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Annie Get Your Gun

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Annie Get Your Gun, starring Betty Hutton, Howard Keel
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Annie Get Your Gun, starring Betty Hutton, Howard Keel

Synopsis of Annie Get Your Gun

Annie Get Your Gun stars Betty Hutton as backwoods sharpshooter Annie Oakley. Plucked out of obscurity by Buffalo Bill (Louis Calhern), the rough-edged Annie is groomed for a leading role in Bill’s world famous Wild West show. However, Annie has a rival in the form of rifleman Frank Butler (Howard Keel), a man she soon falls in love with.

Editorial review of Annie Get Your Gun courtesy of

Annie Get Your Gun, starring Betty Hutton, Howard Keel

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

Songs in Annie Get Your Gun

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