HOWARD KEEL PLAYS FRANK BUTLER, THE BUFFALO BILL'S WILD WEST SHOW SHARPSHOOTER WHO BREAKS CLAY PIGEONS AND LADIES' HEARTS WITH EQUAL EASE. BETTY HUTTON PLAYS THE SPUNKY BACKWOODS GIRL WHO DARES TO CHALLENGE HIM TO A MATCH.... more » HER NAME: ANNIE OAKLEY.« less
Stephen Reginald | Chicago, IL United States | 02/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally available on video and DVD, Annie Get Your Gun is a wonderful movie musical like they don't make any more. The color, the production, the performances, and the music are terrific. Betty Hutton is perfect as Annie. Giving a performance closer in style to Ethel Merman's, perhaps, but Hutton truly makes the role her own. As Frank Butler, Howard Keel is in fine voice and matches Hutton's strong screen presence. I know it's not politically correct to like the way the Indians are depicted or the "I'm an Indian Too" number, but I do. The humor isn't mean spirited, nor are the Indians portrayed as total goons. In fact, J. Carrol Naish makes a pretty wise Chief Sitting Bull, helping Annie win the heart of Butler. Louis Calhern and Edward Arnold are perfect as the competing showmen Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill respectively. Keenan Wynn rounds out the supporting cast as Buffalo Bill's assistant, Charlie Davenport. Besides the great score and cast, the movie contains some beautiful color cinematography. There is a great shot from the air as Annie and Frank compete in skeet shooting that is truly amazing. A great example of what Hollywood was capable of producing during the old studio system, Annie Get Your Gun is sure to please most viewers. And if you're a Betty Hutton fan, you're in for a treat. She's terrific. Both video and DVD versions contain footage not included in the final cut; two musical numbers with Judy Garland (originally cast as Annie) and Frank Morgan as Buffalo Bill (he died before filming was complete and had to be replaced by Calhern). A must for fans of movie musicals."
Look out world ! Here comes the "real" Annie
David Hanson | Fruita, CO USA | 09/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Annie wannabe's, here is the standard to which you strive for. Unfortunately for all of us, she's been locked away in the MGM vaults for the last 50 years. But, if I know Annie, she's coming back, better than ever ! Musical lovers under 50, are you in for a treat. Forget all that you've heard about Judy Garland, and her sad exit from Metro while working on this picture. About Louis B. Mayer begging Hal Wallis at Paramount to loan MGM his hugely popular star, Betty Hutton. About the cold shoulder Betty recieved from cast and crew on the "Annie" set. None of it affects the stunningly exciting final product. THIS IS A GREAT MUSICAL ! The score is as good (or better) than any you've ever heard. Songs you'll remember, and be singing, for the rest of your life. Hopefully we'll be seeing a totally restored version, which means the glorious Technicolor will dazzle you. The young Howard Keel makes his MGM debut here, and will knock you out. Louis Calhern is perfect as Wm. F.(Buffalo Bill) Cody, certainly larger-than-life ! But , this is Betty Hutton's movie, from start to finish. I've always considered it her crowning achievement. It's big, brash, beautiful, funny, and above all, it's FUN !"
Betty Hutton scores a triumph as Annie Oakley
Robert G.Cole | Hilliard ,Ohio | 12/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At last the 1950 movie muscial "Annie Get Your Gun" is finally available for a whole new generation and fans who fondly recall seeing it years ago to experience the magic of America's greatest composer,Irving Berlin(who in addition to the great score of this film brought us"White Christmas", God Bless America" and hundreds of others)dynamic stars, Betty Hutton, Howard Keel and a first rate supporting cast perform in one of Hollywood's greatest and at the time most expensive musical. The technicolor has been preserved in such a manner that the colors are a joy to behold and the meticulous detail of the great photography of Charles Rosher and the costumes by Walter Plunkett("Gone With The Wind")and Helen Rose, who did the exquisite western costumes for Betty Hutton are truly a feast for the eye.This film showcases Betty Hutton at her best. She may not have "voice of the century" like Judy Galand who had to bow out of the role due to illness and other problems but she adds a tremendous gusto to the role plus an almost child like innocence to her early scenes as the backwoods, uneducated Annie. She is especially touching in several scenes in addition to her special gusto (toned down here from some of her earlier roles). Betty Hutton was one of the top stars in Hollywood when this film was released. That same year she made the cover of Time magazine and the film went on to be one of the top grossing movies that year. She went on to sing and dance with Fred Astaire in "Let's Dance" and then won the coveted starring role in Cecil B. DeMille's oscar winning film(for best picture of 1952)"The Greatest Show on Earth"in which she did most of her own stunts in her role as a trapeze performer in a circus.(both of these films are available on video Her last big film was "Somebody Loves Me" in 1952. She left Paramount Pictures due to a dispute over having her then husband direct her next film. She later made one more film in 1956(released in 1957 called "Spring Reunion" a small black and white film produce by Kirk Douglas'company co-starring Dana Andrews. Miss Hutton gave a sensitive performance in this drama about an unmarried career woman in her 30's ,lonely and living with her parents. Once the most popular girl in high school, she meets and old classmate at a reunion. The film gave Miss Hutton a chance to really show that she was a actress fo considerable depth. It is a small film but quite affecting. It is not available on videobut has been aired on TCM) Also in "Annie Get Your Gun", Howard Keel made his movie musical debut and it was an auspicious one indeed. The first of many great parts showcasing his magificient baritone voice, natural acting ability and his strong, handsome ,masculine prescence.Mr. Keel later reached his peak in MGM musicals in "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and especially "Kiss Me Kate" (both available on video and probably DVD)The theatrical version of "Annie Get Your Gun"had several songs that were not included in the film. One "I'm a Bad Bad Man" would have been fun to have had Mr. Keel perform and two sung by Annie were a ballad"I Got Lost In His Arms"(beautifully done