June 17, 2013

Movie Monday: Calamity Jane

Ready for a blast from my childhood?


Calamity Jane (Doris Day) is a wild and rough cowgirl from the small Western town of Deadwood. She rides shotgun on the stagecoach and is on first-name terms with the local saloon owner. She’s friends with everyone in the town, except Wild Bill Hickok (Howard Keel). The two are constantly butting heads. Calamity is in love with Lt. Danny Gilmartin (Philip Carey), but of course all he can see is her rough-riding exterior.


Through a strange series of events, Calamity is tasked with bringing some female entertainment to the saloon from Chicago. There, she finds Katie Brown (Allyn McLerie), who is impersonating the famous actress Adelaide Adams. Calamity doesn’t know the difference and brings Katie back, thinking it’s Adelaide Adams. Thankfully, the mix-up is easily resolved when it’s revealed, because Katie is genuinely talented, but was overshadowed in a big city with bigger names.


All seems well until it comes out that both Bill and Danny are in love with Katie, and Calamity is in love with Danny, but Katie and Calamity are friends, so how do you sort out who goes with who?

“Calamity Jane” is a simple movie with a quirky story, silly plot twists that are resolved or forgotten about, but that’s okay. “Calamity Jane” is just a fun family movie, and that’s all it wants to be, a vehicle for both Doris Day and Howard Keel to sing and pretend to shoot guns. And really, that’s enough. Doris Day is so much fun as the high-energy, uncouth, loud-mouthed Calamity. And I can always watch Howard Keel. His is one of my favorite voices in movie musical history. He’s not only a great singer, but a fine actor and comedian.


We loved watching this movie as kids. With snappy songs that stick in your head, like “Windy City,” to themes about finding friendship with people who have totally different personalities and not needing to change who you are to make people like you, it’s the perfect movie for family night. Doris Day won her first Academy Award from “Calamity Jane,” for the song “Secret Love.”


“Calamity Jane” will be on TCM on Sunday, June 23, at 5:00 am CST. Be sure and DVR it!

Honorable Mentions:
Broadway Serenade (1939) – Tuesday, June 18, 12:30 pm CST
Bitter Sweet (1940) – Tuesday. June 18, 2:30 pm CST
Maytime (1937) – Tuesday, June 18, 4:45 pm CST
Anchors Aweigh (1945) – Tuesday, June 18, 10:45 pm CST
Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964) – Tuesday, June 18, 1:15 am CST
Romance on the High Seas (1948) – Tuesday, June 18, 3:30 am CST
Holiday (1938) – Wednesday, June 19, 7:00 pm CST
Keeper of the Flame (1942) – Wednesday, June 19, 9:00 pm CST
Adam’s Rib (1949) – Friday, June 21, 5:30 am CST
Born Yesterday (1950) – Friday, June 21, 7:15 am CST
Bells Are Ringing (1960) – Friday, June 21, 9:00 am CST
Double Indemnity (1944) – Friday, June 21, 10:15 pm CST
My Favorite Wife (1940) – Sunday, June 23, 11:00 am CST
To Be or Not To Be (1942) – Sunday, June 23, 4:15 am CST


  1. A wonderful movie! I barely knew who Doris Day was, until I came across this one, in my twenties. It wasn't my friend's favorite, so she gave it to me.

    I wanted to watch it because it had Howard Keel in it (my favorite musical actor/singer, after Gordon MacRae). But I had known the song "Secret Love" for years, had no idea it was in this movie!

    Still love this movie. Scenes like the guy entertaining while dressed as a girl are hilarious, and the songs are fun and well-sung. Everyone should watch it. : )

  2. This is one of my favorite older movies!!!


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