Movie-musical fans have long regarded M-G-M's "Annie Get Your Gun" as an important treasure from the studio's golden era, a picture made more precious because it has not been broadcast for decades and was not part of the recent home video and DVD revolution.
Industry sources now say the 1950 Betty Hutton vehicle, a faithful adaptation of the 1946 Irving Berlin stage show, will find its way to video and DVD Nov. 14 via Warner Bros. Home Video. An official announcement is expected in the coming weeks.
Famously, the movie originally starred Judy Garland, who filmed several sequences before she and director Busby Berkeley were fired. George Sidney stepped in as director and the blowzy, moon-faced, big-voiced Hutton made the part famous across the country. Special material -- the trailer, unedited dailies, cut songs of Garland -- are expected to appear on the DVD release.
The picture's wider release in broadcast and video markets was apparently held up by creators Berlin and original book writers Herbert and Dorothy Fields, but any issues blocking wide circulation appear to have been solved. The home video retail web site MoviesUnlimited.com has announced pre orders for the movie, which also starred Howard Keel (as Frank Butler), Benay Venuta, Keenan Wynn, Louis Calhern, J. Carrol Naish, Edward Arnold, Sue Casey, Mae Clarke, Edward Earle, John Hamilton, Carol Henry, John Mylong, Nino Pipitone, Frank Wilcox and Marjorie Wood.
Playbill retail partner Amazon.com has not yet announced the sale of "Annie Get Your Gun." Movies Unlimited called "Annie Get Your Gun" "one of the most-requested titles in Movies Unlimited history."
The fictionalized account of Wild West sharpshooter Annie Oakley's romance with Frank Butler is now enjoying a (retooled and reconceived) Broadway revival starring Bernadette Peters.The film and stage show includes such Irving Berlin hits as "Anything You Can Do," "I Got Lost in His Arms," "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" and "There's No Business Like Show Business."
M-G-M paid $650,000 for the film rights, and the movie was a huge hit when it was released. Hutton appeared on the cover of Time to coincide with the release.
Rhino-Turner is expected to release an expanded CD of "Annie Get Your Gun," including cut material in fall 2000.