recently by Bernadette Peters in the broadway revival) and the delightful "Moonshine Lullaby" sung by Annie to her little brother and 3 sisters with an assist by them . It would have been nice to have had Miss Hutton do these in the film. Most of her songs except "They Say It's Wonderful" are of the exuberant variety. She is a standout doing the show's greatest number "There' No Business Like Show Businesss" in which she sings with her co-stars, later a reprise by herself and a again with Mr. Keel. Before the film, it is enjoyable to see the original trailer(or coming attraction promotion) for the film, a short introduction and brief history of Annie Oakley and her various incarnations by broadway/television star, Susan Lucci. Shown are outakes made by Judy Garland before she was let go for the film. After the film 2 completed numbers by Miss Garland are shown. She appears rather tired in them but her voice is just great and fine natural acting ability is evident as always. Finally a lovely number that unfortunately was later deleted from the film before it was released is shown for the first time.It is called "Let's Go West Again" with Betty Hutton. It is a good number , beautifully shot, sung in a more low key manner by Miss Hutton. Another interesting sideline, some of the original lyrics by Mr. Berlin were considered a little too "racy" for movie censors in 1950. For example in "You Can't Get a Man With A Gun",The lyric "a man's love is mighty he'll even buy a nighty for a gal who he thinks is fun, but they don't make pajamas for pistol packing mamas" was altered for the movie to "a Tom, Dick or Harry will build a house for Carrie when the preacher has made them one" Although a minor complaint it did cause a few of the songs to lose a little of their "bite".The film won 2 Oscars for sound recording and musical adaptation and it is obvious by the smooth , clear arrangements which give great justice to Irving Berlin's genius as both a composer and lyricist. I highly recommend this film for the entire family, especially if you are tired of the current films that offer nothing more than extreme violence, car chases, boring performers, gimmicky special effects, blatant sexuality etc. run and get this film. Betty Hutton was recently interviewed by the brilliant Robert Osborne on TCM(the Turner Classic Movies cable channel) and if they see my review I want to say "Bravo" to both of you for an outstanding one hour conversation about Miss Hutton's life and career. I hope that Betty Hutton will continue to give future interviews and lectures . She is a remarkable "survivor"who gives so much of herself to her audience.It is not surprising that she got her start on the Broadway stage and after her movie career continued appearing all over The USA and Europe in concerts and and theatrical productions to sellout audiences until personal problems in the 1960's caused her to stop performing until she made a brief return to Broadway in 1980(filling in for Alice Ghostley) in the role of Miss Hannigan in "Annie" ( muscial based on Little orphan Annie)"
ANNIE'S Lovely to Look at!
Daniel Brunn | California | 11/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After waiting a lifetime it seems to see this film and also having heard the Betty and Judy versions of the soundtrack but never seeing the performances. I must say that I am so happy to have finally seen Betty Hutton in the newly restored edition of "Annie Get your Gun" and also put to rest any resentment I or anyone else may have had about her playing Annie. SHE IS BRILLIANT! Her acting and singing is great and her emotional connection with the charater is really there. That first time she is in a scene with Howard Keel and he's singing the song "The Girl that I Marry" whatch Betty's eyes well up when her character Annie realizes she isn't even in the game. It's great acting for such a fluff part. Which proves that clearly Betty was the best person to play Annie at the time. Garland was undoubtedly the greatest film musical star ever committed to film but was unfortunately miscast and I believe knew it and undermined herself to the point of being fired. In her own mind she must have known it wasn't for her. At this point in her career she was far too elegant and refined to pull it off and more interested in dramatic things. Betty on the other hand has that tomboyish quality that was perfect for such a physically demanding role. I really do believe that Betty did suffer on the set from co-workers who wanted Garland, from stories I've heard over the years from people who worked on the film. So when she was interviewed by Robert Osborne recently on TCM and mentioned the controversy I was not surprised at all. I just wish the men involved who are still around today would admit the way they treated her and apologize publicly. No spoilers here. Just watch the film and enjoy. With the film newly restored and sound enhanced you can't help but love every bit of this film. The outtakes are a revelation and further prove MGM made the right decision in casting Betty. And now a new generation can enjoy Betty at her peak and see what made her one of films greatest musical stars!"
AT LONG LONG LAST! NOW FOR FRED AND GINGER TOO!
Anthony Clarke | Woodend, Victoria Australia | 08/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's been a long wait, but at last, this November, 'Annie Get Your Gun' is being released on DVD. Both the film and the soundtrack have been tied up with copyright problems for more than 20 years. Although Irving Berlin wrote 'Annie', musical rights are controlled by the Rodgers and Hammerstein estate, which stuck to Berlin's request that the film be effectively removed from the market. Why? For no other reason, the legend goes, that he hated Betty Hutton in the role. He wanted Ethel Merman, who was too old. He accepted Judy Garland in the role, but she was 'unwell' and couldn't film it, even though she did manage to record most of the songs. So Betty got the part, starring alongside Howard Keel, and the result is one of the most rambunctiously joyous, energetic and downright wonderful musicals ever made. A must-buy, even if Irving Berlin loathed it! I'll be getting the DVD, and I might even replace my well-played CD -- a home-burnt CD taken off a very old LP! Now my hope is that Warners, which controls the old RKO film library, will finally get around to releasing on DVD the greatest of all American musicals -- the partnerships of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers -- 'Top Hat', 'Swing Time', 'The Gay Divorcee' and all the rest. Anthony Clarke"