After Calamity Jane joins Wild Bill Hicock's show, her uncouth behavior causes Bill to think he made a mistake. When Bill tells her she should act like a lady he soon realizes he made a bigger mistake.





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Episode credited cast:
Martha Jane Canary - Calamity Jane
Wild Bill Hickok
Charlie Otter
Ron Doyle ...
Joe Makroff
Moose - Bartender
Nancy Howard ...
Madeline - Saleslady
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Rhone ...


After Calamity Jane joins Wild Bill Hicock's show, her uncouth behavior causes Bill to think he made a mistake. When Bill tells her she should act like a lady he soon realizes he made a bigger mistake.

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Release Date:

29 December 1966 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Lively treatment of the relationship between Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok
20 January 2016 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

For far too long in Hollywood's history, Calamity Jane was given the glamorous treatment in westerns depicting her character, most notably in THE PLAINSMAN (1936), in which Jean Arthur played her, THE PALEFACE (1948), with Jane Russell, CALAMITY JANE AND SAM BASS (1949), with Yvonne De Carlo, and CALAMITY JANE (1953), in which a singing Doris Day played the title role. So I was pleasantly surprised to watch the "Death Valley Days" episode, "A Calamity Called Jane" (1966), in which Jane is portrayed as a homely, salty-talking, hard-drinking, two-fisted cuss in dirty buckskins, unkempt hair and no makeup. Fay Spain runs with the part and brings a rather sad and touching figure to life in a short tale that compresses her entire relationship with Wild Bill Hickok (Rhodes Reason) to the course of a few short days, from the time they meet to his untimely demise at the hand of an irate gambler. During that period, she is asked to join Hickok's Wild West Show to do trick shooting and riding, but has to contend with Hickok's disdain of her personal habits and troublesome behavior. Despite his criticism, she comes to realize she's in love with him and makes the impulsive decision to try and adopt a more ladylike image, after a visit to a dress shop, with disastrous results, leading to a moving scene in which she nurses her hurt feelings alone with a bottle of whiskey and we get a sense of the vulnerable human being beneath her crusty exterior.

I'd seen Fay Spain in more glamorous roles in AL CAPONE (1959) and HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961), but I didn't recognize her here and was stunned to see her name in the end credits. It's quite a brave performance and is rivaled, as far as I know, only by Ellen Barkin's performance as Calamity in Walter Hill's WILD BILL (1995). It shows what a fine actress Spain was and I'm sorry it didn't lead to better roles for her. Rhodes Reason (KING KONG ESCAPES) portrays a stolid but dashing long-haired Wild Bill in fancy white designer buckskin and accompanied by an entourage of similarly-dressed companions, including Charlie Otter (Ed Peck), a friend of Jane's and the one who recruits her to join the show. My only criticism of this episode is that we never get to see a performance of the group's Wild West Show.

"Death Valley Days" often portrayed historical figures in its episodes, including newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst ("The Paper Dynasty," also reviewed here), mountain man Hugh Glass ("Hugh Glass Meets the Bear," also reviewed here), Lewis and Clark ("The Girl Who Walked the West") and the outlaw Dalton brothers ("Three Minutes to Eternity"). Such treatments were usually less sensational and a tad more accurate than most Hollywood portrayals of western historical figures and well worth seeking out. I watched this episode on the Encore Western Channel on January 19, 2016.

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