ANNIE GET YOUR GUN
PRODUCTION NUMBER: 1450
PRODUCTION DATES: March 7 through May 21, 1949 (Judy’s time)
PRODUCTION COST $3,768,785
RUNNING TIME: 102 minutes
RELEASE DATE: May 23, 1950
INITIAL BOX OFFICE: $8,010,000 (includes Judy’s time on the film and the 1956/57 re-release)
“There’s No Business Like Show Business” took on a whole new meaning during the filming of Annie Get Your Gun. The production seemed to be cursed from the beginning, even though it all started innocently enough. Ethel Merman triumphed as Annie Oakley when the show opened on Broadway on May 16, 1946. It went on to run for 1,147 performances. Immediately after the opening, every singing actress in Hollywood wanted to play the role on film. Not only was it a great part and a great show, but each one of Irving Berlin’s songs was great as well. Naturally, Arthur Freed wanted to make the film version starring MGM’s premier musical leading lady, Judy Garland. Irving Berlin agreed. Judy, however, was not physically nor mentally up to taking on the demands of such a strenuous role.
Judy began Annie on March 7, 1949, with wardrobe work and song rehearsals. She had been promised a vacation but was coaxed into preliminary work. Pre-recordings segued into rehearsals and costume tests and so on. The vacation never happened. The result is that Judy went into the production running on half the energy at which she normally functioned. Musical supervisor Lela Simone recalled a day that she and Roger Edens were present as Judy recorded some of the songs: “In the monitor booth, for the first time Roger and I smiled each other into a more or less artificial enthusiasm, ‘that was very nice, wasn’t it?’ we said. ‘Nice’ was a term we had never used for Judy before.”
Actual filming began on April 4, 1949, without Judy, who wasn’t needed that day. As Hugh Fordin pointed out in his book about The Freed Unit titled The World of Entertainment, “it seemed as though the production office had set up the shooting schedule to keep Judy away from director Busby Berkeley as much as possible. The choice of Berkeley as director is a clear indication that producer Arthur Freed had little to no understanding about the extent of Judy’s issues at the time, nor her intense incompatibility with Berkeley. Freed chose Berkeley in an effort to give the director, who Freed revered but whose career was in decline, a chance at a comeback. That Berkeley was called a “taskmaster” was no exaggeration. As far back as 1939 and his work on Babes In Arms, there were signs of incompatibility between him and Judy. The final straw came with 1943’s Girl Crazy and the “I Got Rhythm” number. He drove everyone into the ground, putting Judy on bed rest for several weeks.
On the second day of shooting Judy’s co-star, Howard Keel fell off his horse. His absence naturally shifted the burden of filming to Judy. Her first scenes shot for the film were devoted to the “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly” sequence on the exterior set of the “Wilson Hotel.” She first worked with dance director Robert Alton on the rehearsals and staging. Reportedly, on the first day of filming for the sequence, Berkeley began shouting at the crew. This upset Judy enough to prompt her to leave the set for the day feigning illness. Allegedly, when she saw some of the dailies a few days later, she got up, went over to a water cooler, and downed a handful of Benzedrines. The sequence was completed on April 9th.
Days later rehearsals began for the “I’m An Indian Too” production number with dance director Robart Alton rather than Berkeley in the director’s chair. Contract dancer and assistant choreographer Alex Romero reported that in some instances he had to hold Judy up to keep her from falling flat on her face. He said he had “never seen anyone so far gone on drugs.” Freed came to the set one day and witnessed Judy losing her footing. He ran over to her and began shouting at her, to the embarrassment of the cast and crew. Clearly, the stress of the experience was taking its toll on everyone involved.
Finally, on May 3rd, Freed looked at the existing footage and fired Berkeley. He said “[Berkeley] had no conception of what the picture was all about. He was shooting the whole thing like a stage play. Everyone would come out of the wings, say their lines, and back away upstage for their exists.” That next day he contacted director Charles Walters (Judy’s original first choice) who later recalled: “Arthur asked me to come in and look at the Annie footage. So I went – and my God – it was horrible! Judy was at her worst. She couldn’t decide whether she was Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, Martha Raye, or herself. ‘I want you to take over the picture,’ Arthur said, ‘Okay, but first I must have a long talk with Judy.'” When they met a day later, Judy told Walters “It’s too late, Chuck, I haven’t got the energy or the nerve anymore.” In spite of her plea, Walters was able to convince her to carry on.
