Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament

DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #10 (From CALAMITY JANE)

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I've never seen this movie so the few clips that were provided peaked my interest. I think this is off skew from normal female representation. She's tomboy, costume is well worn even dusty, she's pretty but you can tell they left her hair a mess and she isn't completely cleaned up. The language is of course on purpose to make her sound hick and not lady like. 

I don't think I realized she was really a musical star. I know she sang and had a show, but the movies I've seen her in are more Rom/Com like Pillow Talk. This seemed like a stretch for her and she seems to have fun in the role. In other movies she seems "perfect" and there is not a lot new in the films to surprise you. 

I think her blondes and her body movement clues you in that she is feminine no matter how much she is acting to be a tomboy. Even the way she puts her hands on Howard's chest during the song and lands on the bar perfect line tells you she is a dancer. She doesn't come off "rough" enough. But then again it was a "fun" movie so how gritty did they want it to be.  

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1. This character of Calamity Jane played by Doris Day falls in the middle to end of the continuium. She is both tough and gentle which puts her into the I need a man to a I can do it myself. This is where the starlet starts to get more meaty roles.

2. In her many roles Dorris Day becomes more independent, much like Kathran Hepburn, and rufuses to stagnate as just another pretty face. Her ability as an actress to sing and act just grows leaps and bounds in the 1950s. Her roles are much more female showcase as opposed to focous on the male actor.

3. Her sunny personality adds to her role as Calamity Jane. My reasons for this are as follows: She gives the character a more human feel. You feel like you are Clamity Jane and can feel her feelings. A role like this did not call for a "sex Symbol type like Marilyn Monroe but someone who was pretty yet had a more abtainable persona. She also plays her part so well you can feel the push for equality in her role for a woman. Doris Day's wonderful personality was what this part needed.

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1.     As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why?

Out of necessity during WWII, women needed to enter the workforce to fill the roles vacated by men who were serving.  However, when men returned after the war, women returned to their more traditional roles within the home.  As noted on the Khan Academy website, “The norms of consumer culture and domesticity were disseminated via new and popular forms of entertainment – not just the television, which became a fixture in middle-class American households during the 1950s, but also women’s magazines, popular psychology, and cinema. Shows promoting the values of domesticity, like Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best, became especially popular. These shows portrayed the primary roles of women as wives and mothers. Lucille Ball, in I Love Lucy, inevitably met with disaster whenever she pursued job opportunities or interests that took her outside of the household. On the other hand, the fact that every episode revolved around Lucy’s attempts to pursue outside interests indicated her discontent with remaining at home.  It seems that some women did not want to relinquish their place in the workforce and return to the role of homemaker, choosing to exhibit their strength, equality, and independence, as was reflected in shows such as I Love Lucy.  And it seems that this is where Day’s portrayal of Calamity Jane tends to fall within this continuum.  In the opening clip, Day is very sure of herself as she rides on top of the coach, protecting the cargo and passengers from danger, even singing about the dangers along the road, “Where the injuns’ arrows are thicker than porcupine quills.”  As a further sign of her confidence and strength, at one point she stands on the moving coach as she continues to sing.  Later, when she is inside the saloon, trying to order her “sasparilly,” she fires her gun to get the men’s attention, moving them out of the way so she can move to the front of the line.  Of course, the scene ends with her showing a bit of “feminine weakness” as she slips and falls while the male patrons laugh at her.  Despite this, Day, as Calamity Jane, shows that she can stand up to men, as we see in the song “I Can Do Without You” (which I think plays better than “Anything You Can Do” in Annie Get Your Gun).  Day does show a more delicate, feminine side as she sings about the secret love within her heart.  Yet even then, she is not the more stereotypical submissive female of the 1950s.  As Dr. Ament notes, “She does not retreat into demure femininity.

She throws a flower down, rather than keep and treasure it, rides her horse with security in her pants, with legs spread and not embarrassed, her clothes are manly, just more elegant, and her hat is a man’s hat,” showing femininity, grace, beauty, and strength equally.

