Calamity Jane - The Eclectic Cinema

The Eclectic Cinema
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Calamity Jane   U
(USA/1953)                         101 minutes
David Butler

Doris Day|Howard Keel|Allyn Ann McLerie
DORIS DAY is at her most rumbustious in this Musical-Comedy Western. She has the title role, of course, definitely wears the trousers, and is a pretty good match for Wild Bill Hickok.

Who is Doris Day? An actor, singer and Hollywood legend who was at the peak of her career in the 1950s and 60s. She would have reached 100 this year, had she not passed away at 97. As well as musicals and romantic comedies, she also starred with Carey Grant in Hitchcock's 1956 film The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Some musical comedies of a certain age turn out to be a bit thin on the comedy, especially after 70 years. Not so this one, which is still surprisingly full of good laughs – thanks mainly to the energy and enthusiasm of Day's performance. She has both a good voice and a great sense of comic timing.

And, over the years, some scenes and songs from the film have acquired the status of gay (lesbian) iconography. Calamity Jane is one of the films featured in Vito Russo’s The Celluloid Closet. Think ‘A Woman's Touch' in which Calamity and her female friend set up house together, transforming Calam's erstwhile ramshackle log cabin into a sort of kitsch fantasy home. And think ‘Secret Love', which has been called Hollywood’s first gay anthem. From a modern perspective, the queer references in this film seem not to be buried so deep as they had to seem to be back in 1953.

Whether you know Doris Day or not, this is a fun film to see, or see again. So, make sure you don't miss the Deadwood Stage - it's coming on over the hill!

26 September 2022 MONDAY 19:30
Playhouse Main Screen
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