Even though it’s an occasionally odd, and imperfect musical, Annie Get Your Gun remains one of my absolute favorites.

Re-cast due to the death of Frank Morgan and the illness of Judy Garland, I’ve always though it would have been better had they placed Ethel Merman in the lead role.


Betty Hutton lovingly bounces about and mugs her way, using her comedic talents, and at 28, appeared more in tune for the role.

But Annie is supposed to be far younger than Ms. Merman’s 41 years. What worked on stage – I saw her in the wonderful 1966-67 NY run – from a proper seating distance, won’t work for close-ups on screen.

The new Blu-ray, from Warner Archive, is from the finest surviving nitrate elements – mostly the original negatives, with a couple of reels (lost in the Rochester fire) filled in with nitrate masters.

I’ll leave it to readership to try and figure out what’s original and what ain’t.

AGYG is another three-strip success for Warner Archive, and should be in every serious library.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Without a doubt

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

 

Post Disclaimer

Some of our content may contain marketing links, which means we will receive a commission for purchases made via those links. In our editorial content, these affiliate links appear automatically, and our editorial teams are not influenced by our affiliate partnerships. We work with several providers (currently Skimlinks and Amazon) to manage our affiliate relationships. You can find out more about their services by visiting their sites.

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

cinemel1

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Messages
97
Location
New York
Real Name
Mel Matsil
A favorite of mine too. Looking so forward to this.
Looking forward to Annie in blu-ray. The old DVD was the first time I’ve ever seen the movie. I did buy the wonderful CD of the soundtrack which also includes the Judy Garland versions recorded for the film. It’s a wonderful score. The film was a bit disappointing but that score lifts it up whenever you hear those tuneful Irving Berlin songs.
 

cinemel1

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Messages
97
Location
New York
Real Name
Mel Matsil
1618069520884.jpeg
 

AnthonyClarke

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
Messages
2,430
Location
Woodend Victoria Australia
Real Name
Anthony
I bought the soundtrack LP as a surprise christmas present for my wife back in the early 1970s when it was still a rarity to be able to hear it, let alone see it. From memory, It was a Karousel label from Germany. Sounded great; we loved it then and still do.
 

PMF

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
5,048
Real Name
Philip
My thanks to RAH for this review.

Good news all around.

.Annie Get Your Gun will get my full-priced support and attentions, without a blink nor hesitation.:thumbs-up-smiley:
 
Last edited:

dukiejosh54

Agent
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
39
Real Name
Josh
Got mine pre-ordered. I also just bought the 1957 Mary Martin and John Rait TV performance on Blu-ray. I think Mary Martin was pretty good in the role as well though the only person i have to compare her to is Betty Hutton and the cast recordings of Ethel. I knew it was an old kinescope recording so i wasn't expecting much quality wise, I really love seeing old performances that aired on TV, it's a shame they could not be preserved better at the time.
 
Last edited:

Matt Hough

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
23,112
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
If they were live performances (and I believe the Martin-Raitt Annie was live), the video quality was likely better because what we're seeing is a kinescope, a movie shot off a television screen during the performance, and that kind of quality is never going to be great. It was probably in color, too, and the kinescope is black and white.
 
Last edited:

ahollis

Premium
Joined
Mar 1, 2007
Messages
8,058
Location
New Orleans
Real Name
Allen
If they were live performances (and I believe the Martin-Raitt Annie was live), the video quality was likely better because what we're seeing is a kinescope, a movie shot of a television screen during the performance, and that kind of quality is never going to be great. It was probably in color, too, and the kinescope is black and white.
You are correct. Just as Julie Andrews‘ Cinderella was broadcast in color, but all we have is the black & white kinescope of that great performance.
 

JoeDoakes

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
3,041
Real Name
Ray
It’s hard to top The Merm, but Betty Hutton seemed tailor made for this role.

The experience of seeing the true giants of Broadway on stage is not something to be had today. I saw Carol Channing on tour in Hello Dolly in the late 70s and I’ve never forgotten it.
 

RobertSiegel

Reviewer
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Messages
1,263
Good movie, but not my favorite. I very much wish they had used orchestrations similar to the Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations, which were expanded for the Lincoln Center performance in the 60's, and that CD is in my opinion the best treatment of this score, with Merman reprising her role. In my opinion one of the best original cast CD's. The scoring in the film is good and certainly an orchestra of that size is a pleasure, but i just feel they don't compare to Bennett's orchestrations. I agree with Mr. Harris, Merman should have played the role. But Betty certainly was a lively Annie. Such a shame stereophonic sound in film didn't come a little sooner. I would love to see them take a popular film, like Wizard of Oz, where they have the dialogue and effects tracks, and replicate the orchestra with a new recording and mix it in. But back to Annie, looking forward to the new blu.
 

Charles Smith

Extremely Talented Member
Supporter
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
5,815
Location
Nor'east
Real Name
Charles Smith
Looking forward to this.

And I envy RAH having seen the Lincoln Center production. The cast recording of that has been a favorite for years.
 

haineshisway

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
5,020
Location
Los Angeles
Real Name
Bruce
It's a fantastic transfer with stunning color. I really like Betty Hutton and think she was ideal for it. I watched the Garland stuff again and sorry Garland fans, she is just so out of it in those clips - no energy, lifeless, not funny - she sounds good, of course, because that stuff was pre-recorded. One can see instantly why replacing her was the only thing to do. I've never been in love with the film, however, mostly because Sidney Sheldon's screenplay "adaptation" isn't great (why not use the script of the show - some of it's the same, but not enough) and it's hard for me to get past the missing songs, especially Moonshine Lullaby and most especially I Got Lost in His Arms, one of Berlin's greatest songs.
 

Wubble

Grip
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
24
Real Name
Stuart
It's a fantastic transfer with stunning color. I really like Betty Hutton and think she was ideal for it. I watched the Garland stuff again and sorry Garland fans, she is just so out of it in those clips - no energy, lifeless, not funny - she sounds good, of course, because that stuff was pre-recorded. One can see instantly why replacing her was the only thing to do. I've never been in love with the film, however, mostly because Sidney Sheldon's screenplay "adaptation" isn't great (why not use the script of the show - some of it's the same, but not enough) and it's hard for me to get past the missing songs, especially Moonshine Lullaby and most especially I Got Lost in His Arms, one of Berlin's greatest songs.

I agree, Betty Hutton is spunky and fun in the role and is a large part of why I enjoy the film. I think she was better suited to follow in the footsteps of Ethel Merman than Judy was.