Calamity Jane

You are invited to rate and comment on the 39 films of Doris Day.

How do you rate "Calamity Jane"?

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1
1%
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Good
9
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Excellent
78
89%
 
Total votes: 88

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Calamity Jane

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How Do you rate "Calamity Jane"?

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Whip Crack Away!

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“Calamity Jane” did for Doris Day what “The Wizard of Oz” did for Judy Garland, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, for Marilyn Monroe, “Singing in the Rain” for Debbie Reynolds (add your own). In other words, a big musical in the early part of their career with a character they made their own that stuck in the public’s mind and is forever identified with them. These characters and films are timeless and, if the planet is still sustaining life in 100 years, they will still be popular.

Doris loved playing ‘Calam’ and it shows. One thing puzzles me. Doris (and Terry) say that Calamity was the nearest to Doris’ personality out of all the roles she’s played. That’s a nice sentiment but Doris couldn’t have been more unlike Calamity Jane. Doris, the daughter of a Catholic German music teacher, was a romantic who liked men from the beginning, as evidenced by her teenage marriage and subsequent three more marriages. In real life she was polite, dignified, and intelligent – not at all like Calamity!

However, this is one of my favourite Doris films and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen it.
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Anticipation!

Unread post by joe t. »

In early 1953, the gossip columnist Hedda Hopper wrote something like this in the New York Daily News:

“Warner Brothers plans to pull out all the stops for Doris Day’s next picture, ‘Calamity Jane’. And being the Number 1 female star at the box office, she deserves it.”

This was exciting news. But then I worried that it might be a copy of the earlier MGM movie “Annie Get Your Gun” which was a hit Irving Berlin musical on Broadway and on film. When it was announced that Howard Keel would co-star with Doris, I got even more worried since he had co-starred in the “Annie” movie with Betty Hutton.

Doris visited New York sometime in the spring of ’53 shortly after finishing filming “Calamity” and was interviewed for a half hour by the top local disc jockey, Martin Bloch. This was the first time I heard Doris speak other than movie lines and I was ecstatic. During the interview, the subject of “Calamity” came up and Doris said, “Oh Martin, I really want you to see this picture.” I couldn’t wait to see it too but it would be another five or six months until the movie would be released in November which, to me as a kid, seemed like forever.

In October, Martin Bloch played Doris’ new single release, “Secret Love” and “The Deadwood Stage” on the two-sided record. At first hearing, I found both very interesting and my excitement grew as I knew the movie would be opening soon.

Finally, the ads appeared in the newspapers and the movie opened on Broadway in Times Square at the famous Paramount theater. I coaxed my dad into taking my mom and me to see “Calamity Jane” at the Paramount on the pretext that it would be a treat for my mom’s birthday. Really the treat would be for me. Although he didn’t like going to the movies, he agreed to take us. It was great to see 'DORIS DAY' in huge red letters on the marquee of the theater. When the movie started and Doris first appeared riding on the stagecoach, throwing up her arm and singing “a beautiful sky, a wonderful day”, I was thrilled. When she led the crowd into the saloon, hopped on the bar and did that slide, I thought, “WOW!” Further thrills came when she did the “Windy City” production number (she’s dancing too!) and the delightful duet with Allyn McCleary, “A Woman’s Touch”. Then her big ballad “Secret Love”.

All the anticipation and worry had been worth it. This was Doris’ best performance. She was great. Even my dad enjoyed it and said Doris was “peppy”. My mom liked it too.

After that, I’d listen to Martin Bloch’s Saturday morning program where he played the Top 25 songs and watched “Secret Love” climb slowly to the top. That was a fun time!

So you can imagine how shocked I was to learn, again from Hedda Hopper’s column, that Doris declined to sing “Secret Love” at the Oscar show. Such a disappointment. Her claim that she was too nervous to sing (“I couldn’t do it for $100,000” was the quote that appeared) in front of a live audience didn’t make any sense to me knowing that she had sung live for years with Les Brown.

But that's our Doris and we still love her!

Ken C

Unread post by Ken C »

I enjoyed both comments about Calamity Jane. I grew up with Doris Day films and records.I find it interesting how Doris effected so many at a young age. The first time I saw Doris was in Lullaby of Broadway. I was in the second grade and asked my parents who is that girl--I like her!! They saw all of Doris' films taking me along.After seeing a few of her movies I was hooked.

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Day at the movies

Unread post by Jas1 »

Joe, thanks for that post, I almost re-lived it with you - the excitement et al. It must have been wonderful to have been a fan of Doris' when she was making these wonderful films, just waiting for the next one, she, getting more confident and better and better with each one (up to Pillow Talk) at least.

Oh, and Bryan, I too have been puzzled by that comment often made by Doris (and Terry) about the "real" Doris being like Calamity????? Energetic? Kind? Obviously a great singer and a wonderful body in buck skins!

