Calamity Jane (1953) - Rotten Tomatoes

Calamity Jane1953

Calamity Jane (1953)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Calamity Jane Photos

Movie Info

Doris Day looks no more like the real Calamity Jane than you or I do, but this 1953 film is intended as a lighthearted musical, not a historical tract. As portrayed by the freckled Ms. Day, Jane is a rootin', tootin' shootin' hoyden in the western town of Deadwood. When she isn't tearing up the town, Jane spends her time cussing out Wild Bill Hickok (Howard Keel). The plot gets under way when Jane promises the citizens of Deadwood that she can persuade classy Chicago stage star Adelaide Adams (Gale Robbins) to perform at the local opry house. Through a case of mistaken identity, Jane brings Adelaide's maid Katie (Allyn Ann McLerie) back to town. Katie proves to be a success all the same, and out of gratitude promises to make a "lady" out of Jane, who is sweet on handsome Lt. Gilmartin (Philip Carey). When the lieutenant chooses Katie over Jane, our heroine is heartbroken--until she realizes that she has loved Wild Bill Hickok all along, and that the feeling is mutual so far as Hickok is concerned. The peppy musical score by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster includes the Oscar-winning Secret Love, which became a million-selling hit for Doris Day.

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Doris Day
as Calamity Jane
Howard Keel
as Wild Bill Hickok
Allyn Ann McLerie
as Katie Brown
Dick Wesson
as Francis Fryer
Philip Carey
as Danny Gilmartin
Paul Harvey
as Henry Miller
Chubby Johnson
as Rattlesnake
Gale Robbins
as Adelaide Adams
Dick Wessel
as Francis Fryer
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Critic Reviews for Calamity Jane

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6)

Boisterous fun, with Day's performance - as the song goes - as busy as a fizzy sarsaparilla.

April 10, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

As a pistol-packin' cowgirl in fringed leather trousers, Day is terrific, an object of athletic awe and irrepressible good cheer.

April 7, 2016 | Rating: 3/5
Top Critic

The tunes are gold, and as Jane approaches a local creek, resplendent in her gorgeous yellow gown, we get one of the most famous visual gags in the history of the musical.

April 7, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Doris Day works very, very hard at being Calamity and is hardly realistic at all.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

A shrill and preposterous musical Western.

March 25, 2006 | Full Review…

Colorful '50s musical has problematic portrayals, language.

December 9, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Calamity Jane

There's no subterfuge here: this is a Doris Day musical, plain and simple, and she's in practically every scene as a personification of wild and wooly (but not too was made in the 50's after all). After killin' Injuns - which, honest to goodness, really is a plot point - what she really wants is what every girl is told she wants: a husband, two car garage - with two cars in it, kids, and a yard with a white picket fence. Only she's so wild and wooly that no man can stand in her presence long. What's a girl to do? Howard Keel plays Wild Bill Hickok and barely gets in a song or two as the primary love interest. Mild musical Western fun here, with Day contributing 110%.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Doris Day is on a role with this role. The songs, oh the songs. Howard Keel... The old west. The humour. The fun. The action. Oh how I love this film!

Sarah Burton
Sarah Burton

Super Reviewer


rootin tootin and rambunctious

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Calamity Jane Quotes

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