American Experience: Annie Oakley

One of the few females that have made their way into American mythology is Annie Oakley. Up until her death in 1926, Annie Oakley was the greatest female rifle shooter in the world at her time. During her heyday she was the star attraction of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Part of her attraction, we learn in this hour long PBS documentary from 2005, was that her shooting skills rekindled the feelings that Americans felt for the disappearing world of the American West. She became an American legend who had a Broadway show, "Annie Get Your Gun", named after. Like most American legends most of her reputation was inaccurate and she became more a mythological figure rather than an historical one. For instance, Oakley lived her whole life east of the Mississippi River and never ventured into the West. The documentary narrated by actress Laura Linney (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Kinsey) also offers Annie Oakley as a feminist hero in that she made her living in a male domain and helped to change ideas about what women were capable of. Conversely, she herself was opposed to female suffrage. Watching this documentary will give the viewer some insight into life around the turn of the 20th century and particularly give you a clearer picture of the woman behind the myth.

Special Features:
-Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show poster gallery

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