- [quote]It might be the worst film adaptation of a pretty good Broadway musical ever.
- John Huston directed it; he knew NOTHING about how to do a movie musical. I think that was the main reason it was so bad; he didn't know what the hell he was doing.
- Favorite movie as a child and still is to this day, but then again I was who they were marketing the movie to.
- Director John Houston had no idea how to use the camera to film a musical number. Like in "Let's Go To The Movies" the characters sit in an empty theater, all you see is empty space. And at the finale, Annie and Daddy Warbucks dance a bit, while a huge crowd around them stands still. Everything else sucks, too.
Really, all Houston seemed to care about was getting the camera up Ann Reinking's skirt.
- Well as the current Broadway revival shows, Annie is not exactly a great musical. Huston had little feel for the material or a musical. Still Finney, Burnett, Peters and Curry have some good moments.
- I wasn't aware that Annie had much critical acclaim, I thought it was just popular. Many people hate "Tomorrow" with a passion, it's generally considered to be very cheesy.
- Who said it had much critical acclaim?
- R6, be that as it may, "Tomorrow" was the ONE memorable song from the score. Annie being lost and alone on the streets of NYC and singing it to the stray mutt she just found is the DEFINITIVE moment from the show. And that jackass director CUT IT OUT of the movie!
- "a pretty good Broadway musical"
- I've watched it more than once, fast-forwarding through everything but Carol Burnett. I never tire of her Miss Hannigan.
- [quote]"a pretty good Broadway musical"
That's "so much critical acclaim"???
- Great gams.
- Now whenever I hear "Tomorrow", the first thing I think of is Beverly Sutphin clubbing a woman to death with a leg of lamb.
- The blonde orphan who sings "Rover, why don't you think it over?" steals the whole entire movie.
- [quote]all Houston seemed to care about was getting the camera up Ann Reinking's skirt
Indeed. And not just Ann but almost every adult female on screen. It's a strangely sleazy film.
- I never knew Huston had a panty fetish until this movie came out.
- "... Huston hated the song "Tomorrow" and would only allow it sung over the credits."
Quinn sings it a capella within the movie.
- Dad used to sit in the screening room by himself, cackling while rubbing one out during Anne's scenes.
- I spent a week working on the movie as a rehearsal pianist...I remember that John Huston wasn't in over his head, so much as utterly disinterested. He was at the end of a long incredible career, and he just wanted the pay check.
I hate the movie myself, but whenever I meet a twink in their twenties, it's one of their favorites. A lot of people spent their childhoods watching it over and over on dvd.
- Ironic, considering Huston played a paedophile in Chinatown.
- It's like Richard Attenborough's "A Chorus Line" in that you don't know QUITE how bad it is until you see a good production of the original musical.
- Every adult female, R15? Watch again. Those little orphan girls show more panty than the cast of an '80s teen sex comedy. And Aileen Quinn twirls like she's Shirley McClaine at Meryl Streep's birthday party. It's genuinely creepy.
I remember Pauline Kael's review made mention of this.
- The original Annie got rave reviews. It won the Tony for best musical (1977). And it ran for 6 years. The book by the way is actually very well written.
Not many musicals were spinning off hit songs after the 1960's but "Tommorow" ....as annoying as the song is....did well. Grace Jones had a disco verision that was popular at the time, Streisand recorded it, Elaine Page recorded it.
The orphans and the dog were a publicists dream. They were all over the place.
Reid Shelton the original Daddy Warbucks would often go to a nearby porn place on 8th Ave to get sucked off before the show.
Ah... NY in the 1970's.
- Everything was off about it. Ann Reinking'S jazz dancing was hilariously anachronistic. Carol Burnett gave such a dreadful performance it would have killed her movie career if she ever had one.
Nazi Michael Medved loved it. Nuff said.
- Dare we ask "WHET" Aileen Quinn?
- And I forgot to mention the incomparable Dorothy Loudon, a much loved showbiz pro.
If you want to see how Miss Hannigan was meant to be played watch the video posted below. She appears at around 5.00 min.
- The 1999 version was great.
- I loved this movie ss a kid, too. I had the record andI'd listen to it over and over and over and over and over again and make huge messes in the kitchen so I could clean them up while singing and dancing to It's A Hard Knock Life.
- I never got Little Orphan Annie at all. Neither the comic strip or any of the musical productions hold the slightest interest for me. Ugly character.
- R23 is spot on. I saw the original 3 times, in SF, on tour, and on Bway a couple years later. The late great Keene Curtis on tour; Dorothy Loudon, thank God!; Harve Presnell on Bway (replacing Reid Shelton eventually); perhaps - what's her name, the original "Gooch" in Mame - as Hannigan. It is in many ways - book, lyrics, songs - an almost "perfect" musical. I put "perfect" in quotes 'cause I can't quite describe what I mean- I KNOW it's not literally perfect; maybe compleat is a better word. A shame that both the film and the sequel (on Bway) sucked.
Yes I'm old, and for these memories: GLAD!
- And why in the play does Annie not get the frizz hairdo until the end and in the movie, the kid has it All the time. That always bothered me.