Judy tried again. The surviving footage reveals her to be in much better shape than had been reported over the years, but there’s no denying the fatigue showing in her face and (at times) a lack of that special Garland sparkle. This is most noticeable in the “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly” footage. If Judy had been at her usual brilliant best, she would have worked wonders with the role.
On May 10, 1949, Judy was fired from the film. That day was a particularly harrowing one for her. At 7:30 a.m. she had called the assistant director, Al Jennings, stating she had a bad night and wasn’t sure if she would be able to get to the studio. She felt better during the call and said she’d be in but would be late. At 10:10 a.m. Judy checked through the front gate. After being made up she reported to the set, but not in costume. She said she had a severe migraine and was unsure if she could perform the number “I’m An Indian Too.” She rehearsed with Robert Alton until 11:55 when the production stopped for lunch. At 1:30 p.m. Judy was given a letter from L.K. Sidney firing her from the film, specifically citing her as being “responsible for substantial delays.” It was a devastating blow, made worse by the fact that no one in the production (not even Walters or Alton) was aware the letter of suspension was being delivered. Production manager Walter Strohm told Jennings to get Judy in an attempt to continue shooting. Judy’s reply was “I shall never come back – now or ever.” L.B. Mayer ordered the production closed. According to Fordin: “Only a few technicians were still wrapping up their equipment when Judy’s hairdresser emerged from her dressing room. ‘Where is everybody?’ she asked Jennings. ‘Get them all back: Judy is on her way.’ When Judy came out everybody had gone.”
Production on Annie resumed in September with Betty Hutton in the lead, and the film was finally completed. It was released on May 23, 1950, and became MGM’s biggest musical hit of the year.
Many people have assumed that the blame for this fiasco lies on Judy’s shoulders. In reality, and from the beginning, she had tried to convince the studio that the direction was wrong, and she needed to get well. She tried working with the studio as much as she physically could, as evidenced in her attempt on May 4, 1949, to have the studio suspend her pay for that day (she felt she had inconvenienced the studio by her inability to work). But by the time Freed replaced Berkeley with Walters it was, as Judy tried to tell him, “too late.” Walters would later be replaced by George Sidney. To add to the pressures on Judy’s already shaky shoulders was Keel’s accident keeping him out for six weeks, and the death of the original Buffalo Bill, Frank Morgan. But the real blame lies with Freed and the studio. It’s inconceivable that they could have possibly thought that after the previous year’s ups and downs, Judy would be able to take on the demands of a big-budget musical without sufficient rest. March 1948 through March 1949 (when Judy began work on Annie) had been especially tough on her physical and mental health. She completed Easter Parade, filmed two songs for a guest appearance in Words And Music, began but couldn’t complete The Barkleys Of Broadway, then filmed (and completed) In The Good Old Summertime. During this period Judy did have some time off, but it wasn’t sufficient enough for her to successfully deal with her problems. To the studio, Judy was contractually bound to appear in two films a year and they were going to get their money’s worth. In the end, it was MGM’s loss. They lost out on Annie being a real musical masterpiece due to Judy’s presence and a year later they lost Judy herself when she was finally given a release from her contract.
In the years since, fans have speculated on “what might have been” if Judy were well enough to successfully complete Annie Get Your Gun. It’s become the most well-known, talked about, and studied of all of the films Judy was unable to complete. To further add to the mystique, MGM Records included (without explanation) Judy’s pre-recording of “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun” on several of their Garland compilation records in the early 1960s. The rest of Judy’s pre-recordings popped up on various bootleg albums in the 1960s and 1970s, usually with poor to horrible sound quality. The outtake footage of “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly” and “I’m An Indian Too” has survived and was traded underground for years before popping up on some bootleg videotapes in the 1980s. Some of this footage made its official appearance in 1994’s That’s Entertainment! III. The soundtrack album to that film included the official release of the pre-recordings for the two numbers, followed by the 1996 release of the rest of Judy’s songs on the Rhino CD “Collector’s Gems from the M-G-M Films.” Finally, in 2000, some of the outtake footage was released on the DVD of the completed film, and all of the outtake songs were included on the single CD soundtrack that featured both films.
