Runtime: 2 hr 6 min
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: John Huston
Starring: Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Ann Reinking, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters, Geoffrey Holder, Edward Hermann, Aileen Quinn
The songs are so memorable and delightful that it's hard to pick a favorite.
Review by: SteveRhodes
Added: 8 years ago
When it comes to ANNIE, I've got to confess that it will forever have a warm spot in my heart after my son's previous school did ANNIE -- he played the butler as well as a few other smaller parts. The songs from the musical are infectiously happy, and the story is one certain to put a smile on your face. The songs are so memorable and delightful that it's hard to pick a favorite.
Just released from Columbia Pictures, the special anniversary edition DVD of the first film version of ANNIE from 1982 takes a stab at deciding which song is the best. On the special features section, Aileen Quinn, the gifted actress who belted out those numbers two decades ago says that she always preferred "Maybe" over the more famous "Tomorrow." I completely agree.
One of the biggest frustrations of the 1982 version is that it was decided that the original musical was in need of improvement, so it junked some of the best songs and inserted some exceedingly lame alternatives. Legendary director John Huston, who was clearly the wrong person for the job, doesn't appear to hold any affection for the material, and the movie, when it works, works in spite of him rather than because of him. He consistently and surprisingly downplays the songs in favor of the narrative and the dance numbers.
The casting has one major problem -- Carol Burnett, as Miss Hannigan, tries to take an already over-the-top character and turn her into a complete buffoon. Every time she gets on the screen, you'll want to go for the fast forward button. The other adults in the cast, including Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks and Ann Reinking as Grace Farrell, are okay, but their performances are vastly overshadowed by Annie and the orphans. Whenever the kids are singing, you'll want to put their numbers on infinite loop.
So what is the best film version of Annie? That's an easy question. Rob Marshall's 1999 made-for-TV one. Academy Award nominee Marshall has only directed one other film. It came out just over a year ago. You may have heard of it -- CHICAGO.
ANNIE runs 2:06. The film is rated PG and would be acceptable for all ages.