- Reid Shelton was a hottie.
- R23 is right, at least it's been rectified with a loving retelling back in 1999. Just like Midler's 'Gypsy' and Glen Close's 'South Pacific' have redeemed very poor film versions of those musicals.
- If RENT could be filmed as both a regular movie and a capture of the stage production, it's surprising ANNIE has never received the same treatment.
- "My son will come out tomorrow, bet you're bottom dollar that tomorrow my son's gay." Never mind.
- [quote] Not many musicals were spinning off hit songs after the 1960's but "Tommorow" ....as annoying as the song is....did well. Grace Jones had a disco verision that was popular at the time, Streisand recorded it, Elaine Page recorded it.
What do you mean it "did well", either some version of it charted or it didn't. A bunch of people recording it doesn't mean shit, people record songs from musicals all the time. The Grace Jones version was embarrassing. It wasn't even released as a single, let alone a hit.
- She was at the Chiller autograph convention just last month in New Jersey. For having only one big credit, she always had people at her table. She was with her Mother and they were both really sweet.
- [quote]And why in the play does Annie not get the frizz hairdo until the end and in the movie, the kid has it All the time.
Well, for one thing it's not a flattering look on most little girls. The only reason they put her in the red dress and give her the perm in the stage musical is because it's Christmas and Mr. Warbucks and Grace want to do something special for her; and at the time the musical was first produced (1977), many people had strong memories of the original cartoon in the newspapers where Little Orphan Annie always had curly orange hair and wore the red dress, and they wanted to connect to those.
John Huston only wanted to do the film because he had such happy memories of the original newspaper comic. So he insisted they write the screenplay to include his two favorite supporting characters from the newspaper strip, Punjab and the Asp. he also arranged to cast a little girl to play Annie who genuinely had curly red hair in real life.
Nowadays almost no one remembers the original cartoon strip except by name. I've seen some productions where they've not even put Annie in the curly wig and the red dress at the end.
You do not know what you are talking about.
And learn to read.
I wrote: "Not many musicals were spinning off hit songs after the 1960's but "Tommorow" ....as annoying as the song is....did well. "
In fact: Broadway was a huge source of hit songs from the 1920s through the 1960s.
After "Hair" and "Promises Promises" in 1968, B'way as a source of hit songs (or even popular songs) began to dry up.
From 1968 to 1977 I can only think of the following songs from B'way musicals that had any impact nationally at the time:
" I Don't Know How to Love Him" (Jesus Christ Superstar),"Send in the Clowns" (Night Music) "Day By Day" (Godspell), "Ease on Down the Road" (the Wiz), "What I did for Love" (Chorus Line), "All that Jazz" (Chicago).
And that's pretty much it (If you can add any others, please do).
And of those songs maybe only 2 "charted" as bonafide hits.
But notice in my post I say nothing about charting... I simply mention that the song did well. In fact, while it may not have been covered into a hit, it was indeed a song that had an impact nationally ...EVERYONE in the country knew the song "Tomorrow" in 1977. And in time, the song has become rather iconic.
And the fact that Streisand and Page both chose to record it, does say something about the song.
- [quote] And the fact that Streisand and Page both chose to record it, does say something about the song.
Yeah, that they had lapses in taste or have bad taste, just like you do.
I'll help you out by posting my original comment again ...and using caps:
"Not many musicals were spinning off hit songs after the 1960's but "Tommorow" ....AS ANNOYING AS THE SONG IS....did well. "
- Except for SJP has any former Annie had Any career afterward?
- Allison Smith played Annie and was on Kate and Allie as a teen and had a recurring role on West Wing (Leo's daughter).
- Neither filmed version has the Hooverville scene and that's one of my favorite songs.
I loved the 82 movie when it came out (I was gay and 10) but now I see it as clunky and sloppy. The dubbed over sound effects in the "Easy Street" number are unfortunate because Burnett, Peters and Curry are so good- although Burnett seems like she wants her brother to bone her.
- A a musical, it began the careers of quite a few television actresses, Alyssa Milano was one of the orphans. In terms of the Annies having long careers that's less the case than for the orphans in general. Have you ever seen the documentary Life After Tomorrow, you might want to check into renting it. 20/20 did a piece on it when it was released.
- EASY STREET was intended to be a large scale production number on the street. It was filmed but then shelved for some reason.
Burnett is quite good in the movie. As is Ann Reinking.
- [quote]As is Ann Reinking.
Look at the link at the OP again. You're misremembering. She was awful.
- You should see the documentary "Life After 'Tomorrow'". Its about all the girls who played in various productions of "Annie" and their lives after. Very good movie.
- "POON JAB!!!!!"
- R48 Her role wasn't much, but she made the most of it. And Reinking's dancing is sublime as always. Kael compared her to Barrie Chase who danced with Astaire in those legendary television specials.
Reinking was made for the silver screen. It's a shame she wasn't bigger in that area.
- R34 As opposed to the the horrible Jason Alexander "Bye Bye Birdie" and the even worse Matthew Broderick "Music Man," both of which were far worse than their original movie adaptations.