TIMELINE PART ONE:
March 7, 1949: Judy’s first day of work on Annie consisted of wardrobe fittings and a song rehearsal (song title not specified).
March 8, 1949: Rehearsals of “Anything You Can Do” and “They Say It’s Wonderful” with Howard Keel in Rehearsal Hall A for song rehearsals (noted as “Rehearsal #1”) with co-star Howard Keel. Judy was due on set at 11 a.m.; arrived at 11:15 a.m.; dismissed at 4:45 p.m. Songs rehearsed: “Anything You Can Do” and “They Say It’s Wonderful.”
March 9, 1949: “Rehearsal #2” with Judy and Howard Keel rehearsing the songs “Anything You Can Do”; “That Say It’s Wonderful”; and Judy’s solo of “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun.” Time called: 11 a.m.; Judy arrived at 11:35 a.m.; lunch from 1:20 – 2:20 p.m.; dismissed at 4:45 p.m. The actual recording session did not happen until March 25th.
March 10, 1949: More rehearsals with Howard Keel, “Rehearsal #3” which included “The Girl That I Marry”; “Anything You Can Do”; “They Say It’s Wonderful” and “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun.” Judy was due at the studio at 11 a.m. The assistant director’s notes state: “Ms. Garland called Al Jennings at 10 a.m.; saying that she was ill and would be unable to work until later in day – at this time she was given a call for 2 p.m.” Judy arrived at 2 p.m.; dismissed at 4:20 p.m.
March 11, 1949: “Rehearsal #4” for Judy and Howard Keel rehearsing: “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun” (Garland solo); “Anything You Can Do” (duet); “They Say It’s Wonderful” (duet); “The Girl That I Marry” (one solo each). Judy arrived at 11:30 a.m.; lunch from 1:20 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.; dismissed at 5:15 p.m.
March 15, 1949: Wardrobe fittings from 12:45 p.m. – 2 p.m. From 2 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Judy and Howard Keel rehearsed their songs, including “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun”; “Anything You Can Do”; “They Say It’s Wonderful”; and “The Girl That Marry.”
March 16, 1949: “Rehearsal #7” – Judy was fitted for more wardrobe from 12:45 – 2 p.m., then song rehearsals at 2 – 3:30 p.m., including “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun”; “Anything You Can Do” and “The Girl That I Marry” – with Howard Keel.
March 17, 1949: Wardrobe and makeup tests were canceled as Judy sick. She called and said she’d be ready at 2 p.m. rather than 10 a.m., citing “intestinal flu.” At 3:45 p.m. she called Jennings again stating that she wouldn’t make it in at all. She was out sick for the following two days.
March 21, 1949: Judy returned after being out sick for several days. On this day, she had some wardrobe and makeup tests, plus “Rehearsal #8” in which she rehearsed the song “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly.” Time called: 10 a.m.; due on set at 1 p.m.; arrived on set 1 p.m.; dismissed at 4:40 p.m.
March 22, 1949: Wardrobe fittings which began at 11 a.m. and lasted to Noon, then a lunch break from 12:20 – 1:20 p.m. Rehearsal #9 was from 2 – 3:20 p.m. It’s unclear what was rehearsed, but it’s likely that the rehearsal consisted of more work on the songs.
March 23, 1949: Rehearsals of “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly.” Judy arrived at 11 a.m.; dismissed: 4:00 p.m.
March 24, 1949: More wardrobe and makeup tests. Judy was due on the set at 8:30 a.m. Per the assistant director’s notes: “Miss Garland was in at 8:30 a.m. to have hair dyed; Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; due on set: 1:15. Arrived at 1:15; due to illness of Frank Morgan, rehearsal was canceled and Mr. [Howard] Keel made comparative makeup test with Miss Garland from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.” Dismissed at 3:50 p.m.”
