Sunday, March 11, 2007

betty hutton, 1921-2007

Betty Hutton, 1921-2007

What a broad, what a delightful broad. And naturally so. It never seemed to be an affectation for the camera. Perhaps that's why she was so habitually underrated, especially by the MGM stable of players and craftsmen who allegedly were openly rude to her during the filming of George Sidney's "Annie Get Your Gun" (1950). They wanted their little Judy in the role. Well, frankly, I always preferred Betty Hutton's unpretentious perkiness to Garland's naked neediness.

And, let's face it. Anyone could have played Annie Oakley, but no one could have given as much as Hutton did to Trudy Kockenlocker in Preston Sturges' classic knockabout farce, "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" (1944).

I just wish she had worked more, especially in musicals. I mean, she would have made a great Nellie Forbush in "South Pacific" (1958). And as much as I love Doris Day and Roz Russell in the roles, I still have fantasy flashes of Hutton as Babe Williams in "The Pajama Game" (1957) and as Madam Rose Hovick in "Gypsy" (1962).

In the end, she was right when she sang in "Annie"... "Anything you can do, I can do better!"

You sure could, Betty. Now, rest in peace, you little kewpie doll.

(Artwork: Betty in her prime)

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1 comment:

Bill Samson said...

Long live Trudy Kockenlocker!