 

2.     How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical?

Unfortunately, as of this posting, I have not seen enough Doris Day films, aside from Hitchcock’s remake of his own film The Man Who Knew Too Much—where Day plays a very strong female character.  Therefore, I cannot formulate a through response at this time.

3.     Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer.

As Dr. Ament also stated in her curator’s note for these clips, “Day’s boyish, yet not ungainly movements (she was a trained dancer), her whimsy, and her wonderful singing voice, in addition to her beautiful smile and her buoyant demeanor add to her likeability, even though she tries to be gruff. All in all, she is a winning combination of appealing and smart. Quite the actress, Day inhabits the character as someone who has found her true home, and is comfortable in her skin, although it is clear she is not truly sure how to be an equal with men and they do not try to make it easy for her.  Unlike the real Calamity Jane, who had more of a “rugged” beauty, Doris Day more closely matches the typical societal definition of beauty.  I think Day does a masterful job of portraying Jane with her bright and sunny persona.  As I stated in response number one, Day shows a perfect mix of strength and femininity, bringing the character fully to life.  She is brave enough to guard a stage coach and stand up to Bill Hickok in at least one number, and at the same time, she lets her guard down a bit and exposes her heart as she soliloquizes about the love within her heart.  Overall, a perfect blending of all aspects of the character she is portraying.

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  1. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why?  I think they are becoming more powerful but still looking for that prince so I think they fall in the middle of the continuum.  The reason I think so that she will live fine without her man but once she falls in love whe willing to give up everything up for him.  I don't see where he gives up anything for her.
  2. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical?  She rounds the spectrum of an actress.  She is wonderful in musical comedy like this one.  As well as an dramatic actress like Midnight Lace and Love Him or Leave him.  She is able to hold a film without a known male leading actor.
  3. Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer.  It does detract.   Calamity Jane was a tomboyish figure.  I don't see her singing and dancing.  Doris Day is the all American Girl.  She is beautiful and one of few movies I always record when I see a movie with her in it.  Calamity Jane wore men's clothes and was very masculine looking.

 

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Calamity Jane is one of those 1950's movies that takes women down the path that only men used to trod: playing a role that matures, and finds the proper place in life during the the movie, all while competing directly with men. We see Betty Hutton take that path in "The Greatest Show on Earth," and 'Annie Get Your Gun.'  Women competing directly with men (literally for the spotlight), while searching for their own path. We see Jane Russell do the same in 'The French Line': trying to find her place (always at a man's side, but nonetheless, looking for the right man who will really love her in spite of her money, and doing it independently) during the film (oh, and while wearing lovely clothes).

With Calamity Jane, similar to Annie Get Your Gun, we have actual historical characters as the basis; the studios have taken a great deal of historical license (not sure if there's much left of actual history in the story we see, particularly with Calamity Jane), but the theme of independence remains. We've come a long way from the girls who are forced to work only because they must contribute to the coffers of the beloved family during the depression.

With this particular movie, Doris Day moves from playing a daughter (Tea for Two), an assistant (The West Point Story) or a niece who isn't allowed to say 'yes' (On Moonlight Bay) to an independent woman, competing directly with men, with ideas of her own.  She's only two movies away from Love Me or Leave Me, the biography of Ruth Etting (again, with some license, but still a dark story), and more dramatic roles.

With her sunny personality, Doris is excellent as Calamity Jane - the songs are perfect for her - and she's one of the few actresses who can "guffaw" with some authenticity. Her earliest musical (Romance on the High Seas), I think, suffers from her endless cheer, but she does better as time goes by.  I could see Shirley Jones or Nanette Fabray in the part - but neither star had the stature at the time to carry the role, and Doris Day is very effective. 

 

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19 hours ago, Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament said:
  • As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why?
  • How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical?
  • Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer.

1. I saw the Calamity Jane as someone who had the potential to be traditionally feminine and has the potential  to be molded into a more "girly girl".. Her character at first (in the first clip) presents herself as a spunky tomboy type which seems to be excused considering where she was raised and where they live. She is fun and likable and contributes to the community which were positive female traits even though she dressed masculine. She has a bright personality and is a good looking woman despite what she wears. Looks and an affable personality may fit her in the middle because of the way she dresses don't put her into the entirely feminine side of the spectrum.

