Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Annie Get Your Gun


The star of this show bears little resemblance to the real Annie Oakley, who was a remarkable woman, but what musical comedy has ever striven for accuracy? I think we can all be thankful that Ethel Merman didn’t repeat her stage role (I’ve got nothing against Ethel, would have loved to have seen her on stage, but she was way too large for the movies), but Betty Hutton overplays it outrageously. The part was originally to go to Judy Garland, and that would have been interesting, but you know Judy. She was already pretty unreliable. They said she was ill, but who knows? She is joined by good old Howard Keel, who had one hell of a career in the 1950s, doing some of the best Broadway roles that came up. The man could sing, but his teeth really should have had top billing here. Huge white capped choppers that must have glowed in the dark. They almost seem to be jostling to get out. J. Carrol Naish plays Sitting Bull, who is the savviest person in the cast. Here was a dude who played pretty much every “exotic” ethnic group there was, except his own, which was Irish! It features some of Irving Berlin‘s best songs, and the scenes of Buffalo Bill‘s Wild West Show are really great. It’s certainly dated, and some might find the portrayal of Indians offensive, but it’s really all in fun, I think.