I wonder if that rendition made MGM executives say, "We've got to buy that Broadway musical project for Judy!"
THE WIZARD OF OZ was a success but it didn't make as much money in 1939 as other MGM films did. Why? Because most of the people who packed the audiences were youngsters. The ticket admission for kids was smaller than the ticket price for adults. When WWII was over, MGM re-released THE WIZARD OF OZ in 1949 and it did excellent business at the box office. MGM made money. This probably gave execs the idea to reteam "Dorothy" and "The Wizard" for ANNIE GET YOUR GUN duty in 1949. Frank Morgan of THE WIZARD OF OZ was cast as Buffalo Bill opposite Garland as Annie Oakley. Unfortunately, Morgan died early in the 1949 production stages. He was replaced by Louis Calhern. Irving Berlin had written a new song for Garland to introduce in the film version of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. Annie would sing this while on tour in Europe and she's homesick for the U.S.A. The song is called "Let's Go West Again."
Click onto this link to hear Judy sing it:
In the late 1990s, I interviewed writer Sidney Sheldon when I was a regular on GOOD DAY NEW YORK, the live Fox5 weekday morning show. He'd been on our show a few times to promote his novels. In the green room, after the interview, I asked him about ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. He did the screenplay. He'd done the screenplay for EASTER PARADE and loved Judy's talent. At the time MGM scheduled ANNIE GET YOUR GUN to start production, Garland had been physically and emotionally exhausted. She'd had a sanitarium stay. Sheldon told me she still wasn't quite up to her usual performance level. He felt that if the studio had given her just two more weeks off, she'd have been in great form. He added that she could belt out a tune and be funny like Merman. But Merman could not be feminine and vulnerable like Judy. She always came off like an umpire calling a game at Yankee stadium. So, as a writer, Sheldon could've brought out a tenderness in Annie that Judy could play quite well. Garland, knowing this was a character part, wanted to find a way to play Annie without seeming like she was copying Merman.