22 November 2010 | steven_torrey
Betty Hutton--over the top
Irving Berlin's musical numbers are simply excellent, outstanding, up-beat. One can see why this is a perennial favorite of High School thespians.
The weakest part of the movie is Betty Hutton's acting--non acting--way over the top, cartoonish. Who ever gave her that direction must be blamed for a very inadequate interpretation. While it is true that Annie was unsophisticated, one hates to believe that she was so incompetent in her ability to control her emotions/admiration for Frank Butler. Would Annie Oakley have thrown a contest so she could get the man of her dreams? Maybe yes, maybe no. The cartoonish interpretation wants the viewer to believe she would. Reality of sports competitors suggests something different.
PBS has an excellent documentary on Annie Oakely's life. She was an immensely talented sharpshooter in a man's world. Her talent was recognized by Frank Butler, Buffalo Bill, and an adoring public. By and large, the film provides an accurate interpretation of Annie Oakley, by Hollywood standards, given Hollywood's penchant for gaga.
The movie should be remade for the music alone but also for the topic of Annie Oakely. Someone suggested Demi Moore. But whoever, the acting ought not be so over the top. As always, a comedic role played straight is most effective.