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DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #10 (From CALAMITY JANE)

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1. Calamity Jane is portrayed as an outsider initially but as usual, has a makeover to make her more palatable to the men in the movie and the moviegoers of the era. She does maintain some of her original identity but it has been watered down. 

2. I have seen a lot of Doris Day films. I have enjoyed her range from "The Man who knew to much" and the Hudson and Day comedies as well as her grittier roles earlier in her career. 

3.In 1950's musical, her personality is totally appropriate. Her tomboy nature is not too threatening. An actress with a darker interpretation of the role would fit the music and honestly wouldn't have been cast in the role. Not sure if there were any actresses at the time that would have fit that bill anyway.

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1. I love Doris Day in this film. She’s a tomboy who wants to be on equal footing with the men, but she’s good-natured enough to shrug off their not taking her so seriuosly. Her scrubbed, cheerful appearance makes her character appealing.

2. The nuances of Day’s performance here are just a hint of what she dishes out in Love Me or Leave Me and The Man Who Knew Too Much or her comedic genius later on in Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back and more. She can and does do it all.

3. Her sunny persona definitely adds to the character and the musical. She’s likeable, loveable, and it’s easy to understand her actions and motivations. The audience will root for her!

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Doris Day has such incredible roles.  Calamity Jane is more of the I really don't need a man type of role which is different than other female roles during the 50s.  Most female roles were innocent/virginal or dumb blonde types. In a way Calamity Jane is tomboy not aware of how beautiful she is. 

Looking at Doris Day's career, it seems she has done it all.  From the innocent girl in "By The Light of Silver Moon" to playing James Cagney's girlfriend in "Love Me or Leave Me" to Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" and all of her movies during the 60s.  She is just a great actress.

Doris Day just brightens everyone's day.  Calamity Jane probably was not a sunny person, but this is a movie, it is fantasy and I love Doris Day in it.  She adds her own character twist to the role.

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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?

Jane is something of an outsider. She's not your typical girly-girl. She's more of a tomboy. She is more aggressive, and assertive, very different from the 1950s ideal of femininity. Halfway through the film, however, this changes, as she adopts more feminine attire and mannerisms as she attempts to conform.

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, no matter what her role may be. She always seemed more sure of herself in her successive films. She had a very wide range, from musicals, to comedies, to dramas. A truly talented actress.

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 most definitely adds to the character. Day's Calamity Jane is vibrant and exciting. She exhibits a genuine vitality, and Day seems to to truly inhabit the role. 

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1. I think the role allows her to be a strong, independent woman but she still changes herself some in order to gain acceptance from the man she loves. It's like they wanted to give women another look, as a tomboy/rebel, but they can't completely be accepted until they become more traditionally womanlike.

2. I like her in this movie. I feel like in some of her other movies, she is a cookie cutter version of the typical woman. Almost too pure, perfect. I haven't seen her dramatic roles so maybe those are different.

3. I think it might have detracted, but only a little bit. Obviously, the real Calamity Jane didn't act so feminine. Some of her actions seem exaggerated.

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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 love Calamity Jane's character.  She is a tomboy who can handle anything and tackle things that even the other male characters would not (like getting the Lieutenant away from the Indians).  The fact that they made her SUCH a tomboy is interesting, but typical of the time period.  It would not have been the same movie if Calamity was a strong, capable female who also dressed like a "lady."  That would be more like "Dynasty," which this was not. I loved the struggle Calamity had coming to terms with her femininity.  Ultimately, her true self wins out, and she still wears pants, but is cleaned up.  Her blouse has more of a feminine touch, but with a tie (more masculine).  Her face is also softer.   
  2. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical?  I think this role, in particular, let us see her versatility.  She went from playing the typical female, musical role (like in "Tea for Two") to Calamity to Ruth Etting opposite Cagney in "Love Me or Leave Me," which is definitely more dramatic and darker.  Then, we see her evolve to the successful, single, and smart decorator who is paired with Rock Hudson in "Pillow Talk."  She grew, both professionally and in the characters she portrayed, to be the well-rounded female who is both successful AND attractive.  We, and she, could be both. 
  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 Doris Day was the perfect choice for this role.  She is so sunny and nice, and this comes out even when acting in this movie.  I think this has a positive affect on the character Calamity Jane.  Jane is so tomboyish and strong, but Day's sunniness tempers that a bit.  Without it, Jane may have been too gritty, and perhaps not as likeable.  You just route for Calamity and empathize with her throughout the film.

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Calamity Jane definitely reflects on the female representation of the 50's.  During the war, women had to assume a lot of the man's role in society with most leaving the home to work out in industry for the first time, and dealing with all of their home-life problems alone while the men were off at war.  The war ended, bringing all the men home to resume their roles leaving the women sort of in limbo of exactly what their role was.  They had become independent and didn't necessarily just want to go back into the home to simply cook and clean.  Calamity Jane also had inner turmoil about her role in life...was independent and worked and acted as a man and then...BAM...she's in love and must find her inner woman and bring her to the outside so the world and her love would see her as a woman.