March 25, 1949: The first recording session. Judy pre-recorded “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly” and “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun.” She arrived at 1:30 p.m. and was dismissed at 3:15 p.m.
March 28, 1949: The second recording session. Judy and Howard Keel pre-recorded “They Say It’s Wonderful” (the duet and Judy’s reprise) and Judy pre-recorded her reprise of Keel’s “The Girl That I Marry” after he pre-recorded his solo version. Judy arrived at 1:30 p.m. and was dismissed at 3:15 p.m.
March 29, 1949: A break in the pre-recording sessions. Judy posed for silent (film) makeup and hairdress tests. Judy was due in the studio at 8:00 a.m.; due on set: 10:00 a.m.; Judy was on time arriving at 10:00 a.m.; dismissed 11:00 a.m.
March 30, 1949: Judy pre-recorded the song “Let’s Go West Again” which was written specifically for her by Irving Berlin. After Judy left the project it was pre-recorded by Betty Hutton but ultimately cut from the film. Judy’s co-star, Howard Keel, also recorded his solo of “My Defenses Are Down” during this session. Time called: 11:30 a.m., due on set 1 p.m.; Judy arrived at 1 p.m.; dismissed at 1:45 p.m. It only took Judy 45 minutes to pre-record the song with the orchestra.
March 31, 1949: Judy, Howard Keel, Frank Morgan, and Keenan Wynn pre-recorded “There’s No Business Like Show Business” as well as Judy recording her solo version of the same song. Time called: 11 a.m.; due on set 1 p.m.; Judy arrived at 1 p.m.; dismissed: 4 p.m.
April 1, 1949: Recording session: “Anything You Can Do” (with Howard Keel) and “I’ve Got The Sun In The Morning.” Judy arrived at 1:30 p.m. and was dismissed at 3:05 p.m.
April 2, 1949: Silent wardrobe, hair, and makeup tests Judy, J. Carroll Naish, and Geraldine Hall. Judy was due in makeup at 8 a.m., on set at 10 a.m.; she arrived at 10 a.m.; lunch at 12:05 p.m. – 1:05 p.m.; dismissed at 2:25 p.m.
April 6, 1949: The first day of filming was devoted to the song “Doin’ What comes Natur’lly” on the “Exterior Wilson Hotel” set. Judy as due in makeup at 8:00 a.m.; arrived in makeup at 9:25 a.m. The Assistant Director’s reports notes state:
Miss Garland called cameraman on set at 9:40 a.m. to discuss her makeup after which time cameraman, Miss Garland and Mr. Freed looked at makeup test in projection room, cameraman returned to set at 10:05 a.m.; 10:05-11:25: Wait for Miss Garland on stage; 11:05 changing in wardrobe, and ready on set at 11:25 a.m.
11:25-12:07 – Rehearse with principles; set boom action
12:07-1:07 – Lunch
1:13-1:17 – Sew Miss Garland’s jacket
1:17-1:29 – Rehearse with principles set boom action
1:36-1:39 – Final makeup for principles
Time dismissed: 5:55 p.m.
April 7, 1949: The second, and last, day of filming the ‘Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly” on the “Exterior Wilson House” set. Judy had a call to be in makeup at 7:00 a.m.; due on the set at 9:00 a.m.; arrived on set at 9:30 a.m. The assistant director’s notes state:
10:40-10:54 – Wait for Miss Garland, putting on final wardrobe and makeup.
10:54-11:08 – Rehearsal with principles to playback
11:08-11:11 – Add makeup for principles
11:11-11:35 – Shoot 8 takes
11:35-11:42 – Camera reload
11:42-11:44 – Shoot 1 take
11:44-12:10 – Rehearse set boom action; continuation of number
Note: at 12 noon Miss Garland told Director she thought her toe was broken yesterday during rehearsal when she dropped a rifle on it. She left the lot at 12 noon to go and have her toe x-rayed.
12:10-1:10 – Lunch
Miss Garland returned to set from x-rays at 1:55 p.m.
