Saturday, June 09, 2007

Friday Film-Night...Calamity Jane!

This week as our Friday Film-Night spectacular, Ally Blake brings you one of her all time favourites...


Please, please tell me you have all seen this film!!! If not, go out and rent it now.

Romance in the Wild West. Big musical numbers. Make-overs to rival anything Oprah has ever given us. Great costumes. Cross-dressing. Mistaken Identity. And not one great romance but two.


Doris Day is Calamity Jane, and she is a walking calamity. Hot tempered, rowdy, a fighter, a shooter, a tall story teller who wears leather pants and vests and never brushes her hair. But the way we know from day dot that our Calamity is 100% girl on the inside is that she is in luuurve with handsome Lt Gillmartin.


Funnily enough is not the lieutenant ;). Our hero is Wild Bill Hickcok as played by the gorgeous Howard Keel. Tall, dark, handsome, card shark, hot shot shooter. Calamity's best friend, harshest critic, and secret protector. He saves her from herself that many times at the beginning of the film we just adore him to bits.

The romance story begins when our hero believes himself to be in luuuurve with one Adelaide Adams, a stage singer from Chiacgo. Or Chicagee as the locals call it. In fact all the men are in love wihth her, having collected pictures of her from inside cigarette boxes. Even Calamity's lieutenant is taken with her. Trouble is a brewing!

To save face, Calamity goes to "the windy city" and brings Adelaide back to Deadwood. Of course being that she is Calamity Jane, she brings back the wrong girl.

The only way Calamity can save face is to turn Adelaide Adams lookalike Katie Brown into. She protects her, vouches for her and even moves in with her. And here begins a whole bunch of gorgeous wooing as the lieutenant and Wild Bill come a calling. Who loves who? Who'll end up with who? Who will Katie choose? Who will Calamity get as the leftovers?

Bring on the MAKEOVER. For the big dance. Can it get any more romantic and old Hollywood than making a plain girl beautiful and sending her to a big dance for the whole town to admire how gorgeous she really is? Problem is, at this stage she still thinks herself smitten with the lieutenant. While our poor, gorgeous Wild Bill has come to terms with the fact that he has always loved only her. Awwww....

Finally our Calamity sings one fo the most famous songs of Doris Day's career. "Secret Love". It's a lovely ballad that has since been taken over as a bit of a lesbian anthem. A little titbit there for ya!

Calamity gets her Wild Bill. Katie Brown gets her handsome lieutenant, and Deadwood is once again a happy gunslinging town.

Warm and fuzzy rating: An easy 9!

Ally’s next Harlequin Romance, BILLIONAIRE ON HER DOORSTEP, is out now in the UK and hits North American bookshelves any day now!!! It was also a Top Ten Mothers Day read on eHarlequin.

So head on out to your nearest bookstore and pick up a freshly minted, super-scented, fairy dust sprinkled hot off the presses copy today!

Check out an excerpt here...


  1. Ally, this is one of my dad's faves. I grew up with it, my kids have grown up with it on visits to my parents. You're right about the warm and fuzzy feeling.

    The storyline is predictable, the acting not very subtle but it's such fun!

    Just wish I looked that good in a pair of moleskin trousers.(G)Thanks for the trip down nostalgia alley.


  2. Ally, my mother adored this movie and as kids we must have heard the old 45 on the gramaphone hundreds of times. I can still recall the words to each and every song,,Oh, the Deadwood stage is a comin,.,etc.
    I did read the theory somewhere that every writer puts pen/pencil/crayon on paper with the sounds, scenes and words from a lifetime of storytelling informing every scratch. This was certainly one for me. And don't get me started on 'The Desert Song'and 'The Student Prince'.
    Many thanks for the blast from the past. Ray-Anne

  3. I can remember watching this film every time it was on the Sunday afternoon movies when I was a preteen/teenager. It is wonderful. Yes some parts are hookey but you do see the growth of the characters. Clam goes from a defensive woman with a crush to an adult woman in love with her man. It works.

  4. Oh the Deadwood Stage is a-headin' on over the hills
    Where the Injun arrows are thicker than porcupine quills
    Dangerous land, no time to delay
    So whip crack-away, whip crack-away, whip crack-away

    It's not that I don't love 'Once I had a Secret Love' but I love the rollicking lyrics of whip crack away and the tongue twistery way you take your lyrical life into your own hands when you sing it: Spooner-wise!!!

  5. My eldest dd and I love this film. We watched it recently when we found it on a Saturday morning and stayed in bed late eating toast and singing away. Wonderful!

  6. Fantastic Ally,

    I absolutely love this film. I bought it for my mum - along with Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - for Christmas and we watched them back to back on Christmas morning - what a hoot. Yeah, it's hokey, unsubtle, etc, etc, but that's the whole point and it has a sharp sense of humour about it's own hokeyness. Plus Howard Keel is flipping gorgeous. Ticks all the boxes for me - I'd give it a 10.


  7. I have seen this movie. They show it occasionally on the Encore Western channel.

  8. Yay! So glad I ticked so many boxes for ya! Or Howard Keel did at least ;).

    You know what I'm now going to put on in the background while I write today...

    Whip crack away is what I need to get this book finished alright ;).