American Experience: Season 18, Episode 12

Annie Oakley (8 May 2006)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, History
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 30 users  
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This one hour documentary examines the life of the famed Sharp Shooter and Wild West performer, Annie Oakley from her birth in mid nineteenth century rural Pennsylvania to her death in 1926... See full summary »



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Title: Annie Oakley (08 May 2006)

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Episode credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Marilyn Spanier ...
Annie Oakley (voice)
Bob Ader ...
Attorney (voice)
Scott Klavan ...
Attorney (voice)
Virginia Scharff ...
Herself - Historian
Shirl Kasper ...
Herself - Biographer
Mary Zeiss Stange ...
Herself - Associate Professor of Women's Studies
R.L. Wilson ...
Himself - Firearms Historian
Don B. Wilmeth ...
Himself - Theatre Historian
Joy S. Kasson ...
Herself - Cultural Historian
Paul Fees ...
Himself - Historian
Elliott West ...
Himself - Professor of History
Donald Fixico ...
Himself - Professor of History
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sitting Bull ...
Himself (archive footage)
Frank Butler ...
Himself - Professional Sharpshooter and Annie Oakley's Husband (archive footage)


This one hour documentary examines the life of the famed Sharp Shooter and Wild West performer, Annie Oakley from her birth in mid nineteenth century rural Pennsylvania to her death in 1926. Many myths are overturned and the program also features a little known trial when Annie Oakley had to sue The Hearst Newspaper chain all throughout the country for libel when they reported the activities of someone who was impersonating the famed sharpshooter and besmirching her reputation. Written by Marilyn Spanier

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Release Date:

8 May 2006 (USA)  »

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(DVD) |

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

The best biography you'll find on this incredibly interesting woman.
7 September 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Like other episodes of "The American Experience" on DVD, this one does not have captions of any sort. This is a more serious problem than usual since the music is too loud and often overwhelms the narration. Some tweaking with my TV's sound was necessary to make it easier to watch.

This film is a one-hour biography of the life of Annie Oakley. For the most part, it bears little similarity to the Hollywood biography of her starring Barbara Stanwyck. This isn't surprising, as Hollywood during the 30s and 40s really wasn't focused on the real story and they usually jazzed it up by embellishing heavily in regard to the facts. In this case, the real facts are more exciting and interesting than the Hollywood version, as Oakley did lead an exciting life--with a rags to riches story that really would make a great film (and is barely alluded to in the Barbara Stanwyck film from 1935). Very interesting and well done--with lots of great archival footage and pictures along with the many interviews. Well worth seeing--and, surprisingly, a nice love story that I didn't expect as well.

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