2. I've only seen Doris Day in this movie so I am unfamiliar with her career trajectory before and after Calamity Jane

3. Her sunny personality and persona definitely adds to her Calamity Jane character. Calamity is likable and charming and Doris Day was known for having that persona. Another actress behaving and dressing the way Doris did in the movie might not have gone over so well if she were not talented at singing as well as spunky and charming. Those personality traits also belong to her character in this movie. But again, I am only familiar with Doris Day in this movie and what I have read/heard about her persona. 

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      However you define the continuum of female representation in the 1950's, Doris Day in "Calamity Jane" (1953) would be at the extreme, rather than in the middle. If the continuum runs from very feminine to more masculine, she would be on the "masculine" end; if it runs from more feminine to less feminine, she would be on the "less feminine" end.  She clearly goes against the general trend of the postwar era to present women in a more feminine and traditional way. There was a conscious effort to return to the prewar social dynamic that had been disrupted by World War 2. In this role, she clearly bucks that trend. Calamity is strong, brash, and self sufficient. In spite of her iconoclastic take on 1950's femininity, she is not an outcast on the fringes of Deadwood society. The first clip shows her riding shotgun on the stage that brings passengers and goods to town. She is greeted warmly as she displays the goods to the gathered crowd. Then she enters the bar and greets the people she knows. While the curator's notes claim she is not taken seriously by her male companions, I disagree.  I think she is accepted as "one of the guys," on the stage, in the town, and in the barroom. Her interactions with the men were not condescending and could be explained by circumstance. She takes the chair that Wild Bill Hickok was sitting in. He drags her away from the gambling table in that chair, so that he could reclaim his spot at the table. It was not out of paternalistic concern that gambling would corrupt her. When the drinks are "on the house," she isn't pushed away from the bar by all the men - she is late to turn to the bar, and the crowd has already formed. And when she slips on the bar rail, everybody laughs because she is one of the guys. 

      She grows as an actress in the 1950's with roles that stretch her range and pull her out of her comfort zone. Her early roles were effective but didn't give her much range. The course of her career before movies is informative. She started out to be a dancer but a serious injury quashed that dream. She became a well-known singer in the Big Band era, charting several hits with The Les Brown Band (most notably "Sentimental Journey" in 1944). Her early movies were primarily set up as venues for exploiting her popularity (she was also a regular on Bob Hope's radio show), showcasing her singing and her beauty. In spite of these limitations, her bubbly personality and sense of humor shined through. Later roles drew more out of her, and by the mid-fifties she was getting dramatic roles. While she was effective in these roles, they did not highlight her strengths. By the late 1950's and into the 1960's, she returned to the light comedies that were her strength and had some of her most iconic roles.

      I feel her bright & sunny persona made her role of Calamity Jane more effective. It softened the edges of what could have been a harsh characterization. Had she been more stridently iconoclastic and militantly "feminist," her character would have been viewed much less sympathetically. Though she was at the extreme of the representational continuum of the 1950's, her sunny disposition engaged the audience and made them care about her. 

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Daily Dose #10 "Calamity Jane" 1953 

This female lead part was considered 'juicy' for any female who could get it I have read...singing...dancing...acting...showing off their talent & it's a wonder this money maker was ever made but yes it would make money & that is why the people involved tried several actor/actresses ...they wanted the money!!!

Barbaby Stanwick made "Annie Get Your Gun" & then the idea for this one came along & they jumped on it

Going through several actresses b/c of crazy substance abusing directors (Busby)...it is not acceptable to yell at anyone much less actors...some directors are monsters & should be fired & never re-hired...then & now...glad he was replaced

Judy Garland was probably unable to work every day & needed a day to re-cover...as in working every other day...guess that was not available then & not now either...looks like they could have done other scenes/ parts & let her rest in-between if they had really wanted her...but that's not how it was done then

Betty Garrett was considered for this movie also (Wiki)...she could have done this too after proving her ability in "On the Town" & other ones we have watched in this series

Betty Hutton stepped in...i don't know much about this actress but she did her job well & the movie had a new director by this time 