- John Huston wanted Lucille Ball in the title role (she had the red hair already) but Gary Morton talked her out of it.
- It was released before I was born, but my sister made me watch it on what seemed like every other evening for the first 6 years of my childhood. It kind of traumatized me and I don't have good feelings toward anything related to the production or the character of Little Orphan Annie. I would have nightmares that the orphans would all come over to our house, tie me up, and force me to eat broccoli while they sang "embarrassing secrets" about me to an orchestra track (it was really scary at the time).
R46, Alyssa Milano wasn't in the movie, but I believe she did get inspired to child-act from seeing an Annie stage production...and then possibly was in one?
- It was awful but it was crack for little girls in the '80's. My older sister was obsessed with this movie and watched it over & over on video. Our mother got thoroughly fed up with "GOOD MORNING MISS HANNIGAN" at the breakfast table and I was forced into service as Punjab and various servants when my sister wanted a dance partner.
These kids recreate "We got Annie" with more skill than my sister & I ever managed.
- R55, Thanks for sharing. I don't feel so alone now.
- Whoa, R55 and I are comment twins!
Sister: "I'm Annie and you're all the other orphans!"
- OP, for that matter, why was Huston hired to direct the movie of ANNIE if he hated the song "Tomorrow?" Talk about a perverse choice.
I think those of you consider "Tomorrow" an "annoying" song feel that way only because (1) it was so overexposed at one time that it became a joke, and (2) a lot of little girls don't perform it well.
P.S I hope the person who praised the TV versions of GYPSY and SOUTH PACIFIC had tongue in check. GYPSY is quite good in many ways but is ultimately ruined by Midler's monstrous mugging in several scenes, while SP with Glennie is pretty much horrid through and through except for Harry Connick's body and a few other bright spots.
- It's amazing to think they got away with that embarrassing dance break for the Asian guy. Seriously? Was the rest of,y childhood this casually racist.
One of the odder things about this movie is how brilliantly almost everyone is cast: Burnett, Curry, Peters, etc. And yet the one person you'd assume had no business in a musical (Albert Finney) is the best thing in it.
- Here, Annie Warbucks' Sweet 16 party.
- Here's "NYC" which is a nice catchy song, if unspectacular on the stage, and which was absolutely begging for a splashy, energetic, musical montage featuring the characters out in New York City. Plus a cast of thousands, or hundreds, as well as some authentic locations. It could have been a total showstopper, in the right hands.
Houston replaced it with "Let's Go to the Movies", in which the characters sit in an empty theater. They watch a sad movie, and Annie fall asleep. It's fifteen minutes of nothing, where there could have been a showstopper. I totally believe Houston just wanted the paycheck.
- Someone ask Angelica if she knows anything about this topic.
- It's ANJELICA, dear. And I'm busy emoting on "Smash."
That's MS. HUSTON to you.
- I disagree. One of my all time favorites. I find every stage production I have seen since as subpar.
Carol Burnett was amazing.
- [quote] A lot of people spent their childhoods watching it over and over on dvd.
We didn't have DVDs, gramps.
- [quote]The blonde orphan who sings "Rover, why don't you think it over?" steals the whole entire movie.
That's Amanda Peterson - later made famous by her role as Cindy in the classic film 'Can't Buy Me Love'.
- [quote]And that's pretty much it (If you can add any others, please do).
"Being Alive" was known outside of COMPANY in the 1970s.
- R40 Would "And I Am Telling You" from "Dreamgirls" qualify?
- Didn't Amanda Peterson die very young or something? She had a lot of potential.
- R61, that NYC idea sounds ghastly, like something out of the movie version of Hello, Dolly!
- They did NYC in the TV remake with a cameo from original Annie Andrea McCardle
- R2 and R3 nailed it. Huston had no business directing it -- why was he chosen when say, Stanley Donen was also available.
Of course maybe Donen declined the job because of all those goddamn kids...
- Streisand recorded "Tomorrow", but it was a mellow version, not the bombastic Broadway version.
- They shot a whole outdoor street version of "Easy Street" that hat scrapped and replaced with the one withn Burnett, Tim Curry and Bernadette Peters never leave the orphange. You can see parts here at about 1:30.
- R40 No, "And I Am Telling You" would not apply in the context of my post. Reread it.
R67 An argument could be made for "Being Alive". Also "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin. But I don't think they were anywhere near as well known as those I listed.
- Amanda Peterson is still alive, but no longer acts. Now lives in Colorado, where she was born.
- I agree with you, R75, about "Being Alive" not being as popular as the songs you mentioned, although it was something of a cabaret standard in the 70s. I don't think "Corner of the Sky" was that well-known until after the original run of Pippin had ended. I think it's more of an "audition song" than a beloved standard.
- The Jackson 5's "Corner of the Sky" made the top 10 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B charts.
- R75 I reread your post and still don't understand why "And I Am Telling You" wouldn't qualify. It charted for both Jennifers, and is certainly a mainstream pop standard that is regularly performed.
