Oscar.
George Sidney directs. This is a pretty darn, I mean "durn" as Annie would pronounce it, good movie. It's certainly worth seeing at least once. So get to it.
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