CALAMITY JANE

   One of the most colorful traditional female characters in Westerns, Calamity Jane was, historically, Martha (Calamity) Jane Canary (1848–1903), author of a famous autobiography and entertainer in Wild West shows near the end of her life. How much of the Calamity Jane legend squares with historical fact will probably always remain conjecture. The essentials of the legend that play out in numerous Western films and television Westerns is that Calamity Jane was a cross-dressing female scout for General Crook, a buffalo skinner, a sharpshooter, and the beloved of Wild Bill Hickok. Her character has been played as glamorous, by Jean Arthur in The Plainsman (1936) and Frances Farmer in Badlands of Dakota(1941) ; as comic, by Doris Day in Calamity Jane (1953; directed by David Butler), a film musical; and as dirty, unglamorous, and crude, by Ellen Barkin in Wild Bill (1995).
   As with most historical characters, film versions of Calamity Jane isolate a few features of her character and gloss over anything inconvenient to the story. Evidently, the real Calamity Jane was unlikable, even repulsive. Nothing about her could be termed glamorous. Yet Calamity Jane the legend serves her purpose, playing the pants roles either for the irony of the part or for a comic effect.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Calamity Jane — in einer Aufnahme von 1895 Martha Jane Cannary Burke (* 1. Mai 1852 in Princeton, Missouri; † 1. August 1903 in Terry bei Deadwood, South Dakota), genannt Calamity Jane (dt. Katastrophen Jane), war eine US amerikanische Wild West Heldin …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Calamity Jane — (name for Martha Jane Burk or Burke or Martha Jane Canary) 1852 1903; U.S. frontier figure …   English World dictionary

  • Calamity Jane — For other uses, see Calamity Jane (disambiguation). Calamity Jane Calamity Jane in 1895 by H.R. Locke Born Martha Jane Cannary May 1, 1852(1852 05 01) Princeton …   Wikipedia

  • Calamity Jane — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Calamity Jane (homonymie). Calamity Jane posant pour sa publicité en 1895 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Calamity Jane — a la edad de 33 años. Foto de H. R. Locke. Martha Jane Canary Burke, más conocida como Calamity Jane (1 de mayo de 1852 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Calamity Jane —    A Calamity Jane is a woman who constantly complains of her troubles or one who brings trouble with her. Martha Jane Canary (1852 1903) was born in Princeton, New Jersey. Her parents moved to Virginia, where they separated and left their… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • Calamity Jane — noun United States frontierswoman and legendary figure of the Wild West noted for her marksmanship (1852 1903) • Syn: ↑Burk, ↑Martha Jane Burk, ↑Burke, ↑Martha Jane Burke • Instance Hypernyms: ↑frontierswoman * * * Calamity Jane [ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Calamity Jane — (Martha Jane Canary Burke) 1852? 1903, U.S. frontier markswoman. * * * orig. Martha Jane Cannary born May 1, 1852?, near Princeton, Mo.?, U.S. died Aug. 1, 1903, Terry, near Deadwood, S.D. U.S. frontierswoman. She grew up in Montana and worked in …   Universalium

  • Calamity Jane — orig. Martha Jane Cannary (1 may. ¿1852?, ¿cerca de Princeton, Mo.?, EE.UU.–1 ago. 1903, Terry, cerca de Deadwood, S.D.). Colonizadora estadounidense. Se crió en Montana y trabajó en campamentos mineros, donde adquirió pericia para cabalgar y… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Calamity Jane — Martha Jane Burke also known as Canary Jane whose activities resulted in the deaths of eleven of her twelve husbands …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

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