Who could ever forget Doris Day in this film. The Film is so exuberant, so joyous and so colourful that it cannot help but cheer you up!
Doris Day plays the role of her career as Calamity Jane the wildcat tomboy of Deadwood City. The fun starts when Calamity is sent to Chicago to find a vaudeville beauty who will perform at the local bar. Instead she ends up with the star’s maid, Katie, who decides try to impersonate the star but with less than good results – although things turn out well in the end.
Together the two find fun, love and along the way some wonderful songs.
Above – Front of House Stills from the film. We used to look at these each time we passed the cinema as a sort of taster of what to excpect
My daughters loved this film and even now we watch it on occasions.
There is also Howard Keel as Wild Bill Hickock. I remember Howard Keel came to England to film Floods of Fear in 1958 which was a change from the films we had come to know him for but it was not a box office success although very good in it’s own way.
I hadn’t realised but there was also a low budget film made in 1950 called The Texan meets Calamity Jane.
The Texan meets Calamity Jane 1950 – above
That was the title and it was filmed in TruColor. In this one the depiction of Calamitiy Jane’s love for the late lamented Hickock and her reluctance to be caught up in a flirtation with lawyer Eliison give the film an air of gravity and romance missing from most B westerns of the era. It starred Evelyn Ankers as Calamity Jane who after this film quit the movies for married life and motherhood . She was 32- years-old and was married to Richard Denning. She had the previous year appeared with Lex Barker in Tarzans Magic Fountain which is one of my favourites among the Tarzan movies.
Back to Doris Day – she was one of the most successful films stars of all time really – certainly during the 50s and to a lesser extent the 60s she was around in some great and enjoyable films and was able to play in musicals like this one as well as light comedies with Rock Hudson and even Clark Gable as well as dramatic roles such as The Man Who Knew Too Much AND a lesser known one called Julie where she was being hunted down by her husband played in sinister form by Louis Jourdan culminating in a tense ending where she has to land an airliner full of passengers.
The maniacal husband-as-stalker was a new kind of character for films in 1956.
Doris Day plays the role of a terrorized wife trying to escape from the husband who is trying to kill her, and this is such a well-done film that even audiences of today would respond to it.
The climactic scene in which Doris Day lands the passenger plane with help from the control tower is riveting, because it is supposedly based on fact.