Annie Get Your Gun (50th Anniversary Special Edition) [VHS]

October 29, 2014 - Comment

Never before available on home video and unseen on television since 1973, the 1950 production of Annie Get Your Gun has achieved somewhat legendary status, most notably for who would inherit the role Ethel Merman had made famous on Broadway in 1946. MGM originally cast Judy Garland, but her ongoing drug and alcohol problems led

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Never before available on home video and unseen on television since 1973, the 1950 production of Annie Get Your Gun has achieved somewhat legendary status, most notably for who would inherit the role Ethel Merman had made famous on Broadway in 1946. MGM originally cast Judy Garland, but her ongoing drug and alcohol problems led to her being fired and replaced by Betty Hutton. Fortunately, the bright and brassy Hutton sparkles in this highly fictionalized story of Annie Oakley, the sharpshooter who wins fame in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and wins the heart of fellow sharpshooter Frank Butler (Howard Keel). Dashing baritone Keel was beginning his career as one of MGM’s favorite leading men in the 1950s (including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Kiss Me, Kate). Together they make gold of the many Irving Berlin hits–“Doin’ What Comes Naturally,” “Anything You Can Do,” “They Say It’s Wonderful,” “I Got the Sun in the Morning,” and the classic anthem “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

Annie Get Your Gun is unquestionably a product of the 1950s. Keel’s relentless chauvinism and Hutton’s constant fawning over him grow tiresome (though she does stand up to him in a battle of the sexes), and the Indians wear full headdresses and face paint, say “Ugh,” and destroy modern conveniences. (In the name of political correctness, the 1999 Broadway revival starring Bernadette Peters removed “I’m an Indian Too” and received its own share of criticism from purists.) Quibbles aside, the excellent cast and immortal score make Annie Get Your Gun a classic musical. It’s great to have it back. –David Horiuchi

Comments

David Hanson says:

Look out world ! Here comes the “real” Annie 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…

Stephen Reginald says:

Annie Get This Movie! 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…

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