Marlyn Monroe was considered for these types of films(Wiki) she did more than act dumb & be pretty...a few of her movies were different for example: "Asphalt Jungle" '50..."Don't Bother to Knock" '52..."Niagara" '53 & The Misfits" '61...she really wanted a career in show business as illustrated by how much cosmetic  surgeries she is said to have undergone when this type of surgery was dangerous & not common as breathing as it is these days...she fell though

Doris Day did a few odd movies too:  Hitchcock's "Man Who Knew Too Much" '56 where she sang her iconic song" "Que Sera Sera"...she could act...sing...dance...her film/s: "Midnight Lace" & "Julie" even had her flying & landing a plane!!! 

I think "Calamity Jane" would not have worked w/ Marilyn Monroe in it b/c of her more sultry look...just my opinion

Doris Day handled this part well in her buckskin attire...yes she is in a mans world...dressed as a male...riding horses in trousers...in the clip chosen for this DD Day has a hat/cap that resembles a soldiers cap but it does not have the crossed rifles on the top it has a third thing there..can't see it well on the clip...

I like her acrobatics on the coach (is it Day in all those)? not sure...she is great in this scene & after they arrive in town  at the Golden Garter theater & hotel... Miller Prop. drinking & gambling saloon... she continues w/ delightful routine hocking her wares...hats & potions...then inside for more singing & dancing & acting & she can certainly handle it

The other clip where she cuddles the daffodil then tosses it away is cute where she rides the horse again wearing trousers & has her leg over the saddle horn...we ALL know this is not the proper way to ride & is dangerous if the horse bolts...I wonder they let her do this...any horse might spook at a shadow anytime...just another of my personal comments though it was cute

 

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1. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why?

Day's portrayal of Martha Jane Canary (Cannary) is mostly Hollywood fiction. Jane was a scout who did enjoy dressing in men's clothes and she did indeed have a friendship and possible romance with Bill Hickok bearing several children by him though that fact is yet to be definitively proven. But that is where reality and the film comparisons end. In truth, much of her past as now known is thought to be 20% truth and 80% tall tale even in the way she gained her infamous moniker,  "Calamity Jane."

Those responsible for Day's depiction (writer James O'Hanlon director, David Butler, etc.) and Day herself presented the positive and overly sunny side of Calamity Jane's life leaving out her darker influences and lifestyle.That said, in regards to female representation I believe Jane was a perfect character to showcase 1950s Hollywoods fascination with the duality of women at that time. It also allowed them to set forth the underlying theme of their preference of glamorous, more overtly feminine women above those who buck this traditional role of womanhood. 

Here is Jane, rough, tough and tomboyish. Trying to be a man in a man's world and succeeding though not with the opposite sex. Day portrays a women at one extreme but one that gradually shifts toward not the other extreme of say a Marilyn Monroe but a comfortable role with more traits deemed desirable by men and 50s society. Despite this she deftly manages the shift without selling herself out as she maintains her individuality and independent spirit.

I think this echoes the role women found themselves to be in during this ever shifting decade. Millions of women had stepped out of their homes from necessity in the 40s. Our government and Hollywood had encouraged them to do so in support of the war effort. But now it seemed many in Hollywood and the government wanted the, "little lady" to return to the kitchen but it was impossible. Women had tasted true independence and success in their expanded roles, there was no going back to the boredom and dull existence of home and hearth. Many woman had careers and others struck out for college so that they too, despite lingering prejudice could join the ranks of professionals and leaders of business.

So Hollywood was caught betwixt and between. Now recall, the bottom line for them is always to balance profits with the expectations of their audience. In this film they could comfortably present the independent woman, albeit not very flateringly but still there she was. They could also cater to the more traditional trends and preferences of feminine womanhood preferred by many men and even women. It was the best of both worlds. 

The message was, sure women can act like men but it was better for them to temper that leaning and present a more dependent and adoringly attractive face. Those women could advance in a man's world if they would only hide their bright light of intelligence and independence under a basket, one formed of a pretty and obliging image.


2. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical?

