Betty Hutton in Annie Get Your Gun (1950)

Amazing Annie

When the Buffalo Bill (Louis Calhern) Wild West show roles into town back water hick, Annie Oakley (Betty Hutton), finds herself in a shooting competition with the handsome marksman Frank Butler (Howard Keel). When she bests him Annie finds herself added to the show and when she isn't performing spends much of the time mooning over Frank who she was smitten with the moment she set eyes on him. The trouble is that with Annie's star on the rise it causes issues for Frank who doesn't like having his position as the star threatened by a woman. After Annie goes off on a quick tour of Europe she returns home to have it out with Frank where he has surrounded himself with the society women he says he prefers.

You had me at "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly", the minute Betty Hutton knocks out that song and fills it with comedy I was hooked on "Annie Get Your Gun". That was how I felt when as a teen I came across this musical and the good news is many years later "Annie Get Your Gun" still entertains just as much. And "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" is just one of the first musical numbers because pretty much every musical number which follows is just as entertaining be it Hutton bringing cute comedy to them or Keel delivering his trademark booming voice.

Howard Keel in Annie Get Your Gun (1950)

In truth I enjoy the musical side of "Annie Get Your Gun" so much that the flimsy, drawn out storyline doesn't actually bother me and I am sure it doesn't many, although I wouldn't be surprised if those with a more historical interest will find it pushes the truth too far. But the behind the scenes aspect of "Annie Get Your Gun" add to the movie's interest because originally Judy Garland and Frank Morgan were due to star but Garland was fired, Frank Morgan died shortly after production commenced. And then there is the fact that Hutton and Keel reportedly didn't get on. There is plenty more of these fascinating behind the scenes bits which help to flesh out what is simply an entertaining movie with much of that down to Hutton's comic talents and the wonderful songs.

What this all boils down to is that if you are a fan of musicals for the songs and the comedy then "Annie Get Your Gun" will be right up your street as it is full of fun musical numbers and the wonderful comedy performance of Betty Hutton which makes the movie in the same way Doris Day's performance made "Calamity Jane".