Directed by George Stevens
RKO Radio Pictures
This well-made romantic biopic exceeded my expectations. Annie Oakley (Barbara Stanwyck) hunts quail to support her family. She is famous for being able to kill them with one shot to the head. When the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show hires world champion sharpshooter Toby Walker (Preston Foster), Toby bets he can beat any comer. Hotel management, which has been buying Annie’s quail, calls on Annie to challenge him. Buffalo Bill talent scout Jeff Hogarth (Melvyn Douglas) is impressed with Annie’s shooting and with Annie and hires her for the show. Annie and Toby become close but an accident enables Jeff to part them. The movie also features several sequences of acts from the show. With Moroni Olsen as Buffalo Bill and Chief Thunderbird as Sitting Bull.
The more movies I see that are directed by George Stevens the more taken with him I am. He seems to bring something to all his films that makes me care about the characters. Barbara Stanwyck’s Annie is far softer and more feminine than the character portrayed in Annie Get Your Gun but still quite believable as a sharpshooter. There is a nice helping of humor thrown in with the romance.