Newest Review: ... extremely rememberable and will keep you singing all day long. The film is based in a small place called Deadwood where the Golden Garter ... more
Calamity Jane (DVD)
Member Name: raehippychick
Calamity Jane (DVD)
Advantages: Great songs, humour and romance. Plus Howard Keel
Disadvantages: If you do't like musicals it might not appeal
Once I had a secret love… now my love’s no secret any more! Without a shadow of a doubt this is one of my all time favourite movies. Great for a Sunday afternoon, a quiet evening in, a good sing along musical I put it on every chance I get… mostly when my chap is out of the house, as sadly, he is not a fan at all!
The movie opens in fine fashion with Calamity Jane riding into Deadwood atop a traditional stagecoach singing the opening number; The Deadwood Stage and the infectious songs don’t stop until the end credits finish rolling
Doris Day brings her cute shiny-toothed blonde haired charms to this movie as the rough and tumble heroine Calamity Jane. Her character prides herself on being as good as, if not better than any man in town, but underneath it all beats the heart of the true 1950’s American gal longing for love and a cosy home life. In a town mainly populated by cowboys the Golden Garter saloon owner, Henry Miller, inadvertently hires a man instead of the actress Frances Fryer he thought. Naturally mayhem erupts as the women starved chaps loudly proclaim their disapproval. Although before Francis’ wig is neatly swiped from his head by the trombonist they seemed quite happy with him.
Calamity rushes to Henry’s rescue, in her usual gung ho manner, guns ablazing and vows to bring back the current hit actress Adelaid Adams from the windy city of Chicagy. Following a deliciously heated interchange between Calam’ and Wild Bill Hickok, played divinely by Howard Keel, as they duet in the toe tappingly funny “I Can Do Without You” Calamity heads off to Chicago to bring back her woman. By this point in the film it is all too clear how appropriate Calamity’s name is as she manages to amuse the Chicago townsfolk by mistaking a wig store for the aftermath of a massacre, almost shoot a wooden Indian and then upset the lovely actress she is intending to persuade to perform in the backwoods of Deadwood by coming across as so masculine she gets mistaken for a man
On her return to Deadwood with her prize in tow things don’t get any better for poor Calamity as misunderstandings and heartbreak ensue. Is Adelaid Adams all she seems to be? Will Calamity bag her beloved lieutenant? Will Wild Bill ever be tamed? Who is Calamity’s love rival? Will everyone live happily ever after? Well, lets face it folks this a traditional family oriented musical of the 1950’s, do you really think the ending will be all that unhappy? You’ll no doubt guess fairly soon into watching the film what the outcomes will be but go along with it for the fun of the ride – it is well worth it as there is never dull moment, the songs are so catchy you’ll find yourself humming them for ages afterwards and the humour is fun without getting tacky or too sharp and never descends into a cringing farce
Released in 1953, this is one of Doris Days classic roles. She plays the part beautifully beginning as very believable tomboy who grows to be a stunningly attractive and feminine woman. The costumes are perfect for both Doris and her role as she goes from dirty old buckskins into a stunning pink ballgown, albeit with more than a slight nod to 50’s fashion than would have been likely in the late 1800’s when this is supposed to be set
Howard Keel is so gorgeous in this role that I had a huge crush on him for many years. Shame this happened during the 1980’s and in real life he was an old grey man in Dallas TV series before I discovered his yumminess! It would be worth watching this film for the sight of a sexy Howard Keel alone if you only know him for later roles. He plays Bill Hickok wonderfully, with enough of a hint of wildness to pique a woman’s interest but not so much he makes anyone uncomfortable. As a professional singer he and Doris give their songs a polished performance while still looking like they are enjoying themselves – this feeling comes across from all the performers which is something that really adds to the atmosphere of the show
Certain liberties may have been taken with fashions, people and storylines, but this is all forgiven (even unnoticed at the time of watching) because of the perfection of the movie as a whole and those glorious songs. Not only one of my favourite movies but also one of Doris Day’s too – this could realistically be described as an early romantic comedy as well one of the all time great musicals
Find a copy, watch it, laugh, and cry, sing along and sigh at the happy romance of it all
Doris Day ... Calamity Jane
Howard Keel ... Wild Bill Hickok
Allyn Ann McLerie ... Katie Brown (as Allyn McLerie)
Philip Carey ... Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin
Dick Wesson ... Francis Fryer
Paul Harvey ... Henry Miller
Chubby Johnson ... Rattlesnake
Gale Robbins ... Adelaid Adams
Oscar winning songs include…
"The Black Hills of Dakota"
"The Deadwood Stage"
"I Can do Without You"
"It's Harry I'm Planning to Marry"
"My Heart is Higher than a Hawk"
"Secret Love" (winner of Academy Award for best song in a movie, 1953), which topped the Billboard and Cash Box musical charts at number one.
The DVD has limited extras that I have looked at once – no interviews or much of any interest unless you enjoy original trailers and newsreels!
Bonus Footage - 1. Newsreels: Western Style & Photo Play
Trailer - 1. Original Theatrical Trailer
Available for around a fiver from Amazon – c’mon, that’s a bargain for 97 minutes of fun…!
Summary: Yeeharrr!! Wild west fun with a fabulous score