After the smash-hit Broadway musical version of Annie the powers that be obviously decided that a cute redhead would mean big bucks. Consequently Annie weighed in at $60million, and charmed the pants off Hollywood (it won nominations for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award) and children around the world with the great tagline: The Movie of Tomorrow.
So familiar and loveable are the story and eponymous star (Aileen Quinn) that one critic went so far as to describe it as ‘the film that made people actually want to be orphans.’ Improbable as that may be, Annie is a corking story that follows the Oliver Twist mould of poor, pretty orphan makes good. Set during the depression, feisty orphan Annie dreams of a future in which the sun will shine and she can leave the orphanage, escaping the clutches of the evil Mrs Hannigan (Carol Burnett).
Annie’s dreams seem to come true when she is adopted by the wealthy Daddy Warbucks (Albert Finney) and warms his hard heart. But dark forces conspire against her. Mrs Hannigan and her brother Rooster (Tim Curry – who also starred in Oliver Twist that year playing another baddie, Bill Sykes) try to trick Annie away from her new-found affluence and take the rewards for themselves.
Quinn, Finney and Burnett all received their share of praise with the latter being consistently singled out. The acclaimed critic Pauline Kael described her as: ‘the soused, man-hungry Miss Hannigan… Carol Burnett is both hag and trollop… she’s gloriously macabre.’
USA | 127 minutes | 1982
Director: John Huston
Writers: Harold Gray, Thomas Mehan
Edward Herrmann as FDR
Tim Curry as Rooster Hannigan
Albert Finney as ‘Daddy’ Oliver Warbucks
Robin Ignico as Duffy
Aileen Quinn as Annie
Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan
Ann Reinking as Grace Farrell
Bernadette Peters as Lily St. Regis
Geoffrey Holder as Punjab
Roger Minami as Asp
Toni Ann Gisondi as Molly
Rosanne Sorrentino as Pepper
Lara Berk as Tessie
April Lerman as Kate
Lucie Stewart as July
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