Annie Get Your Gun (1950)

107 mins | Musical | 23 May 1950

Director:

George Sidney

Writer:

Sidney Sheldon

Producer:

Arthur Freed

Cinematographer:

Charles Rosher

Editor:

James E. Newcom

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

As depicted in the film, Annie Oakley, born Phoebe Anne Oakley Moses in 1860, was a markswoman who first toured circus and vaudeville circuits, and from 1885 to 1902 was a star attraction in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Her husband, Frank E. Butler, was a noted marksman who toured with her. For more biographical information on Buffalo Bill Cody, please see the entry below for Buffalo Bill . The stage musical Annie Get Your Gun was first performed on Broadway on 16 May 1946, directed by Joshua Logan and starring Ethel Merman and Ray Middleton.
       Contemporary sources add the following information about the production: In late Feb 1947, M-G-M purchased the film rights to the Broadway show for a record $650,000, and immediately cast Judy Garland in the title role. Bing Crosby was considered to co-star with Garland in Apr 1948. Rehearsals on the film began in early Oct 1948, and Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli, who was three years old at the time, was set to portray Annie Oakley's young sister. Production on the film initially began on 4 Apr 1949, with Busby Berkeley directing and Al Jennings assisting. Harry Stradling was the film's photographer. In early May, Berkeley was replaced by fellow dance director Charles Walters. Although a 4 May 1949 HR news item stated that Berkeley asked to be removed from the film "after a difference of opinion with Freed," a modern source notes that producer Arthur Freed removed Berkeley from the picture because he thought Berkeley was directing the film in the manner of a stage play. In mid-May, according to a LAT article, studio ... More Less

