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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Movie Musical Challenge: Calamity Jane

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
In Movie Musical Challenge, I'm watching 20 films I picked as great films or films I wanted to watch.  This post is about the 1953 Western romp "Calamity Jane", starring Doris Day and Howard Keel.

I love a fun Western, and since this also has music, Doris Day, and Howard Keel, I was already completely on board with this.  And it is so much fun.  Seeing Doris Day as this "masculine", abrasive, rootin', tootin' and shootin' character might have been a stretch for me (because I associate her with feminine grace and perfect diction), but I still loved her portrayal and enjoyed seeing her in such a different role.  And truly she does a great job bringing Calamity Jane (or Calam) to life because she really committed to the part.

The actual story had some surprises for me - the cross dressing, the challenges on gender roles (although the female gender role was pretty clearly conservative with the song "A Woman's Touch") but I think the general fact that there were some instances where gender roles were blurred made the story more interesting, and of course more farcical.  This film is a great farce, with lots of misunderstandings and improbable situations.  It's definitely a romp!

My favorite song and scene in the film was the song between Calamity and Wild Bill Hickcok - "I Can Do Without You" which had some heavy "Anything You Can Do" (from Annie Get Your Gun) rivalry vibes with an undercurrent of attraction between the two characters.  And Doris Day was ludicrously swung around by Howard Keel's character during the number.

For the high shenanigans and the upbeat, catchy music, this movie was a great film to watch, and 1000%  a better choice for this challenge than my previous Doris Day film - Jumbo!

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