Doris Day in this movie showed her range.  From wild western woman to soft, tender loving woman.  Her movies before and after showed the same skill.  She was excellent in a dramatic role, in a romantic role, and in comedies.  She is one of my very favorites.

Doris' sunny outlook on life fit Calamity Jane and truly brought the role to life on the big screen.

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  1. I think it falls in the mid-range.  The character is not completely masculine,  but at the same time, a long way from being feminine as well.  Calamity Jane is very independent and tough, yet at the same time isn't 100% accepted as "one of the guys" because she still is smaller in comparison with the other guys and has the soft features of a woman. 
  2. One example would be before this musical, Day wouldn't belt out when she sang, but in this musical she incorporated belting out her voice during some of the musical numbers.  
  3.  I think her bright and sunny persona adds to the role of Calamity Jane.  If we had a dark and brooding Calamity Jane, I think it would make her a less likable character.  Also, her being bright and sunny makes it more believable in her transition from a "scruffy" person to a more elegant person, like a "diamond in the rough."

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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?

Most female characters in the 1950s perpetuated the view that women were soft and feminine and good housewives and mothers. Calamity Jane, while showing a softer side of herself (and only to herself, not to anybody else) in the second clip, stands out because she obviously is not comfortable portraying the soft and feminine woman. I haven’t seen the entire film, but it seems that this character stands apart from the continuum but also follows it at times.

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

The only other Doris Day film I’ve seen is Pillow Talk, which she made in 1959 with Rock Hudson. I can’t really speak to her other films, but I’ve always enjoyed Pillow Talk and in it she kind of plays the role of the modern working girl that would become popular in the 1960s.

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 don’t think that her personality adds or detracts from this role, because this iteration of Calamity Jane IS Doris Day. I’m sure the real Calamity Jane was quite a different person than the one portrayed onscreen by Ms. Day, but such is the magic of the movies. Day has the reputation for being bright and sunny, so that part of her personality will come through in almost any role that she did. 

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I think films like this are important because they teach women how to be Women. Developmental psychology will attest that girls and boys as children are often treated similarly and many girls very naturally fall into what we would call a "tomboy" -- playing rough and tumble, performing equally in school and sports, etc. But those all-important gender roles kick in as they reach adolescence (Reviving Ophelia) and a few role models are essential. What works on a personal level is even more important on a cultural level -- how to get 'em back down on the farm after they've seen Paree, or, how to ask them to return to domestic roles after some liberation in WWII. Day's character struggles with this -- she does want to be one of the boys, even if they don't want her -- she wants a job and responsibility, room to carry out her good ideas. But everything she does is wrong -- it's a "calamity." So all those edges have to be softened, and the tool is Love. Although the Bill Hickok is a strong admirable figure in many ways, he also has his flaws. Part of the plot is to soften him up, too. But I think more important is for the woman to learn that she needs to be the one to work at the relationship. She loves him before he loves her; she needs to accept his flaws while at the same time adapting to her. The solution is happy marriage, but even the joke about her keeping her gun gives out the message that she will need to be vigilant about the marriage, and it's probably a given that he will stray after showgirls and it's up to her to keep the marriage in order and forgive him when he strays. The movie is attractive and Calamity is charismatic, so we learn that women can keep their personalities and talents, as long as their square edges are smoothed into the round holes of normative expectations.

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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?  

Seems she is leaps ahead of where many characters were at that time - because she is not one-dimensional as in not JUST the "man-chaser" or "dumb-blonde" or sweet and sanguine girl-next-door.  When I first watched this film a few years ago (not in my earlier life so many others), I wondered if there was a lesbian subtext that was being buried.  Evidently, it was not(?)  

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

I have to really go back and figure out what was before this but this certainly her roles with Rock Hudson and James Garner had her as a fairly one-dimensional character - the sort of nitwit wife or single woman who got what she wanted in the end but ditsy - though I often thoroughly enjoyed those films.

  1. 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 definitely think it added to the role of Calamity Jane.  It made you want to accept her being such a "calamity" so to speak and it lifted the rough exterior so you knew there was something warmer and gentler inside her that perhaps she was too insecure to let out.  I love her rendition of "Secret Love" and find it quite emotionally evocative.

By the way, I found the lecture notes on this and "Showboat" the most course-worthy to date.  Thanks for the input and background material/comments on them.