- R79, he set the boundaries between 1968 and 1977, years before Dreamgirls opened, that's why. Thank you, R78, I had no idea the Jackson Five recorded that song.
- I loved the 1999 TV remake. This version of "Tomorrow" always breaks my heart:
- Wasn't What I Did For Love a pop hit?
- Something which hasn't been pointed out here yet is that the stage version of Annie is set during the Christmas period-hence the song "New Deal For Christmas.". The movie version was set in the summertiime and ended with a 4th of July fireworks display. A really dumb idea which was probably Huston's. Annie should definitely have been set at Christmas and released at Christmas.
- From 1968 to 1977 I can only think of the following songs from B'way musicals that had any impact nationally at the time:" I Don't Know How to Love Him" (Jesus Christ Superstar),"Send in the Clowns" (Night Music) "Day By Day" (Godspell), "Ease on Down the Road" (the Wiz), "What I did for Love" (Chorus Line), "All that Jazz" (Chicago). And that's pretty much it (If you can add any others, please do).
A few more:
From "Hair" (1969): "Aquarius," "Good Morning Starshine," the title song
From "Promises, Promises" (1969): "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and the title number
From "The Wiz" (1975) : In addition to "Ease on Down the Road," also "Everybody Rejoice! (Brand New Day)"
From "A Chorus Line" (1976): In addition to "What I Did for Love," also "One"
- Watching that clip of "NYC" from the 1999 "Annie" reminds me of what an amazing voice Andrea McArdle had. It's almost freakish it's so powerful and pure.
- HAHA, R77. "Corner of the Sky" was MY audition song of choice.
- [quote]steals the whole entire movie
[quote]I hate the movie myself
- So was the Kathy Bates' movie more faithful to the stage version?
- Don't forget Grease which produced, "Summer Nights." The other hit songs "Grease," "You're The One That I Want" (both #1) and "Hopelessly Devoted To You," (#4) were written for the film.
- Sorry, R87.
***steels the whole entire movie.
I personally don't see anything erroneously wrong with the other sentence.
- Kathy Bates's version of "Little Girls," to contrast with Carol Burnett's, posted earlier:
- "It's a Hard Knock Life" -- 1982 film and 1999 TV versions compared
- TV version:
- I agree R90. It's wrong, perhaps, but certainly not erroneously wrong.
"Hair" and "Promises" were both from 1968. Not 1969.
As I mentioned in my post: "After "Hair" and "Promises Promises" in 1968, B'way as a source of hit songs (or even popular songs) began to dry up."
You do have a point with "One" (although I can't think of anyone who has recorded it)... and "Brand New Day".
I forgot "Summer Nights" but I really don't know of any recordings of it until the film. Were there?
Here's a long forgotten song from a long forgotten OFF-B'way show (that had Bette Midler in the cast). It hit the top 10 in 1970... and was sung by the guy who sang it in the show. A rarity.
- I loved this movie, and I think for kids, it served it's purpose.
- "My name is Grace Farrell."
"Grace? Aptly named."
"Mr Warbucks likes redheaded children."
"10 year old redhead, huh? Nope, sorry. Ain't got it."
"Well how about this child?"
"Annie? You don't want Annie."
"Because she------ sh------ she's a drunk."
- "Chess" had "One Night In Bangkok".
- I grew up watching this movie as a kid.
I just recently rewatched it and a lot of the commentary here is spot on, it IS very sleazy.
According to Charles Strouse's very sparse bio the original team wasn't really included in the production (which I guess isn't a suprise) and the producer thought he had all the kids in the bag, so he was aiming to make it more sexy. I think they failed in that respect.
Question: In the show is Hannigan as slutty? The way Burnett throws herself at every male in the film is really disturbing.
Also, why did they replace NYC with Let's Go to the Movies? I've only seen some regional productions, but NYC could really have been a big old fashioned show stopping number in the film. It's very odd that they wanted Easy Street to be that, it just makes no sense.
And BTW the "black guy" that has been referenced here is Geoffrey Holder who is sort of a dance legend, although not sure what he was doing in this film.
Any why is Hannigan riding an elephant at the end?
- "One Night In Bangkok" was a hit in 1985 and came from the concept recording which evolved into the London stage version. CHESS didn't come to Broadway (and quickly flop) until 1988.
- Was George Benson's "On Broadway" (a huge hit) done specifically for "All That Jazz" or was it recorded before the film and they got permission to use it?
- "On Broadway" was a hit for the Drifters in 1963. It wasn't written for a Broadway show.
- I mean George Benson's version, sorry I should have been more specific. Did George do the cover of "On Broadway" for the movie or did he do it beforehand, the producers of All That Jazz liked it, and asked to use it?
- [quote]"One Night In Bangkok" was a hit in 1985 and came from the concept recording which evolved into the London stage version. CHESS didn't come to Broadway (and quickly flop) until 1988.
"Jesus Christ Superstar", "Evita", "Les Miz", "Tommy" & "Jekyll & Hyde" were all concept albums too so by your reasoning, all there hits are disqualified.
