DVD | Box Set
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The Annie Oakley show was a Western TV series revolving around the famous Ohio frontierswoman known for her incredible sharpshooting skills. Born in the mid-1800s to a farming family, the real Phoebe Ann Oakley Moses—known later as Annie Oakley—first began hunting game at age nine to provide food for her family. By sixteen Annie was a dead shot, and she became so well known for her shooting skills that Prince Wilhelm of Germany once invited her to shoot a lit cigarette from his lips!
But not only was she a crack-shot, Annie was also a pioneer in the women's movement. She didn't follow the traditional path of women from the time period—cooking, cleaning, and bearing children. She excelled at marksmanship—customarily a man's sport—and she could rope and ride like a seasoned cowboy!
Like the historical Annie Oakley, the "Little Miss Sure Shot" of the TV series (played by Gail Davis) helped raise the bar for women. The show was the first in its class because it featured a female lead in a genre that never had before. On the series, Annie, aided by her six-shooter, her younger brother Tagg Oakley (Jimmy Hawkins), and the Deputy Sheriff Craig (Brad Johnson), maintained law and order in the little frontier town of Diablo, protecting it from mischief-making outlaws and vagabond bandits. The series, produced by Western superstar Gene Autry, was a popular favorite in the mid-'50s and ran from January 1954 to late February 1957.
FEATURING 20 EPISODES: Ambush Canyon; Annie Trusts a Convict; Annie and the Lily Maid; Gunplay; Annie Calls Her Shot; The Dude Stagecoach; Annie Finds Strange Treasure; The Hardrock Trail; Sharpshooting Annie; Justice Guns; Desperate Men; Powder Rock; Stampede; Dilemma at Diablo; Escape from Diablo; Dude's Decision; Grubstake Bank; The Reckless Press; Outlaw Brand; Annie and the Chinese Puzzle; Annie's Desert Adventure
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Top Customer Reviews
I imagine anyone who would consider buying the 20 episode collection has some familiarity with the series, even if it is only having seen some episodes as a child and remembering that they were entertaining. They are still entertaining, if you have never seen Annie Oakley previously. The principle characters, Annie herself, her younger brother Tagg, and Deputy Sheriff "Lofty" Craig, who is more or less courting Annie, are all well cast. The storylines are fairly juvenile and endings are often predictable but there are also a couple of unusual stories, and usually a bit of humor that is actually humorous, a few episodes features actors who were well known then or became well known later on (Keye Luke, Alan Hale Jr. and Slim Pickins, for example). There is a good deal of western action: shooting and riding, with Lofty proving some fisticuffs, but everything is rather bloodless and justice always prevails or crime and chaos, and sometimes over prejudice as well. Annie is a sort of proto-feminist and deserves a place in television history as a strong role model for young women, but she really doesn't seem much different than most female characters from the fifties.
For some reason, the ten episodes on the first of the two discs are well preserved and have nice clear images and good soundtracks, some of the episodes on the second disc are too dark, or have a bit of visual static, or a few seconds missing here and there but the soundtracks haven't obviously suffered. Basically the first disc is superior to most "vintage" television fare which hasn't been remastered and the second disc is somewhat iffy. Young Jimmy Hawkins, who plays the kid brother Tagg was small and cute in the first year of production, grew several inches before the second season started, and had quite a growth spurt before the final episodes; most of the material on the first disc is in roughly broadcast order but Hawkin's size changes radically from episode to the next on the second disc and is a bit disconcerting if you watch more than one episode at a sitting.
All-in-all, I'm satisfied with the collection because I never expect material from the Public Domain to be remastered and most of the episodes are in good or far better shape, and the series itself was also above average and holds up better than many other western series which lapsed into the Public Domain. The price is also very reasonable and I consider the two disc set a bargain, and it adds some welcomed variety to our weekend mornings. I certainly wouldn't mind having another ten or twenty episodes of Annie Oakley but I don't realistically expect that to come to pass, but it would be nice if it did.