Annie Oakley: Santa Claus Wears a Gun (1957)

Okay, I’ll admit it, I thought this one was cute. And not just because I’ve had an unreasonable affection for Annie Oakley since I chose her as my “person to dress as from history” in elementary school. I mean, that’s partially it.

Excuse me, I have some Wikipedia-ing to do.

Okay, I’m back, and now I have remembered my fully reasonable, founded affection for Ms. Oakley. Yay for historical levels of awesomeness. What was I talking about? Oh, right, the tv show.

The show was cute. It features Gail Davis as Annie, and she seems to (functionally) be the law in this little Western town, along with her beau. The other main character is her scrappy little brother who is clearly always running into danger. This episode is about an old sharpshooter who drifts into town. He looks like Santa and goes by Snowy Kringle, which, yeah, is pretty silly. There’s also a guy who says he’s an investigator who thinks Kringle is a thief planning to steal a big army payroll that’s coming through town. Annie and company have to get to the bottom of things, or at least beat the bad guys when they realize what’s going on.

I liked that nothing got too unreasonably complicated. When the main characters had enough evidence to make a conclusion, they acted on it, rather than stick to their original assumptions the way too many sitcom characters would. Annie was pretty badass, although not inhumanly so, and while I found her hairstyle really silly, I liked her charm and warmth.

This has the lighting problem common to film at this time, in which nighttime scenes look just like daytime scenes, but other than that it was fairly decently shot. The plot twists, while mostly obvious, were interesting. Erin doesn’t agree with me, so your mileage may vary.

It’s far from brilliant, but I laughed and smiled and the ending was sweet, so if you’re looking for something a little different this year, you could check this out. It’s not as awesome as Annie herself, but what is?