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Whip Crack Away............Whip Crack Away!
Calamity Jane (DVD)
Member Name: sewbizzie
Calamity Jane (DVD)
Advantages: Feel good story, great acting and songs
Disadvantages: Bad backdrops and awful singing from Howard Keel!
Hubby could not believe that I had never ever seen this film so to shut him up I got the DVD to watch with him. I didn't have expectations for it as I don't really like western type films but I was pleasantly surprised by this film.
The film stars Doris Day who plays the role of Calamity Jane, a tom boy who is more than happy to spend her time being 'one of the lads' and chasing of the Indians. She gets very annoyed when she beings in the wagon which contains all the goodies for the towns people and the men starts ogling a cigarette card which has a picture of Adelaid Adams on.
A few evenings later when the Theatre / Bar has advertised a beautiful female star for the evening entertainment they are in trouble when the actress turns out to be an actor so he s forced to dress in drag and try to fool the audience. Things go wrong and he is found out so the towns people all start to leave and say they are not going back to the theatre as they have been robbed. Calamity steps in to help the theatre owner who is her close friend and promises she will go off to Chicago and fetch Adelaid Adams to bring her back and perform for them.
Calamity sets off and soon find where Adelaid is performing but unbeknown to her Adelaid has already left and it is her maid who is trying on the costumes. Calamity thinks she is Adelaid but really she is Katie Brown and talks her into going back and performing for them.
Katie is soon found out but she is forgiven and she even moves into Calamity's run down shack. The towns men all have their eye on her but she is particularly interested in the relationship between Calamity and Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin. Will Katie be able to turn Calamity into a lady and will she be able to get her her man?
The film was made back in 1953 so the back drops are awful and so noticeably added but this can be forgiven as it is such a feel good film. The story was good and I really did enjoy the ending as it took a different turn to what I was expecting. I loved all of the characters and thought that they each brought something different to the film. There was a great on screen chemistry between all of the actors and actress which helped to add to the film. I also found that there was some humour in the film which I did enjoy.
I did notice a few things wrong with the film, for instance in the opening song the noise of the whip cracking did not fit in with the whip actually hitting things and also when the drag artist was performing he had a black scarf in the hand and then it just vanished and seconds later it was back! I have to say I did stop looking after that one as I thought that they would spoil the film for me. I can forgive these little incidents as the film was made so long ago and they did not have the technology which is available now to help them.
The film is a musical and I did enjoy all of the songs. I found that I did in fact know the majority of them even though I have never watched this before and thought they were great in the film. I liked the vocals but the songs which Howard Keel, who played the role of Wild Bill Hickok sang were bloomin awful and whoever told him he could sing wants shooting! The music which was used for background parts was very good and brought a little extra to the film.
We did get some lovely views over the countryside and a few mountain shots which were not computer done and I did enjoy them all. It was such a shame that the back drops were so noticeable as this did spoil it for me slightly.
The DVD which we have does have some bonus material which includes:-
2 Newsreels ' Western Style' and 'Photo Play'
I did not feel the need to watch these as I have no interest in them.
The running time of this film is 97 minutes which for me was great as I think if they would have made it longer then they would have spoilt the story and the film would have dragged. The certificate on the film is a Universal which means that it is suitable for all.
I am definitely going to recommend this film as I was very surprised by it and thoroughly enjoyed watching it. It did not take much brain power to watch and follow at all, which is a bonus for me! I found that the film left me feeling happy and pleased that I could finally shut hubby now I have watched it. This is definitely a very entertaining family film.
Summary: Tom boy Calamity tries to be a lady!