- I remember seeing it when it first opened witha a friend who was DYING to see it (being a huge theater queen) and we were laughing so much at all the inappropriate panty shots of Aileen Quinn. Now it just seems hugely sleazy.
- I was mainly pointing out that the song came way after the 1977 cutoff point the earlier poster specified.
- Man, just rewatched this with my neighbour's kid. It's..an experience.
I forgot that Roseanne Sorrentino's Pepper is dykey as hell. Deep husky voice, masculine swaggering walk, pageboy flip haircut, cocky smirk....
Her first role was in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. And in Annie, she was enjoying ordering those orphans around wayyyy too much.
She had every right to barge around that production with entitlement, though. They pulled on her what they did with Tony Vincent for the movie of Jesus Christ Superstar. Both played the main role on stage and won acclaim, then got stuck in a minor supporting role when it went to screen, and so lost a ton of money and accolades.
Plus side, neither got the blame for either film.
Also, Tony playing Simon Zealotes in a bullet vest? SO hot. His voice and aura make me melt, I'm so glad he got the sexy, angry role, instead of playing Jesus.
- Ladies and gentlemen, it's a race to the bottom.
- Tomorrow is not cut out of the movie. She sings it to FDR and his cabinet.
- "John Huston directed it; he knew NOTHING about how to do a movie musical. I think that was the main reason it was so bad; he didn't know what the hell he was doing."
Your logic is unpersuasive.
Of course some great movie musicals were directed by directors with a great deal of musical experience and some awful movie musicals were directed by directors with none.
However, some great or at least quite proficient musical screen adaptations were directed by directors who, like Huston, were masters who had never before or very rarely directed a musical.
Sir Carol Reed - Oliver
Norman Jewison - Fiddler on the Roof
William Wyler - Funny Girl
Francesco Rosi - Carmen
George Cukor - My Fair Lady
Frank Oz - Little Shop of Horrors
Tim Burton - Sweeney Todd (sorry but it really isn't a bad movie at all, and if he had had a better Mrs. Lovett than the usually wonderful Helena Bonham Carter, here giving a muddled performance, it would have been damn good!)
Meanwhile, the following turkeys were directed by directors with a great deal of experience directing musicals
Nine - Rob Marshall
South Pacific - Josh Logan
A Little Night Music - Hal Prince
Mame - Gene Saks
- I liked HBC in Sweeney Todd.
- [quote]Why was "Annie" (1982) so awful?
- What's hilarious about "We Got Annie" is it looks like Ann Reinking is orgasming as she walks along that sidewalk at the very beginning.
- [quote]However, some great or at least quite proficient musical screen adaptations were directed by directors who, like Huston, were masters who had never before or very rarely directed a musical.
Well said, R109.
- Vincent Canby said it was better than the play:
- [quote]Why "Annie" (1999) is so awful
1. Miss Hannigan being nice to Annie in the beginning made no sense at all. She even gives Annie a hug? She's not supposed to be bi-polar.
2. Annie got turned into a typically passive generic Disney girl in a way she was not in either the original movie, the play or the comic strip. I hated the fact that they removed the part where Annie is in the closet scheming as Grace Farrell watches.
3. Grace Farrell never sings "Tomorrow" in any other version.
4. What happened to Hooverville? They wanted a more faithful alternative to the movie, but they cut this?
5. FDR doesn't show up until the end, when he barely does anything. And frankly, "I wonder what Democrats eat" has never done anything for me. You'd hardly know there was a depression. It's like the 1930s on Prozac!
6. The play's ending was just as cheesy in its own way, and worse yet it made the orphans passive. The movie changed it with good reason: to make the orphans active in Annie's rescue and give Punjab and the Asp something to do besides making up Buddha quotes and taking a break from dancing to declare "we got Annie." I always hated the fact that they were just standing around waiting to sing, but in this case the song they were waiting to sing, "A New Deal For Christmas," still hasn't been put back.
7. Where's the title song and the Jerry Herman Staircase Moment that accompanied it? That could have been delightful had they chosen to include it.
8. They wore the radio show with Bert Healy down to a nub. Was this because ABC is a descendant of the Blue Network, and the Red Network is now NBC and Disney didn't want to promote the competition? Either way, not cool.
9. I get that they were trying to make Lily less stupid by having her babysit the other orphans and then catch on to getting frozen out of the kidnapping scheme, but it backfires because that leaves Miss Hannigan to impersonate Annie's mother. What. The. Fuck? Annie is not stupid. She has known Miss Hannigan practically her whole life. She should have been able to recognize Miss Hannigan in a disguise. Molly should have been able to recognize her!
10. Throwing Miss Hannigan in a mental institution instead of jail? With that, it crossed the line from being stupid and became just plain offensive. Why Rob Marshall, who is openly gay, would stigmatize mental health issues in such a fashion when he knows full well how being gay was viewed the same way by the mental health industry until he was 12. It became doubly offensive when Audra McDonald revealed that she was in an institution once because she tried to kill herself.