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  1. She's somewhere in the middle. While on one hand she is an independent career woman, she also has a traditional story arc that leads her to a man and traditional wedded coupledom.
  2.  Before she is often the ingenue and naive. After, she rarely is. Even as her comedic roles could be absurdly silly at times, almost always is Day either in control of the situation or at least clear eyes about it. She's always the equal to the men she stars with, and often superior to them.
  3. Doris Day's persona really adds something to the character. She was sunny, yet she was as often feisty and direct, which is needed for a female character who was both against the norms of the 50s and of the time the film is set. Her sunny character often reflected optimism, which was of the time and also works for the role.

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I honestly have to say this is not one of my favorite Doris Day movies. The character of Calamity Jane is larger than life, but maybe a bit too large for my taste. Maybe I’m just not a fan of gunslinging girls. Just my humble opinion.

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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?

From what we learned at the beginning of week 3, there was a return to male dominance in the movies.  In this movie, Calmity Janes shows that she is equal to men... but not entirely.  Little scenes make you look a bit clumsy and still, you know a girl.  Perhaps cannot do everything like a man.

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

I’ve always loved Doris Day but not for really the reasons I admire other actors.  She is a very similar person in all of her movies.  I don’t think she transforms herself, nor perhaps was she expected to in the films she played.  She was lovely and beautiful voice and a completely likable personality.

  1. 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.

Although I thought she was great in this, part of me doesn’t really think she was the best fit.  My reasons are similar to what I stated above.  She is lovely, almost perfect, girl-next-door personality and it’s hard to see her in this rough and tumble role.  This said, it was nice to see her in something entirely different and perhaps that’s why it was her favorite film.

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1. I felt like her character in this film took a big step toward redefining the image of women on screen. She was not the custom female lead because she was tough, dressed in manly attire and had almost none of the lady like mannerisms audiences were use to seeing.

2. I believe like any actor or actress Day became more comfortable and confident in the roles she played. Musicals and comedies were her strong suits in my opinion. I do not think I am the best judge of Day because I do not think I have seen enough of her pictures from that era. 

3. I definitely believe it added because she was able to put an exclamation mark on her bold and outgoing persona since the character she was portraying was much the same. 

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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?

Doris initially starts out as a complete opposite of the female leads up until this time.  She is not merely a tomboy but presents with male-like actions and mannerisms, like bellying up to the bar and ordering a drink, but not coming off as quite complete. Even in the songs her voice has a bit of a harshness.  This is not the women from the musicals of the 40's where they wore large hats and fluffy dresses and well-coiffed hair and high heels.  However, not dissimilar to the earlier movies, her heart is taken over by the love of a man and she begins to soften up.  Instead of guns she handles daffodils.  Her hair is much more put together and even her voice in the song from the second clip has much more "female" tines than a harsher tone.  In this transformation she becomes much more similar to the women in the prior movies that were in love.

 

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1.  Calamity Jane is different because she's a tomboy. She doesn't dress or act feminine and wants to be treated as an equal.  That is what makes her character so funny. 

2.  Doris Day played the typical girl next door of her era in previous films.  In Calamity Jane she proves to be able to play a character that behaves different than the norm but she is still a natural actress.  In the second clip she sounds more sweet like the real Doris.  She's able to play different roles and still be herself.  That's what makes her such a great actress.

3.  Her bright and sunny persona adds to the character of Jane because deep inside she has the feelings of a girl and the sweetness of a girl and all she needs is a little help to get to the point where she can actually have a romantic relationship with Bill instead of fighting him.  Doris Day was able to show the transformation and how recognizing she's in love brings out her soft side.  And that is close to the real Jane.       

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In the 50s, the aesthetic for women was feminine and girly, however Jane does not fit that role until her makeover. As other posters have said, she is an outsider and tomboy. I also think Doris Day's "bright and sunny persona" adds to Jane as it makes the character more relatable to the viewers.

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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 female characters are getting more and more independent.  The roles that actresses have available seem to be more varied.  And that variation is accepted by the general public.  As far as this character,  it's interesting to note that with Calam being a tomboy she was still accepted in the movie by the townspeople and by the movie goers.
  2. How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical?  I think she developed her range, becoming more independent like in Glass Bottom Boat, Pillow Talk, etc.
  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 definitely think it added to it.  Even when she was being ornery you knew that she didn't really mean it.  

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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? The film characterizes Calamity Jane as a "tomboy" which is a safer version of a masculine female rather than a "homosexual" which would have been outside of the communal standards of the era. Calamity does get gussied up to capture her a man which doesn't fall out of the expectations of her sexual role in 50's society. 

How do you think Doris Day grows as an actress in her various roles in the 1950s, before and after this musical? I think light comedy was her forte. I don't really remember her as a dramatic actress. 

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 takes away from the historical Jane, who was a prostitute and did have children out of wedlock but didn't have the rosy relationship with Wild Bill. 

