A 1953 movie musical based on the famous gunslinger, Calamity Jane starred Doris Day as the title character and Howard Keel as Wild Bill Hickok. One of the film's songs, "Secret Love", became an Oscar-winning hit song for Day.
Calamity Jane comes to the town of Deadwood, South Dakota one day. She decides to revitalize the local saloon by bringing them Chicago star Adelaide Adams. Unfortunately, she instead brings them Adelaide's maid, Katie Brown, whom she found trying on her costumes. Katie becomes a hit with everyone, including Jane's secret love, Lt. Daniel Gilmartin. A rivalry for his affections with Katie ensues.
This film features examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: Calamity finds Katie mistaking her for a man to be hilarious, until the implications sink in.
- And I'm the Queen of Sheba: The small-town theatre hall owner in Deadwood sarcastically says this when Calamity asks why he doesn't send for Adelaide Adams.Calamity: Why don't you send for her?
Henry: Sure. Why don't I send for the Queen of Sheba?
Calamity: ...No good. They want Adelaide!
- Battle Couple: Considering how Calamity Jane and Bill Hickok are skilled gunslingers and like trouble, you'd think they'd turn out to be this couple in an instant, but it's implied to be averted after they get together as both of them want to settle down and raise children. They've been close friends for quite some time, so it's not outlandish to assume that they played this straight at some point.Bill's friend: I don't know what kinda life you're gonna have living with that catamount, Bill, but it ain't gonna be dull!Bill: That's fer dang sure.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Jane and Bill have this.
- Beta Couple: Katie and Danny.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Katie does a big talk on how she has to go no matter what and heads to pack, a baffled Jane turns to the camera.Calamity: I got me the strange feeling someone's getting hustled!
- Digital Destruction: The colour balance keeps on shifting subtly on the UK DVD, sometimes from second to second.
- Does Not Like Men: Jane has a song about this in the Screen-to-Stage Adaptation.
- Dragged into Drag: Francis Fryer appears on stage as "Frances", but not willingly.Wild Bill Hickock: She ain't very good lookin'.Calamity Jane: That ain't all she ain't.
- Historical Beauty Update: The Real Life Calamity Jane didn't look like Doris Day at all. In fact, photos of the time show she looked more like Howard Keel. No, really; Martha Jane Cannary looked more like a man than a woman.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude:
- Due to her masculine appearance, Katie initially mistakes Jane for a man.
- In the stage version, we get this after the Deadwood Stage comes in:Calamity: Came darn near pluggin' that feller in the store when he called me buddy ". Wanted to know what my wife's name was, 'n if I'd any kids!
- Last-Second Word Swap: From "I Can Do Without You": You can go to... Philadelphia. Calamity's hesitation implies she wanted a word that rhymes with the third syllable of "Philadelphia".
- Love Triangle: Jane and Katie over Danny.
- No Man of Woman Born: When Bill is forced to dress like a female Indian at the saloon, everyone laughs out loud. Angered, Bill pulls out a gun and warns he'll "put a bullet in the next man who laughs." Instant silence... except for Calamity, who keeps laughing hysterically.
- Oblivious to Love: Calamity fails to notice that Bill is in love with her, and that Danny isn't.
- Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: One was made in 1961, and has been revived several times. It features six new songs, by the original writers.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Everyone reacts this way to seeing Jane in a dress.
- At the dance, Bill takes Calamity's coat to show off her gown as he goes to hang it up. He takes a few steps before stopping then slowly turning around as Howard Keel provides one of the most epic open-jawed, wide-eyed looks of utter astonishment in film history.
- The Savage Indian: Jane brags about the many she has fought and killed.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Jane and Katie.
- Weddings for Everyone: Katie and Danny, along with Jane and Bill.