2:00-2:11 – Rehearse set boom action with principles
2:11-2:15 – Rehearse Miss Garland for sync
2:15-2:19 – Add lighting
2:19-2:23 – Rehearse to playback, set boom action
2:23-2:25 – Add lighting
2:25-2:31 – Final makeup principals
2:31-2:35 – Rehearse
2:35-2:47 – Shoot 4 takes, and stills
2:47-3:54 – Director laying out action of scene, set boom action (Children finish school from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
3:54-4:07 – L&L Ext. Wilson Lawn
4:07-4:13 – Shoot silent wardrobe test Edward Arnold
4:13-4:25 – Continue lighting Ext. Wilson Lawn
4:25-4:30 – Wait for Carol Sue Sherwood: was hit in neck while playing, and went to hospital to have neck examined.
4:30-4:51 – Rehearse action with principals
4:51-4:55 – Final wardrobe and makeup for principals
4:55-4:59 – Add lighting
4:59-5:01 – Wait for director
5:01-5:04 – Shoot 1 take
5:04-5:10 – Cameral reload
5:10-5:24 – Shoot 5 takes
5:24-5:32 – Trim
5:32-5:45 – Shoot 4 takes
5:45 – Finish
April 8, 1949: The production moved to the filming of scenes on the “Exterior N.Y. Pier” set. Judy was due in makeup at 8 a.m. The assistant director’s notes state:
Miss Garland who had a 10 a.m. call, ready on set and did not come thru the gates till 9:45 a.m.
Miss Garland on set 11:25 a.m.
11:25-11:53 – Rehearse set boom action with principals
11:53-12:18 – Final wardrobe and makeup Miss Garland
12:18-12:30 – Rehearse with principals, add lighting
12:30-1:30 – Lunch
1:30-2:07 – Send main wardrobe to get new stockings for Miss Garland; meanwhile roll back canvas on top of set
2:07-2:16 – Add lighting
2:16-2:25 – Rehearse set boom, action
2:25-2:27 – Shoot 1 take
2:27-2:30 – Add lighting
2:30-2:36 – fix generator (blew out)
2:36-2:46 – Shoot 4 takes
2:46-2:53 – Fix dolly track, add lighting
2:53-2:56 – Shoot 2 takes
2:56-3:00 – Add lighting
3:00-3:05 – Shoot 1 take and stills
3:05-3:17 – Select setup
3:17-3:41 – L & L boom dolly 2 shot
3:41-4:05 – Rehearse with principals, set boom action
4:05-4:13 – Add lighting
4:13-4:19 – Final makeup principals
4:19-4:42 – Shoot 7 takes and stills
4:45 p.m. – Dismissed
TIMELINE PART TWO:
April 9, 1949: Filming on the Interior Pullman Car set. The assistant director’s notes state:
At 8 a.m. Miss Garland called asst. director to say that she had a sore throat. Miss Garland called back at 8:15 a.m. and was given an 11 a.m. call ready on set (instead of 10 a.m. as previously called).” As you can see from the following running record, the production was incredibly detailed about every single thing that happened.
No photos are known to exist from this day’s shooting, nor does any footage exist, although the costume test photo of Judy in costume for this scene does and is shown above.
11:44-11:58 – Shoot 6 takes and stills
11:58-11:59 – Record soundtrack
11:59-12:07 – Rehearse with principals
12:09-12:17 – L & L
12:17-12:25 – Rehearse
12:25-12:42 – Shoot 9 takes
12:42-12:45 – Select setup
12:45-1:45 – Lunch
1:45-1:50 – Move out 2 pullman chairs
1:50-2:20 – Reh. with principals
2:20-2:30 – L & L
2:30-2:42 – Rehearse set boom action
2:42-2:55 – Add lighting
2:55-3:10 – Reh set B.G. action, set boom, action add lighting. Note: at 2:50 p.m., Miss Garland told Asst. Director that she was too ill to work and was going home. She left set at 3 p.m.
3:10 – Company dismissed: had nothing to shoot without Miss Garland
April 11, 1949: Judy was out sick.