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Doris Day is a treasure. This movie one of the best shows her great range of talents.Her wonderful voice,her comedic side, her caring and understanding side. Her character to me shows a strong woman not afraid of danger as she rides that stagecoach and defends its goods. She is strong and feels comfortable in who she is. You could relate to the woman of the 40s taking over the jobs of the men at war. As the movie progresses she realizes she does not know all about the feminine ways and listens to the advice of her friend. But in the end she melds her ways into her own brand of feminism . When i think of the 50 s and how women started becoming more independent but confident her role personifies that. It sure helps that Doris is so beautiful and intelligent.

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1. Calamity Jane is more in the tomboy mold than the typical female role of the time. She is much more intrested in finding her place in a wild west full of men than typical female pursuits of love and marriage.

2. Doris evolved with each role she took from Hitchcock thrillers to more comedic roles like those she did with Rock Hudson who was by far her greatest partner on film.

3. I think Doris Day's persona gives a great balance to the role. While she is rightfully a mans woman she also has the ability to be feminine when she needs to be even though she isn't quite comfortable in the straight female role.

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1) I believe this character fits in the more tomboy-ish more taking the lead role of where the man would be. The way she acts in the first clip, how she is on top of the carriage and how she kinda makes fun of the way women of class by how she moves the blanket and kinda does this show off-ish like how with a new dress would do, to her being in the bar and hanging with the men to even ordering a drink. But she is also a women by how in the second clip we see that more softer side and how lovely her voice just resonates throughout the clip but she still shows she is still her by how she rides her horse.

2) I can't really answer that, it would be my first time seeing her but from the two clips I see how talented she is. From how one minute she can be this rough and tough gal and be hanging with other guys and gunfighters in a bar ordering not only a drink but also sliding on the bar table and just being this awesome actress to the next second she is be soft singing a song that resonates from the heart and soul is just awesome.

3) I think it adds to comedy and the musical films. Does it add to her character I would believe so, again how she can change just like that from soft to a rough and tough women in a tomboy-ish way just adds to that special way she just comes off and I really enjoy it. 

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1.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, the first half of the film, Calamity Jane was more like the females been joining & participating the Mainstream workforce during World War II.  Then the War was over, all these female Workers were NO LONGER considered needed in Mainstream workforce which was the Transition of the Romance & Jealousy occurring in the film.  Now, Calamity Jane had to start wearing a Pink Ballgown to do the Girly things.

     The society wanted Working Females to go back homes and kitchens where they considered females belonged ... regardless these females's capabilities or their will.  In the film, Calamity Jane could NOT wear manly outfit to attract the one she loved or she thought she loved, either.  Well, she probably could have, but the the screenplay writer did NOT allow THAT to happen!

2.  To tell the truth, Doris Day started having a good career for herself and in film history during 1950s after this film.  In addition to her talents and acting skills extended her career to be in many films of different genres successfully, her growing as an actress NOT getting affected by the side effects brought up by her fame, e.g. alcohol, drugs, bad health, emotional traumas, and/or bad marriages/bad relationships like ... Judy Garland, is NOT easy to come by.

3.  Yes, Doris Day's own Bright & Sunny persona was a Plus to add into the film role of "Calamity Jane".  Sure, good acting can transform you to somebody Else you are NOT.  But, your public image in reality does affect how Audiences perceive you and your role.  THIS, definitely helps to generate box office revenue!  And Doris Day is a good example of it, her Bright & Sunny persona made her performance Natural & Believable in Audiences' eyes!

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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?

As I have not seen the movie I can only base my reflections on the clips I've watched for this Daily Dose. Of course Calamity Jane is very different from what can be seen in other musicals. The woman wears pants and wants to be one of the guys - it was not something that was very typical during this period of time. Still, when she discovers she is in fact in love she changes. I think perhaps it's too show that a woman still had to have pride in her looks, especially if there's a man involved. She keeps true to herself in a way but compromises with the world and adds a feminine flare to her appearance. It also ties in with the end of WWII - women during the war had to work outside of the household, they had to step in and do what their men had done in the past, and once the war was over they had to sink back into their bubble. Linked to Jane in the movie in can be read as the side she wants the men to know represents the women during the war and the side she welcomes once she discovers she's in love represents women trying to find a way to live after the war.

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

I have no seen many movies starring Doris Day so this is difficult for me to answer. I think I might have seen one or two. In 'The Man Who Knew Too Much', a Hitchcock movie, she's portraying a more serious character. Since it's a suspence thriller it's hard to compare it to a musical but I enjoyed her acting.

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

The real Calamity Jane has become very romantizied. The real Martha Canary's life was far from a 50's musical, she was leading a rather sad life with a drinking problem that nearly killed her, she was kind and generous, and she was a very unusual woman for her time due to the way she dressed. This film is said to only be 'loosely' based on the life of Jane and should not be taken as an actual biopic. That said, Doris Day's bright persona is quite the opposite of what one would expect Calamity Jane to act and behave. It certainly does not make Jane very realistic.

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