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Monday, November 20, 2017

Annie Get Your Gun (1957)

Colonel Buffalo Bill's (William O'Neal) wild west show arrives in Ohio along with its star sharpshooter Frank Butler (John Raitt). When he discovers a local female sharpshooter (Mary Martin) that can out shoot Butler, he invites her to join his show. Based on the 1946 hit Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin which starred Ethel Merman as Annie. It was later made into an MGM musical in 1950 with Betty Hutton as Annie. This production done for television in 1957 is a straight forward rendering of the original Broadway show with some cuts like the secondary romance between Winnie (Susan Luckey) and Tommy (Norman Edwards) entirely eliminated along with their two songs. Mary Martin makes for a wonderful Annie, certainly more tolerable than Hutton's frenetic movie Annie and Raitt perfectly cast as Frank Butler. Ernest Flatt did the lively choreography highlighted by the spectacular Indian ceremonial dance and the I'm An Indian Too production number. That sequence has been eliminated from contemporary productions of the show because of its "insensitivity" toward Native Americans. Be that as it may, it remains a highlight. Directed by Vincent J. Donehue. With Reta Shaw, Patricia Morrow, Luke Halpin and Zachary Charles.

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