April 12, 1949: Judy had rehearsals on the ‘Interior Pullman Car” set. The assistant director’s notes state: “JG – Due on set: 9 a.m.; arrived on set: 9:18 a.m.; dismissed: 11 a.m.; JG with Alton Unit until 12 p.m.”
April 13, 1949: Filming took place on the “Interior Pullman Car” set as well as part of the U.S. Travel Montage.” The assistant director’s notes state: “JF First call: makeup, te first called; 7 a.m.; due on set: 9 a.m.; arrived on set: 8:59 a.m.a; lunch: 12:00 p.m.-1:oo p.m.; dismissed: 5:15 p.m.”
April 14, 1949: Filming on the “U.S. Travel and European Montage” sequenced, noted as “cuts” took place. Judy also had a rehearsal of a scene on the “Interior Ferry” set. The assistant director’s notes state: “JG – First Call: makeup, time first called: 8 a.m.; arrived through gates at 8:05 a.m.; due on set: 9 a.m.; arrived on set at 8:25 a.m.; ready at 8:50 a.m., 10 minutes early; lunch: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.; time dismissed: 2:30 p.m.”.
April 15, 1949: Judy worked with Roger Edens from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
April 18, 1949: Rehearsals of “I’m An Indian Too” with the Alton Unit. Judy had a call to be on the set at 2 p.m.; she arrived at 1:50 p.m. (10 minutes early); dismissed: 4:30 p.m.
April 19, 1949: More “I’m An Indian Too” rehearsals. Judy was again due on the set at 2 p.m.; she arrived at 2:35 p.m.; dismissed: 4:40 p.m.
April 20, 1949: Wardrobe and makeup tests on Stage 4. Judy was due in makeup at 10 a.m.; due on the set at 11 a.m.; she arrived at 11:30 a.m.; lunch: 12 p.m.-1 p.m.; dismissed: 5:20 p.m.
April 21, 1949: Rehearsals of “I’m An Indian Too.” time called: 2 p.m; Judy was due on the set at 2 p.m.; she arrived at 1:50 p.m.; dismissed: 3:20 p.m.
April 23, 1949: Filming of the “U.S. and European Montages.” The assistant director’s notes state: “JG – First call: makeup, time first called: 8 a.m.; arrived in makeup at 7:50 a.m., 10 minutes early; due on set: 9 a.m.; arrived on set: 9:42 a.m. at Lot #3; ready at 9:57 a.m.; lunch: 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.; dismissed: 4:35 p.m.
April 25, 1949: Recording session for “I’m An Indian, Too.” Judy arrived at 1:15 p.m. and finished the song in fifty-five minutes, dismissed at 2:10 p.m.
April 27, 1949: Filming began on the “I’m An Indian, Too” number, directed by dance director Robert Alton. Judy had a 9 a.m. call, due on set at 10:30 a.m.; she arrived on time; lunch: 12:45-1:45 p.m.; time dismissed: 5:30 p.m. Filming continued through May 2nd. Director Busby Berkeley was replaced by Charles Walters on May 5th. Judy was removed from the project on May 10th.
April 28, 1949: Filming of “I’m An Indian Too.” The assistant director’s notes state: “JG-Time first called: 7:30 a.m.; due on set: 9 a.m.; arrived on set: 9 a.m.; lunch: 12:19-1:16 p.m.; 3:18-3:25 p.m.: Wait for Miss Garland: had to leave stage.” Time dismissed: 4:10 p.m.
April 29, 1949: Filming of “I’m An Indian Too.” Judy was on time for an “on set” call at 11 a.m.; dismissed at 5:55 p.m.
April 30, 1949: Filming of “I’m An Indian Too.” Judy arrived on the set at 10:05 a.m. (only 5 minutes late). Lunch: 12:25-1:25 p.m.; dismissed: 5:45 p.m.
