Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Overlooked Movies: Annie Get Your Gun

I don't know why I keep using the "overlooked movies" title, since some of you are bound to be familiar with this one, as with a lot of the others I've mentioned.  The reason I'm talking abou Annie Get Your Gun is just nostalgia.  It's the first movie musical I remember seeing, and I was hugely impressed with it for several reasons, but mainly Betty Hutton.  I was eight or nine when I saw this the first time, and I thought she was wonderful. 

Besides Hutton, there's Technicolor, there's the rest of the great cast, and there are the songs.  The ones I really liked were "Anything You Can Do" and "There's No Business Like Show Business," but there are three or four or five others that I liked almost as well.  I must have, since I've never forgotten them.  Is it unPC in its depiction of Native Americans.  Definitely. If that kind of thing bothers you, don't even watch the trailer.

Howard Keel was in several other musicals that impressed me during the '50s: Show Boat, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Kiss Me, Kate.  Betty Hutton never did anything again that I much cared for.  She was in The Greatest Show on Earth, but that part was nothing like this one.  Merman did it on Broadway, and Garland was the first choice for the film, but Hutton owned it.


  1. Well..."overlooked" is somewhat less restrictive than "forgotten"...and I suspect there are any number of readers who have let this one get by them (and, every week, there are more currently-popular works than this production of ANNIE GET or even the original BLOB that people are moved to write about). I suspect more people see this musical in high-school productions these years than do in this film...

  2. And I'd trade you...my first musical in a cinema was DOCTOR DOLITTLE, though the second one was probably the 1970 SCROOGE with Albert Finney.

  3. Anonymous8:56 AM

    I think the first movie musical I saw in the theater (live action, that is) was WEST SIDE STORY. Of course I'd seen DUMBO and LADY AND THE TRAMP and PINOCCHIO before that.

    I used to like Betty Hutton. Her best role may have been in the classic Preston Sturges comedy THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK.


  4. I liked her in that one, too, Jeff, but I saw it much later, on TV. Whenever I think of Hutton now, I always think of Robert Frost's poem "Provide, Provide": "No memory of having starred atones for later disregard."

  5. Max Allan Collins11:55 AM

    Hutton is wonderful in ANNIE. She was of her moment in the '40s, as a brash sorta sexy tomgirl, and if you can get into her groove, she's still a blast. She did lots of Frank Loesser songs, and Loesser was a genius.