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
Come wuth me on the Deadwood Stage
Calamity Jane (DVD)
Member Name: SusanLesley
Calamity Jane (DVD)
Advantages: Great acting, singing, great fun and a feel good factor
I have never been much of a one for reviewing films but I have to admit I do love a great, feel good musical so I am working my way through my favourites - you have been warned! LOL!
One of my real favourites is Calamity Jane starring Doris Day and Howard Keel which was made in 1953 so it is actually a year older than I am!
The story of the film is loosely based on the life of Martha Jane Cannary-Burke with her name Cannary eventually getting changed to Calamity possibly to match her tomboy tendencies. I do say the film is loosely based on her life as there is a lot of artistic licence taken here!
The real life girl wasn't a pretty blonde like Doris Day for a start!
Anyway back to the film ........
Calamity Jane is used to being 'one of the boys' and can't understand why she should make any effort to be 'girlie'.
The men folk of the town are fascinated by the beautiful Adelaid Adams, a singer that they have seen on their cigarette cards, so Calamity announces that she will fetch her from Chicago and off she goes.
Unfortunately when she gets there she sees Adelaid's assistant trying on one of her dresses and takes Katie Brown (played by Allyn Ann McLerie) back to Deadwood thinking she is Adelaide Adams. At first, when Katy tries to sing one of Adelaid's songs she makes a complete mess of it and runs off the stage in tears confessing that she is just plain old Katie Brown and that she has deceived them all. Calamity convinces the somewhat disappointed audience to give her a chance - after all she is a gorgeous lady which is what they wanted! So Katy sings her own choice of song and is a great hit.
Thus the scene is set for Calamity and Katie to become great friends and Katy is to teach Calamity to be a lady - now there's a challenge!
Katie goes to live in Calamity's cottage with her and finds a dirty, dusty tip of a place but with a song (A Woman's Touch) and a dance they soon have it looking like something out of House and Home. I wish I could get my housework done as easily.
Calamity has her eye on Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin played by Philip Carey. Katy helps her dress in a more feminine way, without completely changing her personality, in order to attract the Lieutenant.
My favourite bit of the film is when the Lieutenant calls to see Katie and she, knowing that Calamity is in love with him, really builds up Calamity's new look and they both await the return of the now beautiful Calamity. When she walks through the door she is covered in mud and announces that she has 'fallen in the dang blasted creek!'
The film follows the fortunes of the Lieutenant trying to court Katie; whilst Katie is trying to convince him he should give Calamity a chance. Meanwhile Calamity finally realises that she is really in love with Wild Bill Hickok (played by Howard Keel) and so Katie and the Lieutenant can be together - cue happy ending!
The music written by Sammy Fain with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster is great from The Deadwood Stage and Whip Crack Away to the more melodious The Black Hills of Dakota and the Oscar winning Secret Love. They also had Oscar nominations for Best Music Scoring of a Motion Picture and Best Sound Recording.
This is a film of pure escapism and is suitable for the whole family. You'll sing a long, laugh and cry and end up with that lovely warm feeling that comes from an old fashioned happy ending. Aaahh!
This has also been posted on Ciao.
Summary: A great fun musical