May 2, 1949: Filming of “I’m An Indian Too.” Judy was on the set and on time at 9 a.m.; lunch: 11:58 a.m.-12:58 p.m. The assistant director’s notes state: “2:01-2:18 – Wait for Miss Garland – went to her dressing room ill at 1:30 p.m.; doctor called and was to meet her there. Miss Garland on arrival at studio informed Asst. Director that she was indisposed and not feeling well, but that she would work until the number was completed and the dancing group would be finished after which time she would go home. Time dismissed: 2:40 p.m. – went home ill.”
May 3, 1949: Per Al Jennings, Judy was out sick. However, it’s also been noted that there was a serious blowup between Judy and Busby Berkeley on this day.
May 4, 1949: Filming of the “U.S. and European Montage – London, Italian, French Box (Interior Royal Box)” sequence. The assistant director’s notes state: “JG-First call: makeup, time first called: 7:30 a.m.; due on set: 9 a.m.; arrived on set: 9.a.m.; dismissed: 11:50 a.m.” Judy when home ill and her director did not show up. Judy felt so badly about not being able to work the full that that she called the production manager Walter Strohm at 2:15 p.m. and asked that she not be paid for the day.
May 7, 1949: Judy was not needed this day.
May 8, 1949: New rehearsals of “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly.” The assistant director’s notes state: “JG-Time first called: 2 p.m.; due on set: 2 p.m.; arrived on set: 2 p.m.; dismissed: 3:25 p.m.”
May 10, 1949: What turned out to be Judy’s last day of filming was to be devoted to more filming of the “I’m An Indian Too” number, but progressed as detailed in the memo from Al Jennings to Walter Strohm, dated May 10, 1949:
At 7:30AM today Miss Garland called me and said that she had overslept. She also complained that she wasn’t feeling well and had spent a very bad night, and didn’t know whether or not she would be able to come to the studio. After fifteen minutes of conversation with her she said that she was feeling better and would come in to the studio but that she might be a little late.
At 8:30AM Dorothy Pondell [sic], makeup woman for Miss Garland, called me and said that Miss Garland just spoke to her on the phone and said that she would be late for work at the studio but that she would be in.z
At 9:20AM Miss Garland called the stage and told me once again that she was coming in and would be in the studio by 10AM
At 9:30AM Mr. Alton had finished rehearsing the dancers in new routine for the shot to be made with Miss Garland, and we were now waiting for Miss Garland as there was nothing else to shoot. Had Miss Garland been on the set on time Mr. Alton could have rehearsed with her.
At 10:10AM Miss Garland checked thru the gate and went to her dressing room to be made up.
At 10:30AM Miss Garland called me and said that she would be right down on the set.
At 11:03AM it was decided to Line and lite a closeup of J. Carroll Naish who had an 11AM call. Meanwhile, Miss Garland arrived on the set made up but not wardrobed at 11:18A.M She complained of a severe migrain [sic] headache, and said she did not know whether or not she would be able to do the number. She further stated that she was certain that she would be unable to do the dialogue scene which was scheduled to be shot immediately after completion of the number.
Mr. Alton rehearsed dance with Miss Garland from 11:18AM to 11:55AM.
At 11:55AM Mr. Freed called and said to dismiss the company for lunch and that after lunch we should shoot the closeup of Mr. Naish. He also said that he would discuss the remainder of the day’s shooting after lunch.
At 1:13PM company finished shooting closeup of Mr. Naish.
From 1:13 to 1:22PM company set-up for original shot with Miss Garland.
At 1:20PM I called Miss Garland and she said she was leaving for the set immediately. As I hung up the phone Mr. Hendrickson arrived on the stage and asked for Miss Garland. Mr. Woehler took him to Miss Garland’s dressing room. A few minutes later Miss Pondell called me and said Miss Garland was very upset about something and was trying to locate Mr. Freed.
At 2:00PM, pursuant to your instruction, I again called Miss Garland and told her the company was waiting for her. Miss Garland said, “She had received a very nasty note from the front office and that she was not coming back to this picture now or ever again.”
At this time you and I left the stage and went to see Mr. Freed who instructed us to dismiss the company as there was nothing else that could be shot without Miss Garland.
Company was dismissed at 2:10PM.
[This was Judy’s last day on the film. Later on this afternoon MGM fired her from the production and put her on suspension].
