Annie Get Your Gun (film)

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Annie Get Your Gun
Annie get your gunfilmposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by George Sidney
Busby Berkeley (uncredited)
Charles Walters (uncredited)
Produced by Arthur Freed
Roger Edens
Screenplay by Sidney Sheldon
Based on The book 
by Dorothy Fields
Herbert Fields
Starring Betty Hutton
Howard Keel
Benay Venuta
Music by Irving Berlin
Cinematography Charles Rosher
Edited by James E. Newcom
Distributed by Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Release date(s)
  • May 17, 1950 (1950-05-17)
Running time 107 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3,734,000[1]
Box office $7,756,000[1]

Annie Get Your Gun is a 1950 American musical comedy film loosely based on the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The Metro Goldwyn Mayer release, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon based on the 1946 stage musical of the same name, was directed by George Sidney. Despite some production and casting problems (Judy Garland had to withdraw from the film because of ill health), the film won the Academy Award for best score and received three other nominations. Star Betty Hutton was recognized with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.

Cast[edit]

Musical numbers[edit]

  1. "Colonel Buffalo Bill" — Charlie, Dolly, Ensemble
  2. "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" — Annie, Siblings
  3. "The Girl That I Marry" — Frank
  4. "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun" — Annie
  5. "There's No Business Like Show Business" — Frank, Buffalo Bill, Charlie Davenport, Annie with ensemble
  6. "They Say It's Wonderful" — Annie, Frank
  7. "Moonshine Lullaby" — Annie, Porters, Siblings
  8. "There's No Business Like Show Business (Reprise)" — Annie
  9. "My Defenses Are Down" — Frank, Ensemble
  10. "I'm an Indian, Too" — Annie
  11. "I Got Lost in His Arms" — Annie
  12. "I Got the Sun in the Morning" — Annie
  13. "An Old Fashioned Wedding" — Annie, Frank
  14. "Anything You Can Do" - Annie, Frank

The film adaptation cut the following numbers from the original score: "I'm a Bad, Bad Man", "Moonshine Lullaby", "I Got Lost in His Arms", ("An Old Fashioned Wedding" was written for the 1966 revival). The 2000 compact disc release of the soundtrack includes all of the film's numbers and, "Let's Go West Again" (a Hutton number deleted before the film's release), an alternate take of Wynn's "Colonel Buffalo Bill", and Garland's renditions of Annie's pieces.

Production history[edit]

Betty Hutton played Annie with Howard Keel (making his film debut) as Frank Butler and Benay Venuta as Dolly Tate. Frank Morgan was originally cast as Buffalo Bill Cody but after shooting the film's opening production number, "Colonel Buffalo Bill", he died suddenly of a heart attack. Morgan was replaced by Louis Calhern. Originally, Judy Garland had been cast in the title role, and recorded all of her songs and worked for two months under Busby Berkeley's direction, who was in charge of all the musical numbers. In the late '30's, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney's "Andy Hardy" musical numbers had been staged and directed by Busby Berkeley. Berkeley was severe with Garland insisting she perform at her best effort. Garland had resented the hard driving Busby from her past experience working on the "Andy Hardy" features. Berkeley felt Garland's attitude lacked any effort and enthusiasm. Garland continually complained about Busby to Louis B. Mayer, trying to have him fired from the feature. Judy Garland's revenge was to be late, or not showing up for each day's filming schedule. MGM suspended Judy Garland for her delinquency for not appearing daily for her scheduled call times. Of course Garland claimed she was forced to leave the production (according to press releases) because of poor health and other personal problems; that would soon end her career with MGM. Garland's dismissal from this film (from which some footage and recordings have survived) figures in the show-biz legend of Judy Garland's fall from grace, her alleged unreliability, and the view of her as a victim of the studio. Betty Garrett was considered but the role of Annie eventually went to Betty Hutton. Shooting resumed after five months, with George Sidney replacing Charles Walters (who in turn replaced Berkeley) as director.[2]

According to Betty Hutton, she was treated coldly by most of the cast and crew because she replaced Garland. During an interview with Robert Osborne (first telecast on Turner Classic Movies "Private Screenings" on July 18, 2000), she recalled the other cast members as hostile and the MGM management as so unappreciative it didn't even invite her to the New York premiere. Louis Calhern was reportedly the only major cast member who treated Betty with any kindness and respect. Betty also stated one day Judy Garland was visiting the set and Betty greeted her with a bouncy "Hiya', Judy!" only to be answered by a string of profanities. Only two production numbers were completed with Garland: "Doin' What Comes Naturally" and "I'm an Indian Too" and these were released to the public for the first time in the 1990s in That's Entertainment III. Additional studio recordings of Garland also exist and have been released by Rhino Records.

Release[edit]

Despite the production problems, the film became popular in its own right. During its initial release, MGM recorded it as earning $4,708,000 in the US and Canada and $3,048,000 overseas, resulting in a profit of $1,061,000.[1][3]

In 1973 it was withdrawn from distribution, owing to a dispute between Irving Berlin and MGM over music rights, which prevented the public of viewing this film for almost 30 years. It was not until the film's 50th Anniversary in 2000 that it was finally seen again in its entirety.

One of Hutton's costumes, the very first "Wild West Show" costume seen in the film for the reprise of "There's No Business Like Show Business" is on permanent display at the Costume World Broadway Collection Museum in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ Green, Stanley; revised and updated by Elaine Schmidt. Hollywood Musicals Year By Year, Second Edition (1999) Hal Leonard Corporation, p. 159 ISBN 0-634-00765-3
  3. ^ Background information from the Judy Garland Database
  4. ^ "NY Times: Annie Get Your Gun". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Monder, Eric (1994). George Sidney:a Bio-Bibliography. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313284571. 

External links[edit]