This highly fictionalized biopic of legendary sharpshooter Annie Oakley stars Barbara Stanwyck as "Little Sure Shot" Annie. Coming down from the hills of Ohio, Annie rises to fame with Buffalo Bill's (Moroni Olsen) Wild West Show. Her success as a performer is counterpointed by her stormy romance with fellow performer Toby Foster (Preston S. Foster), whose reputation as the World's Great Marksman is shot to holes by Annie's accomplishments. Walking out on Annie and the show, Toby loses himself in the streets of New York but is discovered and dragged back by Annie's faithful Indian friend Sitting Bull (Chief Thunderbird, whose performance is far from politically correct but undeniably amusing). Melvyn Douglas co-stars as Annie's manager and would-be boyfriend Jeff Hogarth, while an uncredited Dick Elliot delivers a hearty performance as press agent Ned Buntline; others in the cast include such 2-reel comedy favorites as Charlie Hall and Harry Bernard, who like director George Stevens were alumni of the Hal Roach fun factory. The much-later musical version of the Annie Oakley story, Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, bears traces of this 1935 film, but not so much as to constitute plagiarism (Coincidentally, Herbert Fields, one of the writers of Annie Oakley, collaborated with his sister Dorothy on the libretto of Annie Get Your Gun).
by Hal Erickson synopsis