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Unread post by Deadpan-Diva »

I love this Movie. It is fun, energetic and the music is great. The only Doris Film I like more would be Romance On The High Seas. Calamity Jane is probably a superior movie but I like Romance On The High Seas more for some reason.
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Calamity Jane

Unread post by brianfellows »

The opening sequence is simply incredible. It leaves me breathless! The rest is simply beautiful. Could there be a better musical than this?

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Unread post by Debbi Austen »

Of course I liked this film. I think it is one of the best she made. I apprieciate the comments because I wasn't even born yet when this film was made.

If I was allowed to vote on it, I would have given it an excellent.
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Bad review of Calamity Jane

Unread post by webmaster »

I came across the first bad review I've read of Calamity Jane so I thought I'd share it.

Reviewer: Christopher Null at:
http://www.contactmusic.com/new/artist. ... oris%20day


If you were a woman in the Old West, you didn't have to have a musical made about your life (Belle Starr), but it certainly didn't hurt if you did (Annie Oakley). Calamity Jane was one of the big trinity of Wild West Women, and though she was arguably the roughest of the bunch, the musical -- starring Doris Day, for chrissake -- about her is undoubtedly the cheeriest.

Here we have Day -- blonde and with perfect teeth and a spotless "rustic" outfit -- galavanting through showtunes as she tells her patented tall tales of fighting off the "Injuns" and drinkin' with the boys. A silly bit of happenstance leads her to head off to "Chicagee" in search of an actress which the residents of Deadwood are itchin' to see. Romance (with Wild Bill Hickok) and further singing ensues.

Calamity Jane is so removed from even the most imperceptable nod toward reality that even a history know-nothing like myself found its liberties on the distasteful side. Can you imagine what the real Calamity Jane (nicknamed here the precious "Calam" as she dons a dress and paints flowers on the door of her cabin) would think?

While the songs are on the forgettable side, Day fares the worst of all, as her idea of character consists of jutting out her lower jaw, pouting her lip, and ridiculously lowering her voice. I can't speak for 1953, but today Calamity Jane isn't funny or musically glorious. Give it a pass and watch Unforgiven instead.
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Calamity Jane

Unread post by webmaster »

I don't see why he compares it to the films of today - "Gone With the Wind" is hardly relevant but it's still a great film. "Calamity Jane" came out less than a decade after the Second World War ended, when, I imagine, it was just the kind of escapist fun that people were looking for. Musicals were popular then, as we know - and it was just a fun, almost throw-away musical, it didn't pretend to be "The Sound of Music" or "Hello Dolly".

As for 'no good songs', he's either tone deaf (or never had a Secret Love!) :oops: or maybe he's a Bob Dylan fan who can't think outside the box. Who knows?

And not liking women in buckskin is a bit suspect! :lol:

But to be fair he rated "Pillow Talk" WOW!! - 5 stars - so he's got some taste.
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Unread post by Debbi Austen »

He must have been expecting a western. Some critics have a hard time saying anything good about a film. I see he also complains about the ones he gives four stars.
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Hey Paul!

Unread post by Jas1 »

Paul and his current wife did indeed visit Doris (at least once) and are honoury board members on one of her organisations - probably the Animal League. I cannot think of her name - Stella is Paul's fashion designer daughter.

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Unread post by webmaster »

What was I thinking? I should get out more. I should have said Heather (Mills). :shock:
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Who Is He?

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You'll notice in "Calamity Jane," that many veteran western actors were recruited for speaking parts during scenes in the Golden Garter. Especially when Calam had to defend Henry Miller after the Francis Fryer debacle when his wig came off. If you look at the men who were yelling back at Doris, those men were in Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and all the great western stars' films.

One actor that I've tried to get the name of was in the scene when Francis did "I've Got A Hive Full of Honey." Remember the really ugly guy that caught Francis when he fell off the stage? This actor looked remarkably like horror actor, Rondo Hatten ("The Creeper") a man who suffered from a rare desease (acromegly) that altered his facial bones, making him look like a monster. The only problem is that Rondo Hatten died in 1946! I also saw this actor in "Some Like It Hot" which was made in 1959. If that wasn't Rondo, I'll eat your hat! Pull out "Jane" and take a look.

Rondo played monsters without makeup. He's also in encyclopedias under acromeglia (as an example). I cannot, for the life of me, find out the name of this actor from "Jane." :roll:

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Doris Day Made It Look Effortless...

Unread post by Ralph »

One more thing. If an actress TODAY, like Julia Roberts gave a performance, singing, dancing and acting on the same level as Doris Day in "Calamity Jane," she'd be hailed as a great, great performer worthy of the Academy Award.

When you look at what's nominated today, a Day-like performance in "Calamity" would be heralded and justly rewarded. Doris made it look too easy (the mark of a great actress).

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Unread post by TheQueenofSheeba »

Right now this is my favourite film with Doris in, but I've so far only seen two. I am a big fan of musicals and so I am not suprised I like it. I origionally had to watch it for my film studies class at university and I did the exam on it today. What we had to do is anylise the aspects of gendered implications within a clip we saw of the movie. The clip we got was the one where they sing a women's touch where Calamity and Katie fix up the cabin.