I adore Doris Day. She is the quintessential triple threat, actor, singer extrodinairre and accomplished dancer. But her musicals prior to Calamity Jane present her as the girl next door, the ingenue, the inexperienced and sweet deb. She wears beautiful clothes and sings lovely melodies but her songs are as innocent and innocuous as her characters. 

After the great success of this musical she grows more comfortable in her celebrity. Her songs become more emotive and better portray her though her image is still sanitized as a wife and mother.

My favorite role of her's is when she stars in the biopic of jazz singer, Ruth Etting alongside James Cagney in, Love Me or Leave Me (1955 MGM). It's only two years after Calamity Jane but showcases a determined and confident actress comfortable with the demands of a role not filled with sugar and spice. It's a rich, gritty and nuanced role for Day allowing her a dramatic part yet still one where she is able to showcase her fantastic singing. I believe this movie is the high point of Day's career.

3. Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer.

I think it adds to the role. The audience needs to care about the character, to be invested in her or why bother caring what becomes of her. To portray Jane differently, as sullen or gloomy would present a steep hill to climb to bring the audience to the point of likability. Day's sunny, buoyant disposition helps us genuinely like her and connect with her. 

As a young girl I too was a tomboy and I recall loving this movie as a kid (I actually still do.) It validated who I was and helped me believe I could be true to myself just like Day. That though I might change as the years passed but that I could hold on to my individuality and still be happy too was important. It taught me that not all characterizations despite their initial intents were necessarily positive or negative to each audience member. Your junk could also be my treasure and vice versa.

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I loved the lecture video about "Showboat," but don't understand its connection to today's topic about the changing of female representation in the 50s. Perhaps it was just an aside, rather than having a lecture video on the current topic?

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After having such strong female leads in the 40’s, this starts our with a strong female lead just like women had to be when the west was young.  As the story goes on, the character softens because she falls in love.  This changes her to conform to the male ideal of a woman just like the women had to leave the workplace after the war when the men came back to their jobs.

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1. After reflecting on female representation in the 1950's, I think this film character falls in the middle of the continuum. Women's roles in films at the time were challenging stereotypes just as in the culture of the day. Calamity Jane is a Tomboy who rides, shoots, and acts like a man; but the men in the film don't take her seriously. She tries her best to stay the course anyway. She's feisty and determined. It's not until she becomes softer and more feminine that she finds love and is more respected. The fact that she starts out as a Tomboy, changes, and yet doesn't go all the way to the other extreme, puts this character in the middle of the continuum for me.

2. For me, it's clear that this was Doris Day's favorite role. She's truly enjoying herself every minute in this film. Before this role, I think she's trying to find her niche. After this musical, she seems more confident and radiant. She's found her place. Her smile is amazing and infectious and I believe she brings this energy and joy to all of her other roles going forward.

3. Doris Day's bright and sunny persona adds to the role of Calamity Jane in my opinion. Doris makes her endearing and relatable. She's also likable and you can't help cheering for her. 

 

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DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #10 (FROM CALAMITY JANE):

"Because these daft and dewey-eyed dopes keep building up impossible hopes, impossible things are happening every day."  (Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella)

There are two types of women in 50s musicals: (1) strong women who are depicted as men’s equals and (2) doting submissive women who are depicted as men’s superiors.  Doris Day is both in turns which is also typical of the time.

Doris Day is on top of her game here.  She also gave a strong performance in The Man Who Knew Too Much a few years later.  However, the song in that movie, “Que Sera Sera” and those Rock Hudson movies hurt her street cred and led to her being dubbed, “The World’s Oldest Virgin.”  This surely hurt her career in the anti-establishment 60s and 70s.  I’ve heard Roger Ebert call Doris Day “very underrated.”  I’ll take him at his word but unfortunately Hollywood had this thing about image.

Doris Day seemed to have jumped right out of a Disney cel but while Disney was working to make animation look more realistic, 50s musicals were working on making reality more Disney-like.  That said, I’m looking forward to watching this.

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1 hour ago, CynthiaV said:

"The message was, sure women can act like men but it was better for them to temper that leaning and present a more dependent and adoringly attractive face. Those women could advance in a man's world if they would only hide their bright light of intelligence and independence under a basket, one formed of a pretty and obliging image."