11. Victor Garber and Audra McDonald are not believable as lovers for a second. They have the least amount of sexual chemistry I've ever seen in a Disney couple, and that's saying something. It is also patronizing to the audience to suggest that race relations in 1933 were better than they really were (this invalidates their excuses for keeping [italic]Song of the South[/italic] out of circulation). Nor do I believe a single, solitary moment that any one of those girls had a hard knock life.
12. The lighting makes it look clean and shiny like a sitcom. Have Zadan and Meron ever heard of the phrase "motivated light source"?
13. I like Kathy Bates but not as a singer. And what was Rob Marshall thinking telling her to play it as a bitter, butch teetotaler who dresses like the love child of Rosie O'Donnell and Grady from [italic]Sanford and Son[/italic]?
14. The crucial scene from the play where Miss Hannigan tells Annie her parents are dead, shot for the movie but cut and surviving only as a publicity still that has been seen on lobby cards and video boxes, still has not been put back. The show needs that scene in order to establish why Annie wants out.
- I saw it as a kid and really liked it.
Since kids are the target audience, I figure the movie was successful.
- I remember Annie's panties and Miss Hannigan and Rooster saying "damn" because it infuriated the mom who took us to the movie. Also the 7UP guy who was apparently straight and very talented. I had the Broadway recording and saw a traveling company at the Guthrie in Minneapolis. I was 5 or 6. I guess it's like today's Frozen but with way better songs.
- [quote]Since kids are the target audience, I figure the movie was successful.
It came in tenth for the year, so it wasn't a total disaster. It just cost so much money that it had to be a huge hit or else. It's basically the last of the same post-[italic]Sound of Music[/italic] extravaganzas that sold a lot of tickets but cost more than they made. It was listed in one of Michael and Harry Medved's flop books, but it's been rereleased on video and shown on TV so many times (and they remixed the sound on the Blu-ray so you can actually hear Aileen Quinn) it must have at least broken even by now. But the competition that summer was fierce: [italic]E.T., Poltergeist, Star Trek II, Rocky III, An Officer and A Gentleman, Firefox, Tron[/italic] and [italic] Conan the Barbarian[/italic]. Hollywood's main target is adolescent heterosexual boys, the last people on Earth who would be caught dead seeing a Depression-era musical pastiche about a little girl. Although a lot of my str8 friends my age like it.
It wasn't the only game in town for musicals that summer, either; [italic]The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas[/italic] came out the same time and was the only one of the 7 studio musicals that year to outgross it, likely because it was R rated and thus would have sold fewer tickets to children who pay less for movie tickets. Some of the press at the time said Columbia's future laid in the balance of the film's box office performance; they didn't finalize the Coca-Cola buyout until after the film was out already, so it's the last Columbia Picture made while the studio was still independent of a major conglomerate.
It should have been a roadshow, but those ceased to exist after [italic]Man of La Mancha[/italic]. It's a fun film, it's just not the Broadway show and some people can't accept that.
I still don't know why people singled them out for the panty shots, considering how many Disney films do it too. Even the most recent period musicals before then ([italic]Pete's Dragon[/italic] and [italic]Grease[/italic], both of which were aimed at the same family crowd) did it, too. Ah, that good-old American puritanism. Who exactly found them sexy, though, that wasn't part of the film's production? It makes me wish there was a big-budget movie musical with male dancers exposed similarly.
And considering how much casual homophobia there still was in 1980s films, I [italic]liked[/italic] seeing Annie holding Molly and singing to her. Do you think they ever would have done that in [italic]Stand By Me[/italic] or on [italic]Silver Spoons[/italic]? Not likely.
And maybe this commercial will put it in the proper context:
- It's a fun film, it's just not the Broadway show and some people can't accept that.
That's a lot of it. The problem was that the Broadway show was really terrific: it not only had a huge star in Andrea McArdle, but it's very well constructed (except for the part where they go to DC to visit FDR's cabinet, which makes no sense). Even songs that don't work at all divorced from the show, like the title song and "You Won't Be an Orphan for Long," work very well dramatically in the show (I remember the gasp in the house when McArdle first appeared in the signature curly wig and red dress during the title number--people had almost assumed she just wasn't going to be dressed like that, and it came as a big surprise).
The movie fucked up a lot with that dramatic construction that worked so beautifully on stage and would actually have worked beautifully on film; but if you've not seen the stage show and don't know that two of the best songs ("We'd Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover" and "NYC") were cut, the film really isn't as bad as all that. There are a few really huge problems--the Warbucks mansion seems cold and not beautiful; the "Let's Go to the Movies" is pointless and goes on forever; and there are too many new weak songs--but it has some great things in it, like Carol Burnett and Geoffrey holder. And Aileen Quinn is very appealing as Annie (though she's not a beautiful child like McArdle was).
- The weirdest thing about "Annie" for me was that they changed so much, and yet they still KEPT the most irritating thing in the entire stage show, the orphan who keeps whining, "Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!"
Who has ever found that character either funny or adorable?
- [quote]and yet they still KEPT the most irritating thing in the entire stage show, the orphan who keeps whining, "Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!"
I don't think that happens in the play. Anyone else?