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calamity jane

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This is my favourite movie that Doris did. I think the songs and the action combined together makes it a great movie.
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Unread post by dayniac »

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EXCELLENT !!!
I love this movie. She's so good in this ! It took a lot of energy to do this one. All the song sequences were wonderful. A completely enjoyable move to watch - each and every time !

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Just love it !!
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A Few Facts About the Real Calamity Jane

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Calamity Jane often claimed associations or friendships with notable famous American Old West figures, almost always posthumously. For example, years after the death of General George Armstrong Custer, she claimed that she served under him during her initial enlistment at Fort Russell, and that she also served under him during the Indian Campaigns in Arizona. However, no records exist to show that Custer was assigned to Fort Russell, and he did not take an active part in the Arizona Indian Campaigns; he was tasked with subjugating the Plains Indians. It is more likely that she served under General George Crook at Fort Fetterman, Wyoming.

She did serve in one campaign in which General Custer was involved, following the spring of 1872. Generals Custer, Miles, Terry and Crook were dispatched with their forces to handle Indian uprisings near present day Sheridan, Wyoming, which would be called the "Muscle Shell Indian Outbreak", and is also referred to as the "Nursey Pursey Indian Outbreak". This is the only confirmed opportunity Calamity had to meet Custer, although it is unlikely that she did. Following that campaign, in 1874, her detachment was ordered to Fort Custer, where they remained until the following spring. During this campaign (and others involving Custer and Crook together), she was not attached to Custer's command.

She was involved in several campaigns in the long-running military conflicts with Native Americans. One story, told by her, has her acquiring the nickname "Calamity Jane" in 1872 by rescuing her superior, Captain Egan, from an ambush near Sheridan, Wyoming, in an area known then as Goose Creek, Wyoming. However, even back then not everyone accepted her version, and in another story it is said that she acquired it as a result of her warnings to men that to offend her was to "court calamity".

Deadwood and Wild Bill Hickok: 1876–84

In 1876, Calamity Jane settled in the area of Deadwood, South Dakota, in the Black Hills, and she became friendly with Wild Bill Hickok and Charlie Utter, having travelled with them to Deadwood in Utter's wagon train. Jane greatly admired Hickok (to the point of infatuation), and she was obsessed with his personality and life.

After Hickok was killed during a poker game on August 2, 1876, Calamity claimed to have been married to Hickok and that Hickok was the father of her child (Jane), who she said was born September 25, 1873, and who she later put up for adoption by Jim O'Neil and his wife. There are no records to prove the birth of a child and the romantic slant to the relationship may have been a fabrication. During the period that the alleged child was born, she was working as a scout for the Army. At the time of his death, Hickok was newly married to Agnes Lake Thatcher, formerly of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

However, on September 6, 1941, the U.S. Department of Public Welfare did grant old age assistance to a Jean Hickok Burkhardt McCormick (name of her 3rd husband), who claimed to be the legal offspring of Martha Jane Canary and James Butler Hickok, after being presented with evidence that Calamity Jane and Wild Bill had married at Benson's Landing, Montana Territory, on September 25, 1873, documentation being written in a Bible and presumably signed by two reverends and numerous witnesses.

Jane also claimed that following Hickok's death, she went after Jack McCall, his murderer, with a meat cleaver, having left her guns at her residence in the excitement of the moment. However, she never confronted McCall. Following McCall's eventual hanging for the offense, Jane continued living in the Deadwood area for some time, and at one point she did help save several passengers of an overland stagecoach by diverting several Plains Indians who were in pursuit of the stage. The stagecoach driver, John Slaughter, was killed during the pursuit, and Jane took over the reins and drove the stage on to its destination at Deadwood. [6] Also in late 1876, Jane nursed the victims of a smallpox epidemic in the Deadwood area.

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Unread post by suzie »

I loved calm-jane.Doris did a great and may I say very physical job on this movie.What a great dancer and actor and singer ms. Day is.As far as im concerned she has no peers in all of show bussiness,she alone stands out as the greatest all around talent.How blessed are we to have her in our lives,we love you dodo . :)
suzie

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Unread post by dayniac »

Wow - what a rollicking good time ! I just love - Just Blew In From the Windy City. She was so good as Calam.

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Calamity Jane Trailer

Unread post by webmaster »

She was born to play it! :lol:

Thanks for watching, dayniac. I think a few people on here think DivX is witchcraft.
I'll post something in Off Comments about it for the "Faint at Heart", as opposed to the "Young"!

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Unread post by dayniac »

I've never had a problem with it. I really enjoy all the things you've posted. Thanks for doing it.

Toni
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Thanks

Unread post by webmaster »

Well, thanks for all the great pics you post - and puck, while I think of it!
Even though she says she doesn't speak good English (I don't speak good Dutch) makes perfect sense!

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Unread post by puck »

Bryan, yes you have right about my English, it become better, but still learning, and beside that it's a long time ago that I did write in English, so I use my English dictionary very often ( I did only speak English when we were on Holidays).
And while I'm now writing, beside me lays the English dictionary.
We never too old to learn.

Thank you for your compliment.

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