The delightful film musical version of Calamity Jane has the music provided for it by Academy Award winning songwriters, Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster. They even got the 1953 Oscar for best song, which features in the film- “Secret Love”.
The action takes place in a place called Deadwood around Calamity Jane (Doris Day) and Wild Bill (Howard Keel), and the path through which they journey through to discover that they are meant to be together.
The film begins with Calamity riding on the Deadwood Stage into Deadwood, protecting it from Indian attacks. Aboard the stagecoach is Mr. Francis Fryer, an actor.
Calamity rides off almost as soon as she arrives to save Lt. Danny Gilmartin from the Indians as she is in love with him. She rescues him and returns him to safety.
Henry Miller, proprietor of Deadwood’s theatre, The Golden Garter searches for his “actress”. However what he gets is Francis Fryer, because he thought it was Frances Fryer, therefore a woman. Without an act to go on Miller sends Fryer onto the stage as a woman but when Fryer’s wig is pulled off the truth is revealed. The cowboy mob turns on Miller but are subdued by Calamity’s promise that she will bring Adelaide Adams, a beautiful and famous actress from Chicago, to Deadwood for them.
So Calamity sets off to meet Adelaide Adams in Chicago. When she arrives she goes to Adams’s dressing room to convince her to return to Deadwood with her. However the person that she talks to is Adams’s maid, Katie Brown. Katie agrees to come to Deadwood, but Calamity still thinks that Katie actually is Adelaide Adams.
When Katie gets to Deadwood she goes on stage to perform but freezes with stage fright. Then she admits that she is not Adelaide Adams but Katie Brown. The cowboy mob again turns but is won over by Calamity’s appeals. Katie sings again and becomes a smash hit in the town.
Katie and Calamity move into Calamity’s cabin and fix it up to be “a shining castle built for two”. Katie gains the romantic advances of Wild Bill and Lt. Gilmartin, and when an invitation to a ball comes she is asked to accompany both men. So they draw straws. Winner gets Katie while the loser gets Calamity.
Lt. Gilmartin wins and takes Katie to the ball, which leaves Calamity and Bill to be paired up. While at the ball Bill is amazed at how feminine Calamity can be. Katie has made her a lady. She has changed from the bullwhipping, Indian fighting Calamity to a more elegant lady.
Unfortunately things go wrong when Calamity and Bill see Katie and Lt. Gilmartin kissing. Calamity becomes jealous and shoots a glass out of Katie’s hand, then storms out of the ball.
The next day Calamity ruins Katie and Francis’s performance at the Golden Garter to warn her to leave town. After serving this ultimatum she leaves and Bill follows her. They talk and discover that they actually do love each other.
Calamity rejoices the next morning about her new found love with Bill, and goes to the Golden Garter to tell Katie. Katie however has just left Deadwood on a stagecoach so Calamity races after her to tell her the news. So they return to Deadwood, and have a double wedding, which provides the happy ending.
The Deadwood Stage (Calamity and Chorus)
I Can Do Without You (Bill and Calamity)
Hive Full Of Honey (Francis)
It’s Harry I’m Plannin’ to Marry (Adelaide and Girls)
Just Blew In From The Windy City (Calamity)
Keep It Under Your Hat(Katie)
Higher Than A Hawk (Bill)
A Woman’s Touch (Katie and Calamity)
The Black Hills Of Dakota (Bill, Calamity and Chorus)
Secret Love (Calamity)
Finale (Bill, Calamity, Katie and Chorus)