As depicted in the film, Annie Oakley, born Phoebe Anne Oakley Moses in 1860, was a markswoman who first toured circus and vaudeville circuits, and from 1885 to 1902 was a star attraction in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Her husband, Frank E. Butler, was a noted marksman who toured with her. For more biographical information on Buffalo Bill Cody, please see the entry below for Buffalo Bill . The stage musical Annie Get Your Gun was first performed on Broadway on 16 May 1946, directed by Joshua Logan and starring Ethel Merman and Ray Middleton.
       Contemporary sources add the following information about the production: In late Feb 1947, M-G-M purchased the film rights to the Broadway show for a record $650,000, and immediately cast Judy Garland in the title role. Bing Crosby was considered to co-star with Garland in Apr 1948. Rehearsals on the film began in early Oct 1948, and Garland's daughter Liza Minnelli, who was three years old at the time, was set to portray Annie Oakley's young sister. Production on the film initially began on 4 Apr 1949, with Busby Berkeley directing and Al Jennings assisting. Harry Stradling was the film's photographer. In early May, Berkeley was replaced by fellow dance director Charles Walters. Although a 4 May 1949 HR news item stated that Berkeley asked to be removed from the film "after a difference of opinion with Freed," a modern source notes that producer Arthur Freed removed Berkeley from the picture because he thought Berkeley was directing the film in the manner of a stage play. In mid-May, according to a LAT article, studio executives suspended Garland for repeated failures to report to the set. The article also noted that studio executives in the East were "particularly irked by the temperament of stars under the strained economic circumstances" of the time, and that the footage that had already been shot for the film (at a cost of $1,250,000) might have to be scrapped. M-G-M shut down production on the film while searching for a replacement for Garland and re-writing parts of the script.
       A 13 May 1949 HR news item stated that Betty Garrett was a "hot contender" for the role. Modern sources note that Judy Canova and Doris Day were considered as possible replacements, and that June Allyson and Ginger Rogers expressed interest in playing the role. According to records of the M-G-M legal department, as reproduced in a modern source, a $100,000 contract was drawn up on 21 Jun 1949 for the loan-out of Paramount actress Betty Hutton. Previously-shot footage of the film was discarded, and production on the film resumed on 10 Oct 1949 with George Sidney directing and George Rhein assisting. Charles Rosher replaced cameraman Harry Stradling, and James E. Newcom replaced editor Albert Akst. Actor Louis Calhern replaced Frank Morgan, who was originally cast in the role of "Buffalo Bill" but who died on 18 Sep 1949. Geraldine Wall, originally cast in the role of "Dolly Tate," was replaced by Benay Venuta, although a 30 Sep 1949 DV news item noted that Marjorie Reynolds was also considered for the role. An 11 Apr 1949 HR news item included Evelyn Finley and Napoleon Whiting in the cast, but their participation in the completed film is doubtful. DV news items include Vance Henry and trick riders Sharon and Shirley Lucas in the cast, but their participation in the completed film has not been confirmed. Production on the film was completed on 16 Dec 1949, ahead of schedule, and $61,000 over the $3,707,000 budget. A shooting match sequence was cut from the final film following a 29 Jan 1950 preview in Long Beach, CA.
       According to information contained in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, M-G-M was warned by the Breen Office in late Mar 1949 that the "Secretary of the Interior has gotten very Indian-minded and will raise hell about your showing the Indians lousing up the train in Annie Get Your Gun ." It is not known whether any changes were made regarding the portrayal of Native Americans in the script following the recommendations of the Breen Office. In a May 1950 LADN column, screenwriter Sidney Sheldon noted that several changes in the adaptation of the story from stage to screen were "unavoidable." Among the changes noted by Sheldon were the cutting of some of Annie's "earthy" lines, the elimination of a romantic subplot involving an ingenue, the combining of some of the stage version's minor characters and the elimination of two Irving Berlin songs ("Moonshine Lullaby" and "I Got Lost in His Arms"). Unused film footage featuring Garland singing "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" and "I'm an Indian Too" was shown publicly for the first time in Paris in Oct 1991. The two numbers, and also an outtake of Betty Hutton singing "Let's Go West Again," were included as added content on the DVD release of the film. A modern source reported that the latter musical number, which was cut from the original Broadway production, was filmed at Irving Berlin's request, but then cut during final editing. In 1978, according to modern sources, Berlin, who retained the music rights, refused to allow the picture to be shown commercially.
       Annie Get Your Gun marked the American screen debut of actor Howard Keel (1919--2004), who had previously appeared in a small, non-singing role in the 1948 British film The Small Voice . Annie Get Your Gun grossed more than eight million dollars following its May 1950 release and its 1956-57 re-release, and received an Academy Award for Best Musical Direction. The film was also nominated for Best Color Cinematography, Best Color Art Direction and Best Editing. The Annie Oakley story was featured in the non-musical 1935 RKO film Annie Oakley , directed by George Stevens and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Preston Foster (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.0131). Oakley's exploits were also portrayed in an ABC television series, which starred Gail Davis and ran from 1953-57. In 1957, Mary Martin and John Raitt appeared in a television adaptation of the musical, and on 19 Mar 1967, the NBC television network aired a second version of the musical starring Ethel Merman and Bruce Yarnell, who also played the leads in the 1966 Broadway revival. Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat starred in a 1999 Broadway revival, which ran for over 1,000 performances. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 Apr 1950.
---
Daily Variety
30 Sep 49
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Oct 49
p. 14.
Daily Variety
25 Oct 49
p. 4.
Daily Variety
30 Nov 49
p. 11.
Daily Variety
5 Dec 49
p. 1.
Daily Variety
16 Dec 49
p. 3.
Daily Variety
31 Jan 50
p. 2.
Daily Variety
12 Apr 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
12 Apr 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 47
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 47
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Apr 48
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Oct 48
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 49
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Apr 49
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Apr 49
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 49
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
6 May 49
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 49
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
13 May 49
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 49
pp. 1-2.
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 49
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Oct 49
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Apr 50
p. 3, 13
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 1991.
---
Los Angeles Daily News
8 May 1950.
---
Los Angeles Times
19 May 1949.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
15 Apr 50
p. 261.
New York Times
18 May 50
p. 37.
Variety
12 Apr 50
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
James H. Harrison
W. P. Wilkerson
Tom Humphreys
Lee Tung Foo
Mae Clarke Langdon
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Women's cost
Men's cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Mont seq
DANCE
Mus numbers staged by
MAKEUP
Hairstyles des by
Hairstylist
Makeup created by
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
Grip
STAND INS
Singing voice double for Keenan Wynn
Singing voice double for Louis Calhern
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the musical Annie Get Your Gun , book by Herbert Fields and Dorothy Fields, music by Irving Berlin, as produced by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, II (New York, 16 May 1946).
SONGS
"Colonel Buffalo Bill," "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly," "The Girl That I Marry," "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "They Say It's Wonderful," "My Defenses Are Down," "I'm an Indian Too," "I Got the Sun in the Morning," "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better," music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
23 May 1950
Production Date:
10 October--17 December 1949
retakes 6 February 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
21 April 1950
Copyright Number:
LP114
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
107
Length(in feet):
9,667
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14293
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

