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Calamity Jane (1953)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,191 users  
Reviews: 69 user | 17 critic

The story of Calamity Jane, her saloon, and her romance with Wild Bill Hickok.

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Title: Calamity Jane (1953)

Calamity Jane (1953) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Katie Brown (as Allyn McLerie)
...
Dick Wesson ...
Paul Harvey ...
Chubby Johnson ...
Gale Robbins ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kenne Duncan ...
Minor Role (scenes deleted)
Robert R. Stephenson ...
Minor Role (scenes deleted)
Clarence Straight ...
Minor Role (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Deadwood, Dakota Territory, is largely the abode of men, where Indian scout Calamity Jane is as hard-riding, boastful, and handy with a gun as any; quite an overpowering personality. But the army lieutenant she favors doesn't really appreciate her finer qualities. One of Jane's boasts brings her to Chicago to recruit an actress for the Golden Garter stage. Arrived, the lady in question appears (at first) to be a more feminine rival for the favors of Jane's male friends...including her friendly enemy Wild Bill Hickock. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Brand-new song hits by the stage load! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 November 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ardida como Pimenta  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During early 1954, music from this film reigned supreme in "Billboard." Number one among the singles was a Doris Day trademark, the Oscar-winning, tender ballad, "Secret Love" (music by Sammy Fain, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster). Also, the Day-Howard Keel 10-inch LP of songs from the score, issued by Columbia Records, zoomed to second place amongst the popular albums. See more »

Goofs

The brass military emblem "Calamity" wears on her cap did not exist until the 1950's. It is a combination of crossed canons with a vertical Ajax missile at the center. See more »

Quotes

Katie Brown: [song] Well now if you've got a cutie who's a real sweet petutie, better keep it under your hat. Just remember curiosity in fables of old, killed the curious cat. Well now if you've got a laddy who's a real sugar daddy, better take in the welcoming mat. Remember there's a dozen dolls for every dan, you're not the only sweetpea in the can, so if you wanna know the way to keep your man. Keep it under your hat. Keep it under your hat.
See more »

Connections

Featured in What a Difference a Day Made: Doris Day Superstar (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

A Woman's Touch
Written by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Performed by Doris Day and Allyn Ann McLerie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Doris Day's shining hour
6 February 2000 | by See all my reviews

In the early fifties, Hollywood had to find a way to draw audiences who were staying home and watching television, and "Calamity Jane" was one of the best musical efforts to get them into the theaters. This movie's redeeming quality is its high spirits. They never let up. The Deadwood community that James O'Hanlon rustles up is a motley bunch of soldiers, scouts, prospectors and farmers, and they all have a good time giving one another a hard time--none more so than the title character played by Doris Day. Her performance probably owes something to Betty Hutton's Annie Oakley, and it looks an awful lot like what Billie Hayes and Irene Ryan had been doing years afterwards, but Day dons a buckskin suit and tears right into the role like it was a tailor's fit.

I don't think I have to go into the rumor about the real Calamity Jane to point out how daring Day's work is. Hollywood might have sanitized history (or maybe not), but Day is as close to being Martha Jane Canary as anyone is likely to be in a time when drag acts were something no one ever talked about. And she is lucky to have some of the best movie music of that year (or maybe any year when you consider what now passes for good). Sammy Fain and John Francis Webster took the Oscar for best song, yet the ones that weren't in the running are every bit as good.

How can you pass up a musical that delivers the deeply satisfying baritone of Howard Keel? When he bursts out with joy in "Higher than a Hawk," the light from the screen surges, and you feel like you're resting on a sunlit cloud right next to his. His smile matches Day's for brightness, and as they ride through the Black Hills singing harmony, even the birds seemed to have stopped to listen. It's a beautiful pairing that I don't think ever happened again.

"Calamity Jane" may not be everyone's cup of tea. If you're looking for history, this is not the place to go. But stop by, and Day and Keel and Dick Wesson and Allyn Ann McLerie and Paul Harvey and company will more than tickle your fancy. They'll keep you humming for days.

Directed by David Butler who has given us over the years a string of felicitous moments to remember from Will Rogers in "A Connecticut Yankee," to Jane Withers in "Bright Eyes," to the Ritz Brothers in "Kentucky Moonshine," to Bob Hope in "Road to Morocco," to S.Z. Sakall in "Lullaby of Broadway" and on and on and on.


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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