IMDB rating: 8,0
Director: Vincent J. Donehue
Main Cast: Mary Martin, John Raitt, William O'Neal, Reta Shaw
"In 1946, Irving Berlin’s musical Annie Get Your Gun opened on Broadway, with Ethel Merman starring as the 19th century sharp-shooter Annie Oakley. It was a major hit and Merman received endless praise for her performance. In 1957, the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Association decided to celebrate its 20th anniversary by staging two shows starring Martin. One was an obvious choice - South Pacific, arguably Martin’s biggest Broadway success. The other was something of a surprise - Annie Get Your Gun, which the association decided to present both in Los Angeles and in San Francisco, with a special live telecast produced for NBC. The TV version of Annie Get Your Gun was reconfigured to fit a two-hour time slot. In order to preserve as much of the Berlin score as possible, a good chunk of the show’s book was cut out. As a result, this production moves somewhat faster than the 1950 film version - and the transition times between songs is often abrupt. Annie Get Your Gun was telecast in color, though most homes in 1957 did not have color television sets. However, 60 million Americans tuned in for the broadcast, which was sponsored by Pepsi-Cola. The success of the program helped speed along an album featuring the cast, which was a best-seller."