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Film Review: Annie Get Your Gun

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Annie Get Your Gun

MGM, 1950 (Color, 107 minutes)

Judy Garland was originally cast in the title role of Annie Oakley in this MGM screen production of Irving Berlin's 1946 stage production starring Ethel Merman. Due to health problems, Judy left MGM during production and was replaced by Betty Hutton. Judy had completed pre-recording of all musical numbers, and she had completed filming of two numbers. The soundtrack and film have been recovered and are generally available to the Judy Garland collector today, as are a number of photos.

The problems MGM had with this production are legendary. Keel's horse fell on him and broke his ankle, forcing the crew to shoot around him for about six weeks. Busby Berkeley's early work on the film was unacceptable to Arthur Freed, and he was replaced with Charles Walters. Charles Walter's MGM contract expired, and negotiations for a new contract took so long that he was replaced by George Sidney. Judy Garland was suspended from MGM, and she was replaced by Betty Hutton. Frank Morgan died of a heart attack, and he was replaced by Louis Calhern. Filming was delayed so many times that the children had to be replaced, too, as they were maturing enough to be noticeable.

But, when the film was finally released in the spring of 1950, it did very well at the box office, netting more than $4.5 million in gross profits. And the public's interest in musicals was renewed, allowing MGM to turn out another volley of musicals in the early- and mid-1950s.

Crew

Producer: Arthur Freed
Director: George Sidney
Screen Play: Sidney Sheldon (based on the play by Irving Berlin, Herbert Fields and Dorothy Fields
Musical Numbers Staged By: Robert Alton
Musical Director: Adolph Deutsch
Songs: Irving Berlin
Womens Costumes: Helen Rose and Walter Plunkett
Mens Costumes: Walter Plunkett
Makeup: Jack Dawn
Art Directors: Cedric Gibbons and Paul Groesse
Set Decorators: Edwin B. Willis and Richard A. Pefferle
Color Consultants: Henri Jaffa and James Gooch
Sound: Douglas Shearer
Special Effects: A. Arnold Gillespie and Warren Newcombe
Montage: Peter Ballbusch
Camera: Charles Rosher
Editor: James E. Newcom

Production: April 1949 - Spring, 1950
Cost: $3.7 million
Gross: Over $8 million

Cast

Betty Hutton (replacing Judy Garland) ... Annie Oakley
Howard Keel ... Frank Butler
Louis Calhern (replacing Frank Morgan) ... Buffalo Bill
J. Carrol Naish ... Chief Sitting Bull
Edward Arnold ... Pawnee Bill
Keenan Wynn ... Charlie Davenport
Benay Venuta ... Dolly Tate
Clinton Sundberg ... Foster Wilson
James H. Harrison ... Mac
Bradley Mora ... Little Jake
Susan Odin ... Jessie
Diana Dick ... Nellie
Chief Yowlachie ... Little Horse
Robert Malcolm ... Conductor
Lee Tung Foo ... Waiter
William Tannen ... Barker
Anne O'Neal ... Miss Willoughby
Evelyn Beresford ... Queen Victoria
John Hamilton ... Ship Captain
William Bill Hall ... Tall Man
Edward Earle ... Footman
Marjorie Wood ... Constance
Elizabeth Flournoy ... Helen
Mae Clarke ... Mrs. Adams
Frank Wilcox ... Mr. Clay
Andre Charlot ... President Loubet of France
Nino Pipitone ... King Victor Emmanuel of Italy
John Mylong ... Kaiser Wilhelm II
Eleanor Brown ... Minnie
Carl Sepulveda, Carol Henry, Fred Gilman ... Cowboys

Musical Program

With Judy:
You Can't Get a Man with a Gun   (Judy Garland)
Doin' What Comes Natur'lly   (Judy Garland)
They Say It's Wonderful   (Judy Garland and Howard Keel)
Anything You Can Do   (Judy Garland and Howard Keel)
Let's Go West, Again   (Judy Garland)
I'm an Indian, Too   (Judy Garland)
I've Got the Sun in the Morning   (Judy Garland)
The Girl That I Marry   (reprise, Judy Garland)
My Defenses Are Down   (Howard Keel)
The Girl That I Marry   (Howard Keel)
There's No Business Like Show Business   (Judy Garland, Howard Keel, Louis Calhern, Keenan Wynn)

As Released:
Doin' What Comes Natur'lly   (Betty Hutton and Children)
The Girl That I Marry   (Howard Keel)
You Can't Get a Man with a Gun   (Betty Hutton)
There's No Business Like Show Business   (Keenan Wynn, Louis Calhern, Howard Keel and Betty Hutton)
They Say It's Wonderful   (Betty Hutton and Howard Keel)
My Defenses Are Down   (Howard Keel and Chorus)
I've Got the Sun in the Morning   (Betty Hutton and Chorus)
Anything You Can Do   (Betty Hutton and Howard Keel)

Notes

The songs recorded by Judy are included on the CD: Collector's Gems from the M-G-M Films, and also on the soundtrack CDs (shown right).

The two numbers Judy filmed ("I'm an Indian Too" and "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly") are included on the That's Entertainment III videotape and laser disc, as well as on the film issue VHS and DVD (shown right).

Berlin Adds Tune to 'Annie Get Your Gun' Irving Berlin has composed a new tune, 'Let's Go West Together,' which will be added to the 15 songs Metro's upcoming 'Annie Get Your Gun' filmusical will use from the original score of the stage hit. Judy Garland heads the cast of the pic, which Busby Berkeley will direct for Arthur Freed. Berlin himself is due in from NY within fortnight to sit in with Freed on mapping the production."

- Variety, March 2, 1949

"Judy Garland reports today for 'Annie Get Your Gun' fittings."

- Variety, March 14, 1949

For more information on the film as it was released, see Annie Get Your Gun on Class Act.


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see CD review

Annie Get Your Gun Fan Club AAN-001
see CD Review






Judy Garland as Annie





Soundtrack album (MGM Records E 3001)





Judy in Annie costume

Soundtrack Albums (Judy's pre-recordings)


M-G-M Records E 3001


Sound/Stage Recordings 2302
(courtesy Lawrence Schulman and Alain Falasse)


Dr Green's Wax Works, AGYG 100
(courtesy Lawrence Schulman and Alain Falasse)


Sandy Hook Radiola S.H. 2053
(courtesy Lawrence Schulman and Alain Falasse)

Costume test photos


"Interior Ballroom" costume test
(from the collection of the author)


"Indian Village" costume test
from the collection of
Lawrence Schulman and Alain Falasse


"Exterior Governor's Island" costume test
from the collection of
Lawrence Schulman and Alain Falasse


"Interior Pullman" costume test
from the collection of
Lawrence Schulman and Alain Falasse


unidentified costume test
from the collection of
Lawrence Schulman and Alain Falasse


"U.S. Travel Montage" costume test
from the collection of
Lawrence Schulman and Alain Falasse


unidentified costume test
from the collection of
Lawrence Schulman and Alain Falasse


"Minneapolis Tent" costume test
from the collection of
Lawrence Schulman and Alain Falasse


"Deadwood Coach" costume test
from the collection of
Lawrence Schulman and Alain Falasse



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