When champion sharpshooter Frank Butler, his personal manager Charlie Davenport and Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West troupe of headliners arrive in Cincinnati to put on a show, the town breaks out in celebration. The arrival of the troupe brings joy to everyone except Foster Wilson, a persnickety hotel owner who will be housing the troupe. Wilson later joins in the celebration, however, when Annie Oakley, a bedraggled sharp shooting tomboy, and her ragtag gang of children check into the hotel. Impressed by Annie's shooting abilities, Wilson quickly arranges a match between her and Frank, whom he calls a "swollen-headed stiff." Annie falls instantly in love with Frank, and the show gets underway when Buffalo Bill introduces the two sharpshooters. The crowd heckles Annie, believing that she is no match for Frank, but to everyone's astonishment, she outdraws her opponent and wins the contest. Angered by the defeat, Frank refuses to accept Buffalo Bill's suggestion that Annie join the touring show as his assistant. Annie eventually persuades Frank to let her join, and the two sharpshooters become a successful team. After shedding her country clothes and making herself more attractive, Annie tries to impress Frank by learning how to read. While a romance blossoms between Frank and Annie, Buffalo Bill grows increasingly concerned that his show is losing money and appeal. Realizing that his troubles stem from his competitor, Pawnee Bill, Buffalo Bill decides to spice up the show by giving Annie top billing. Annie does well in a solo performance, but her success prompts Frank to doubt his star status and long for the days when Annie was a "sweet, simple little girl." ... +


When champion sharpshooter Frank Butler, his personal manager Charlie Davenport and Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West troupe of headliners arrive in Cincinnati to put on a show, the town breaks out in celebration. The arrival of the troupe brings joy to everyone except Foster Wilson, a persnickety hotel owner who will be housing the troupe. Wilson later joins in the celebration, however, when Annie Oakley, a bedraggled sharp shooting tomboy, and her ragtag gang of children check into the hotel. Impressed by Annie's shooting abilities, Wilson quickly arranges a match between her and Frank, whom he calls a "swollen-headed stiff." Annie falls instantly in love with Frank, and the show gets underway when Buffalo Bill introduces the two sharpshooters. The crowd heckles Annie, believing that she is no match for Frank, but to everyone's astonishment, she outdraws her opponent and wins the contest. Angered by the defeat, Frank refuses to accept Buffalo Bill's suggestion that Annie join the touring show as his assistant. Annie eventually persuades Frank to let her join, and the two sharpshooters become a successful team. After shedding her country clothes and making herself more attractive, Annie tries to impress Frank by learning how to read. While a romance blossoms between Frank and Annie, Buffalo Bill grows increasingly concerned that his show is losing money and appeal. Realizing that his troubles stem from his competitor, Pawnee Bill, Buffalo Bill decides to spice up the show by giving Annie top billing. Annie does well in a solo performance, but her success prompts Frank to doubt his star status and long for the days when Annie was a "sweet, simple little girl." After the show, Annie is introduced to Sitting Bull, an Indian chief who decides to adopt Annie as his daughter and finance the show. Following her induction into Chief Sitting Bull's tribe, Annie receives a farewell letter from Frank, who believes that Annie has lost interest in him. A short time later, Buffalo Bill takes his cowboy and Indian show to Europe, where Annie and Chief Sitting Bull become an instant sensation. Frank, meanwhile, joins Pawnee Bill's troupe. Despite the show's critical success in Europe, Buffalo Bill continues to lose money. When Buffalo Bill realizes that his star is lovesick, he decides to pack up the show and return home. In New York, Annie learns that Frank is now consorting with debutantes, and she is certain that he will reject her. Buffalo Bill tries to rescue his show by negotiating a merger with Pawnee Bill and by selling Annie's valuable medals. Annie and Frank eventually reconcile, but when Frank sees all her awards, he becomes jealous of her success and they argue over who is the better shooter. Annie and Frank decide to settle their argument in a shooting match, but before the match, Chief Sitting Bull, hoping to forge a permanent reconciliation between the two sweethearts, persuades Annie to deliberately lose. The strategy works, and Frank, with his pride restored, finally proposes marriage to Annie. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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