Here are three videos featuring the “I’m An Indian, Too” footage, filmed on April 27, 1949, through May 2, 1949, with Robert Alton directing.
The first video shows the unedited raw footage for the song part of the sequence.
The second video shows the edited version, using a couple of alternate takes when compared to the DVD/Blu-ray releases that featured the song part of the sequence.
The third video features the complete sequence. This sequence is shortened considerably on the DVD/Blu-ray releases. In its complete format, Annie asks “Am I an Indian yet” twice before she’s finally accepted by the Chief. In the edited version, the cuts are out of order and we see Annie’s face without the face paint, then suddenly she has face paint. The full version shows her getting each “stripe” on her face. I have spliced in the bits from the edited version as the image quality is better and it gives us a chance to see how much is missing ad out of order.
As you can see, much of this footage is not as clear that the restored footage featured in That’s Entertainment! III and the DVD/Blu-ray of the completed film. Perhaps one day all of the restored footage will be released.
Judy Garland as Annie Oakley (replaced with Betty Hutton)
Howard Keel as Frank Butler
Frank Morgan as Buffalo Bill (replaced with Louis Calhern)
J. Carrol Naish as Chief Sitting Bull
Edward Arnold as Pawnee Bill
Keenan Wynn as Charlie Davenport
Geraldine Wall as Dolly Tate (replaced with Benay Venuta)
Clinton Sundberg as Foster Wilson
James H. Harrison as Mac
Peter Price as Little Jake Oakley (replaced with Bradley Mora)
Sharon McManus as Jessie Oakley (replaced with Susan Odin)
Carol Sue Sherwood as Nellie Oakley (replaced with Diana Dick)
Jeanette Williams as Minnie Oakley (replaced with Eleanor Brown)
Chief Yowlachie as Little Horse
Robert Malcolm as Conductor
Lee Tung Foo as Waiter
William Tannen as Barker
Anne O’Neal as Miss Willoughby
Evelyn Beresford as Queen Victoria
John Hamilton as Ship Captain
William Bill Hall as Tall Man
Edward Earle as Footman
Marjorie Wood as Constance
Elizabeth Flournoy as Helen
Mae Clarke as Mrs. Adams
Frank Wilcox as Mr. Clay
Andre Charlot as President Loubet of France
Nino Pipitone as King Victor Emmanuel of Italy
John Mylong as Kaiser Wilhelm II
Carl Sepulveda, Carol Henry, Fred Gilman as Cowboys
Producer: Arthur Freed
Associate Producer (uncredited): Roger Edens
Directors: Busby Berkeley, Charles Walters, George Sidney
Screen Play: Sidney Sheldon
(based on the play by Irving Berlin, Herbert Fields, and Dorothy Fields)
Musical Numbers Staged By Robert Alton
Musical Director: Adolph Deutsch
Songs: Irving Berlin
Women’s Costumes: Helen Rose and Walter Plunkett
Men’s Costumes: Walter Plunkett
Makeup: Jack Dawn
Hair Stylist: Sydney Guilaroff
Hair Stylist (uncredited): Martha Acker
Makeup (uncredited): Ben Lane
Art Directors: Cedric Gibbons and Paul Groesse
Set Decorators: Edwin B. Willis and Richard A. Pfefferle
Color Consultants: Henri Jaffa and James Gooch
Colonel Buffalo Bill
(Keenan Wynn, Geraldine Wall, Howard Keel & Company)
Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly
(Judy Garland, Peter Price, Sharon McManus, Carol Sue Sherwood, & Jeanette Williams)
The Girl That I Marry
You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun
There’s No Business Like Show Business
(Judy Garland, Howard Keel, Frank Morgan, Keenan Wynn, Bill Seclar & Mac McLain)
They Say It’s Wonderful
(Judy Garland & Howard Keel)
There’s No Business Like Show Business (reprise)
I’m An Indian, Too
(Judy Garland & Chorus)
Let’s Go West Again
(Judy Garland & Chorus)
The Girl That I Marry (reprise)
I’ve Got The Sun In The Morning
Anything You Can Do
(Judy Garland & Howard Keel)