From the Chicago Reader (April 1, 2002). — J.R.
This was my favorite movie the year it came out (1950), when I was seven years old, and I’ve gone back to it repeatedly since — partly because of its swell Irving Berlin score, partly because of Betty Hutton’s gender-bending embodiment of Annie Oakley, and partly because the spirited vulgarity of director George Sidney often makes a perfect match with the tailored opulence and slickness of MGM musicals during that era. It still holds up as splashy fun of a sort, if you can handle its sexual politics and its depictions of Native Americans (including J. Carroll Naish as Annie’s benign father figure). With Keenan Wynn, Howard Keel as Frank Butler, and Louis Calhern as Buffalo Bill. 107 min. (JR)