Dear Judy Garland,

I admit that it is unkind of me to be grateful that you were too frail to continue playing Annie Oakley in George Sidney’s Annie Get Your Gun. However, after comparing your performance of “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly” to Betty Hutton’s, it is clear that Betty was a better choice for the role. Your voice is legendary and I agree that you were ideally cast in many a film, such as A Star is Born and For Me and My Gal, but your Annie would have been more graceful and thus less entertaining and endearing than Betty’s. You would doubtless have brought considerable charm to the character, but Annie needs the energy, spunk, and quirkiness that are inherent to a natural comedienne such as Betty. Also, Betty says “Natur’lly” far more natur’lly than you do; her ability to emulate brash, mannerless dialect seems more appropriate with Irving Berlin’s score. So, thanks for falling ill and allowing Sidney to cast a much more upbeat and comical film than what was originally intended.

Good Night, Mun


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