Today I’m having a Howard Keel party. It is his birthday so I thought why not? Day off work, good films to watch, a sexy man on the screen and some great songs to sing along to. You want to join in do you? Well here we go!
Howard Keel as done everything but he is the undisputed King of Musicals. Sometimes described as the Clark Gable of the musical world he has starred opposite many musical greats and some other legends. Here’s the five films I’m watching today.
Here he stars with Ava Gardner & Kathryn Grayson… two beautiful actresses in their own rights. This musical story takes place on a musical show boat. Keel plays a gambler and he marries Grayson, without others approval. It’s a deep story that works really well with the music and in some ways is scarily accurate for todays world. Obviously nothing goes right and their luck turns sour. You should watch it to find out what happens.
Second up… CALAMITY JANE
You all know what this is. Doris Day and Howard Keel play Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok. A Western musical in the likes they’ve never seen before this film shows the prowess of two major musical stars and the fact that Westerns don’t all have to be gun toting, John Wayne films. Oh and Jane and Hickok have a romance.
I always wanted to find my husband this way. I mean look at them dance! Backwoods guy goes out finds a wife and brings her back home where he lives with his 6 brothers. They then decide wait we want wives too! Off they go chasing pretty girls by singing and dancing for them while Jane Powell and Howard Keel watch over them as a lovely married couple. The music and dance sequences makes this a classic film that you have to sing along to. Keel definitely got cast in the right part as the eldest brother, Adam Pontipee. Added bonus he looks rugged and sexy.
Rounding up in Fourth… ANNIE GET YOUR GUN
Betty Hutton plays Sharpshooter Annie Oakley against Howard Keel playing Frank Butler her beautiful love interest. This is his debut film and wow does he attract the female audience. Judy Garland was originally set to play Oakley and Keel as the demeanour and confidence to have played opposite either of the ladies. This again is a western love story with some songs you’ll have most definitely have heard before and it has some great laughs to boot. Everyone knew Keel had much more to come in the musical world.
And my favourite in Fifth… KISS ME KATE
Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson and Ann Miller all star in this classic remake of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Keel and Grayson play a divorced couple who are set to play Katherine and Petruchio on stage. This film has lots of laughs, arguments singing and makes you like the Taming of the Shrew. Keel also gets to take Grayson over his knee and slap her backside! Fantastic. Miller plays Bianca on stage and as the story goes must wait for Katherine to marry a man before she can marry. Cole Porter made this film a success and the voices of Keel, Grayson and Miller especially made it great. You really need to watch it has it may be Keel’s greatest performance and he wears tight leggings, a lovely beard and an earring.
Howard Keel is a star. He has been in non musical films like Day of the Triffids but I believe his best work is his musicals. He was fortunate enough to work with the great stars of the era and he himself became one of the greatest in the musical era. His voice is memorable, his acting sublime and as my title says us women will sing Bless Yore Beautiful Hide to you, Mr Keel, as you once sang it to a woman.