 

Thank you, CynthiaV, for pointing out the real message of this and AGYG and the studio system mentality (reflecting the country).

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1. I think Calamity Jane is the opposite than what we're used to. Jane is a tomboy and just wants to hang out with the guys. She enjoys riding, shooting, and hanging out at the bar with the other guys. 

2. It's kinda hard to say, during the 50s I feel Day played the same type of roles during her Warner Brothers days. She played the girl next door types with a heart of gold. She finally got to showcase her acting skills in Love Me or Leave Me with James Cagney. In that film she plays ambitious singer Ruth Etting who is in a rocky marriage with a gangster. It wasn't until the late 50s and early 60s she really got to showcase her comedy skills. I deftinely think Calamity Jane is one of Day's better earlier films.

3. I think it adds to the performance. I think Secret Love showcases that, its about finding love you never knew you had in you, kinda like being alive for the first time. Her persona makes it all the more believable. Jane has a new outlook on life and has found a new level of happiness. 

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All I can say is that Doris is wonderful, in Calamity Jane especially but in almost everything I've ever seen her in (and I haven't missed many).

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  • As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why?

Calamity Jane is no shy, feminine creature. In fact, there is little about her that identifies her as a female of her day. Her dress, speech, and manners all appear more masculine (there is even a scene in which she is mistaken for a man). As the movie progresses, she begins to realize that most men like a bit of femininity in their women and begins to learn to dress, walk, and talk like a lady. 

  • How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical?

From what I recall, her earlier roles were very much "girl-next-door," complete with bubbly personality and sparkling sense of humor. She progressed into roles with a little more variety and both toe-tapping tunes and heart-tugging ballads (like Secret Love)She also branched out into nonmusical films, although one of my favorites still had her singing in it: 1956's The Man Who Knew Too Much, with Jimmy Stewart, in which she sang Que Sera Sera.

  • Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer.

I'm not sure I would say it added to the role, but neither would I say it detracted. I think it would probably make it easier to play an outgoing, take-charge sort of character as Calamity Jane. While I'd never describe Calamity as bright and sunny, she did have a lively and vivid personality, tamed only by her desire to be more appealing to men.


 

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This movie doesn't fit with the whole conformist theme of the 50's. She stands out, acts like a tomboy instead of a coquettish female and when she tries to act like "a lady" it doesn't work for her. The only thing she does that is conforming is to fall in love and sing a sweet, love song.

Doris Day had a good variety of acting jobs in the late 40's and 50's. It's not a musical but I especially liked her in Midnight Lace--such an unexpected role for her to play. But when the 60's rolled around, she was put in the cute romantic comedy mold. I can see why Calamity Jane was her favorite movie, it gave her a real challenge and I suspect it's always harder playing a real-life character.

I don't feel her sunny personality detracted too much from this character. I like seeing actresses try roles that give them a challenge. She has that rough around the edges tomboy personality. The way she pushes Bill around takes being pushed around by him and the way she jumped up on the bar and how she sits like a man is believable but I would have liked her to go even deeper, play that part even edgier but I guess that isn't what the 50's were about. The way she portrayed Jane was probably seen as being very edgy during that time period.

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1.     As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why?  This character falls in the category of “historical figures who were cleaned up and romanticized for movie-going audiences” by Hollywood.  Dr. Ament's descriptions of Calamity Jane seem to align with this Hollywood version.  By most accounts, Calamity Jane was a hard-drinking, hard-living, rough-and-tumble, fairly masculine woman of the West.  While I do like Doris Day in this movie, I don’t think she resembles the historical figure at all.  Perhaps that was the point.  To reach the idyllic definition of the 1950s female (and of course to win her man) she had to become feminine and demure.  

2.     How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical?  Miss Day had done a couple of dramatic roles (“Young Man with a Horn” comes to mind) prior to making this movie, but most of her other movies before 1953 were what I consider “fluffy” musicals.  After 1953, she did more dramatic roles like “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, “Love Me of Leave Me” and “Midnight Lace” which made me wonder if she felt she had to prove her dramatic skills.  I’ve always thought she was a wonderful dramatic actress who also possessed a distinct flair for comedy.  She is enormously gifted who could do it all. 