- Yes, the "Oh, my goodness!" girl is in the play too. You want to wad up your playbill and shoot spitballs at her long before the end.
Miss Hannigan riding the elephant at the end of the 1982 movie is symbolic of the triumphant return of Republican trickle-down economics via the election of Ronald Reagan. They cut Hoover-ville because Reagan was the economic heir to Herbert Hoover.
The movie lets Annie visit FDR and Eleanor in their private quarters but it keeps her out of the Cabinet Room where, in the play, she helps to inspire The New Deal.
- [quote]Like in "Let's Go To The Movies" the characters sit in an empty theater, all you see is empty space.
That was Huston's not so subtle way of saying how rich Warbucks was, buying out a 6000 seat Radio City for three people.
- The clip of "It's a Hard Knock Life" from Huston's version is panned and scanned. It was a widescreen film that has never been available on home video until this year's Blu-ray. That clip only shows half the dancing.
- [quote]The movie fucked up a lot with that dramatic construction that worked so beautifully on stage and would actually have worked beautifully on film; but if you've not seen the stage show and don't know that two of the best songs ("We'd Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover" and "NYC") were cut, the film really isn't as bad as all that.
I have a copy of a revised draft that still had those songs. At this point, they planned to open the movie with "Herbert Hoover" being played on the radio. Annie also had more to say about politics not only in the White House scene, but in the scene at Warbucks' house where they argue over FDR. And there was more than one bolshevik throwing bombs at him, which is why he rented out the movie theater. That's why him actually going to the orphanage to the papers is so important. There were placeholders for new songs, but none had been written yet. The draft is dated August 1980.
Albert Finney's Warbucks is the closest to how Harold Gray created him. The scowl on his face during the White House "Tomorrow" is basically symbolic of how big business "supported" the New Deal: they were dragged into kicking and screaming, not singing and smiling like the play, while feeling they had let our Founding Fathers down.
I'm also convinced the first verse of "Easy Street" got cut to keep the movie as close to two hours as possible. The "sainted mother" verse changes the characters' POV entirely If Columbia saved the cut scenes from the musical [italic]Lost Horizon[/italic], this may still exist somewhere. Hollywood gets no more do-overs on this show until it turns up again:
- Widescreen shots from the blu-ray
- [quote]It might be the worst film adaptation of a pretty good Broadway musical ever.
It's not even the worst film version of [italic]Annie[/italic].
- Mmmm, panties . . .
- [quote]George Cukor - My Fair Lady
Uhm, he actually directed a little-known musical called "A Star is Born", starring the newcomer Judy Garland some years earlier.
- Good point, r129, and it was a faux pas on my part, but more to the point, when he directed A Star is Born, he wasn't at all known for musicals and A Star is Born is a great movie - thereby proving my point.
Besides which, I was gearing my discussion toward adaptations of stage musicals, which A Star is Born i snot.
- I'm convinced that making a good musical is one of the ultimate challenges for a director and especially an editor. No other genre is as challenging because no other genre requires the degree of suspension of disbelief that a musical does. The best musicals are those in which the rhythm and pacing ensure that we get seamlessly swept up in the performance. It's very tricky stuff.
- John Waters and Tomorrow:
- Musicals have never been the same since everybody involved in making a musical stopped taking pep pills.
- R115 is scary.
- R134 needs to go rent [italic]The Snake Pit[/italic].
- R114 he was right. I pretty much agree with everything in that review. If it's more "sleazy" and less cornball, well...that's great!
And remember, these are 1982 reviews. Critics circa 2014 are, needless to say, a lot more generous. It would have gotten decent to good reviews today - at least as good as Les Mis.
I like how Huston had a bit of perverse fun with the whole thing. And the adult cast really is a truly great line-up of great talents from all mediums. Burnett was really the only all out star of the cast (as marvelous an actor as Finney is, he has never really been a star. Certainly no box office clout whatsoever). They really just chose those they saw as the best for the role.
Aileen Quinn is fine enough in that she was cute and sweet looking, and, I guess most importantly, she wasn't overly precoscious and didn't annoy the fuck out of me as so many child actors do. Can't say that about the orphans though, but thankfully their role in the movie is significantly reduced. They're either that overly precoscious bratty type that I can't stand (especially Molly), or, they're like, literally dead weight. I can never keep track of all of those "middle" orphans, but one or two of them I remember just being, like, clumsy, and staring and laughing into the camera. How could some of them been picked after a "worldwide search" is beyond me.
I think some of the uncredited/extra orphans would have done a better job. At least they were good dancers.
Anyway, I like the movie, always have. It gets an unfair rep that stems mainly from its astronomical budget and the overhype ("the movie of Tomorrow.") The critics knives were out even before they saw it.
And even then, some top critics (Canby, Ebert) still basically liked it and thought it was the best it could be, given the cornball source material.
- I love this video because it's so funny to see Andrea McArdle jockeying for position with Aileen Quinn. You can tell that she's still bitter she didn't get to play the role on screen.
- Annie is a lousy film because you cannot make a silk purse from a sow's ear. I think that's what they say.
