Parents' Guide to

Annie Get Your Gun

By Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Classic musical has fantastic songs, outdated stereotypes.

Movie NR 1950 107 minutes
Annie Get Your Gun Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 8+

Just Okay

My school did a musical review of Irving Berlin songs when I was in elementary school, so a lot of the songs from "Annie Get Your Gun" were nostalgic for me. I have played them many of the videos of the songs, but had never seen the movie myself. We talk a lot about how people are treated and prefaced that the Native American depiction was going to be grossly inaccurate. Indeed it was, more than I realized, although Common Sense does do a good job of spelling it out in the review. I was not impressed by Annie's message. I realize it was a different time, but her going gaga over Frank and then completely changing herself to impress him was not what I expected from the movie featuring "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better". And then finally *spoiler alert* throwing the competition so that he would love her? Not the message I want for my girls. It was okay, because my kids are old enough to talk about these things. But it is definitely not the messaging that I was expecting. That on top of the Native American issue, this isn't one we will be watching again.
age 6+

the Common Sense review hits the nail on the head!

We watched this for family movie night with a 7 year old, 11, and 12 year olds. We all enjoyed it (adults and kids) -- some really funny, clever songs. I personally would feel more comfortable saving this movie for 6 and up because it's all about guns. In the context of the movie they don't feel violent -- they seem more like items used for sports. But still, I'd want to infuse my family's values about guns first. There are some dead birds flung about, and one seagull shot out of the sky. Other than that fairly non-violent. More significant for parents to ponder are the REALLY problematic, offensive representation of Native Americans, and the way in which Annie (the more skilled shooter) has to lose on purpose at the end of the movie in order to "get the man." Interestingly, from the little bit of true biography I've read online, I think that plot element was an invention for the movie/show, not something that happened in real life. For the most part the movie is deeply feminist -- such a strong, skilled, likable female character, succeeding in a male-dominated field. The twist at the end is troubling, but good to discuss with our daughters! The music is wonderful and the movie is genuinely fun. Recommended for families who enjoy old musicals -- but be prepared to discuss the stereotypes and other problematic aspects during and after the movie!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (2 ):

There's something to be said for a bit of healthy competition, but director George Sidney heaps on more than you might be bargaining for in this slow but entertaining 1950 musical. Annie's so determined to make her beau proud that their love turns to bitter rivalry, as evidenced by the song "Anything You Can Do," in which the two exhaust themselves trying to one-up each other. It's presented as comedy, but there's an underlying message there for kids about knowing when to give in.

Parents may also want to discuss Annie's profound sacrifice at the end of the movie. The conclusion may not have ruffled many feathers half a century ago, but by modern standards Annie's compromise feels like a cop-out. Still, it's pleasing to watch her evolve from a dirty, illiterate bumpkin into a world-renowned star. Betty Hutton, who replaced Judy Garland partway into the shoot, makes the transformation believable, even if she and costar Howard Keel fail to summon up any real chemistry. If nothing else, the two make a swell excuse for some good old Irving Berlin tunes, including "There's No Business Like Show Business" and "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun."

Movie Details

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