3.     Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer.  See my answer to question #1.  Doris Day gives it her best shot, but she comes off as a caricature of the historical figure.  Her vast gifts as an actress and singer make her eminently fun to watch, but I never could buy her performance as Calamity Jane.

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I wonder how many these days know who Adelina Patti was, referenced in the Calamity Jane song (about the hat box)?  Not many, I'm sure!

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22 hours ago, Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament said:

As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why?

First of all, the way they portray the women in these movies was so sexesit. Marilyn Monroe was a talented woman, who was only showcased for her looks. The whole blonde vs. brunette thing is why we still have stereotypes today. So when they created Calamity Jane and Annie Get Your Gun they showed her dirty, uneducated, and only that she wanted to be accepted by men. That's infuriating that she has to change her looks and personality (sweeter, dainter) to be liked and to show that shes in love. 

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Doris Day's character of Calamity Jane is the complete opposite of how women were viewed in that era. Her character was all rough and tough and full on tomboy throughout the majority of the movie. Day's "masculinity" is seen in what she wears to how she speaks. Women were starting to show more femininity in films from showing more skin to more skin tight clothing to even more promiscuous musical numbers.

I think this movie really showcases her acting diversity. Which would be able to open more doors for in future rolls; not just the ditzy, cute love interest but the empowered, motivated woman.

I think it actually helps her character of Calamity. If she didn't have a likable, contagious personality I don't think moviegoers would be as excited to she her play this tomboy role.

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1. I think Calamity Jane challenges gender norms to a certain extent by dressing in shirts and pants and trying to be one of the guys, but she is primarily portrayed as being very delicate and feminine.  In the first scene, Calamity Jane is dragged from a gambling table and is kept from drinking at the bar.  The second scene shows Calamity Jane singing a love song.  Even though she is dressed as a tomboy, she is shown holding a flower and swooning while singing the song.

2. I think Doris Day developed immensely as an actress, especially after this musical.  Doris Day went on to make movies such as The Man Who Knew Too Much and Midnight Lace, both of which are film classics and major starring roles for Doris Day.  The Man Who Knew Too Much is also credited with giving Doris Day one of her most popular songs, Que Sera, Sera.

3. I think Doris Day's persona adds to the movie by making it more cheerful and optimistic.  Since the movie was made as a post World War II film, it helped for the movie to be more upbeat as a way to boost the spirits of moviegoers.

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1) Doris Day is showcasing a totally new type of female in"Calamity Jane". She plays a rough and tough aggressive "gal" who can hang out  with the guys at the bar. The last clip shows a more subdued romantic side. During the 1950's in Hollywood there were several images in the continuum. There were the voluptuous types like Marilyn Monroe, early Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and the waif girl like Audrey Hepburn and Leslie Caron. The All American like Grace Kelly or sultry like Ava Gardner and Dorothy Dandridge. Each look lend itself to certain feminine characteristics.

2) Doris Day took on interesting roles starting in 1949 in "My Dream Is Yours" a musical with some drama but well done. "Love Me or Leave Me" a profound dramatic performance in my opinion. She followed with "The Man Who Knew Too Much" where her performance bordered on a little too hysterical but yet effective for Hitchcock. During the 60's she entertained us comically with her Rock Hudson, James Garner, Cary Grant movies. I would say it's a very well rounded career.

3)Without a doubt, Doris day's effervescent personality added an interesting dimension to the Calamity Jane character. She personifies a brave woman trying hard to show her courage, physical strength and bravado to fit in with the males in her community during THAT time. She is essentially a non-conformist willing to go beyond the restricted female role. Doris does it with such pathos and honesty. her body language is on point. She is believable.That's what counts!!!

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Does Doris Day’s bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer.

Doris Day's bright and sunny persona is perfect for the role of Calamity Jane. Bright and sunny = enthusiastic, all-in, confident, all of which are adjectives that describe Calamity Jane. A more demure persona or a darker persona or a more introverted persona would have been at odds with Calamity Jane, but this role required the enthusiasm and vivacity that Doris Day exuded as a person.

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