Completely mortified for all of eternity that I mentored that commercial hack who ruined the American musical forever. Mediocrity was never before so hugely rewarded.
- I speak for tens of thousands of blind and deaf little orphans across America who loved it!
- You left out dumb.
- [quote]I love this video because it's so funny to see Andrea McArdle jockeying for position with Aileen Quinn. You can tell that she's still bitter she didn't get to play the role on screen.
She would have been 18 and Albert Finney would have gotten a hernia carrying her off screen.
- If Roman Polanski had directed it, nobody would have been wearing panties.
- They should have had Annie sing "Tomorrow" after she gets shoved in the closet but before Grace Farrell arrives at the orphanage.
- [quote]If Roman Polanski had directed it, nobody would have been wearing panties
Not to mention, half the orphans would be in a family way.
- As someone from the area where the Warbucks mansion scenes were filmed, I can tell you with confidence that a great many gay guys fucked their significant others in the ass in the room that was used for the large bathtub in the movie.
- R146 so many people involved in that movie are dead.
- [quote]As someone from the area where the Warbucks mansion scenes were filmed, I can tell you with confidence that a great many gay guys fucked their significant others in the ass in the room that was used for the large bathtub in the movie.
Warbucks' gardener was one of my first gaydar readings. Even as a kid, I could tell that man didn't have a heterosexual bone in his body.
- I love it. It isn't awful.
- R147 is that the one who said: "hi there, Annie, got something for ya!" It's so sad - I see people like that now, and the first thing I think is: AIDS casualty.
Anyway I still love the movie and after the release of this piece of shit it'll probably be seen as a classic.
- R147/R149 His name was Russell Chambers and was with the Joffery Ballet in NYC for a number of years and was the principal dancer in the Broadway production of DANCE.
Mr. Chambers later suffered an Achilles's tendon injury and retired from active dancing but formed a ballet school / company in Randolph Massachusetts with his life partner Ken Aubert. Mr. Chambers passed away in the early 1990's of AIDS complications.
- R129 Garland was not a newcomer in 1954 when she made A STAR IS BORN. By then, she had been a bona fide movie star for at least 15 years: The Andy Hardy movies in the 1930s, BABES IN ARMS (1939), THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939), FOR ME AND MY GAL (1942), MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944), THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946), EASTER PARADE (1948), SUMMER STOCK (1950).
- [quote]11. Victor Garber and Audra McDonald are not believable as lovers for a second. They have the least amount of sexual chemistry I've ever seen in a Disney couple, and that's saying something. It is also patronizing to the audience to suggest that race relations in 1933 were better than they really were (this invalidates their excuses for keeping Song of the South out of circulation). Nor do I believe a single, solitary moment that any one of those girls had a hard knock life.
Don't forget the multiracial orphans, which wouldn't have happened back then, even in NYC.
- R118, today, one of those girls would be black and the other would be Asian. The white one, of course, would still be in the middle.
- You know, as a kid growing up in the 80's, I thought it was a relatively good film adaptation. I think what kills the movie and turns the critical reviews is this weird-as-shit, out of left field finale where Rooster chases Annie up an extended bridge. That's when it takes a step way too far from the source material. The stuff before that may not be brilliant, but I think it gets an unfair light with the absolute bonkers shit at the end leaving the final impression.
- R154 you might have a point; it's just kind of weirdly sadistic - although I like the end part with Punjab, and the "rescue music" they play at the end (when she sees Warbucks and Grace and gets off the "autocopter") is very spirited. And Carol Burnett is just too likeable to end up "good" after all - so I think that change was the right decision, actually.
I like the whole final scene a lot and - confession - I have always coveted those party dresses that the orphans wore in that scene. Paging Theoni Aldredge!
Speaking of the screenplay, anyone know if Carol Sobieski was related to LeeLee Sobeiski? Not exactly a common name.
- They should have let me write the script.
- Because they wrote the sweet Christmas story out of it and replaced it with July 4th
- [quote]Because they wrote the sweet Christmas story out of it and replaced it with July 4th
- If he'd had Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre in it it would have been a classic.
- I have never been into theatre. I have never seen Annie the musical on broadway (I was born the year it opened) But holy fuck if this version of Easy Street from the 1977 Tony Awards on Youtube as not turned me into a theatre queen!
This Dorothy Loudon chick was fantastic!! May she rest in peace.
- My god, it's a classic compared to the shit they crank out today.
- [quote] Garland was not a newcomer in 1954 when she made A STAR IS BORN.
How you thought that poster was being serious about famed WIZARD OF OZ star Judy Garland is beyond me.
- R160 could never stand her, thought she was as shrill and annoying as fuck. Burnett was light years better then her.
(Actually, I know grammar trolls, it's "better then SHE," but that just sounds so...WRONG. Always has.)
- I would never describe Dorothy Loudon as shrill (a bit much, perhaos), especially compared to the shrill-voiced, "thinks she's a belter" Carol Burnett.
- I think they nailed it. It's a weird musical, and the movie has the edginess of John Huston (Asphalt Jungle, Chinatown). And Aileen Quinn is spot-on.