Film & Water #154 – Annie


Episode 154: ANNIE

Leapin' Lizards! Rob welcomes fellow podcaster Emily Scott to discuss the 1982 big screen adaptation of ANNIE, starring Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney, Tim Curry, Carol Burnett, and directed by John Huston!

And be sure to check out TREASURYCAST #32, where Rob and Emily discuss the Marvel Comics treasury-sized adaptation of the movie!

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13 responses to “Film & Water #154 – Annie

  1. Going to the movies wasn’t a frequent event in my youth but I remember being dragged to this and seeing it in the cinema. While my dad said it was to expose me to a broadway show, these days I wonder if it was because of his well known celebrity crush on Bernadette Peters.

    It is funny that the two songs you mention as dragging down the movie (‘Sandy’ and the ‘Going to the Movies’ number) are not in the broadway show and were written solely for the movie.

    I don’t think this is a movie I would ever seek out to see again although now I wonder if I might appreciate Finney and Herrman more.

  2. I saw this movie at the theater, somewhat against my wishes. My two elderly neighbors thought it would be nice to take me, since I was a known comic fan, and after all, Annie was a comic strip! So my Mom made me go, and I didn’t get to protest much (I was 7). I actually did enjoy the movie, although I dare not tell anyone.

    Cindy is a huge fan of this movie. She has the regular Marvel comics (not the treasury, unfortunately), and quite a few of the dolls from the film. Our kids grew up watching the film, and Dani is a fan of both this and the Jamie Foxx remake.

    And Rob, you and I have to discuss Finney’s musical Scrooge this Christmas!!!

    Speaking of Christmas…great stinger!


  3. A good follow-up you may want to check out is the 2006 documentary “Life After Tomorrow” which shows up on cable from time to time. It’s an honest look at the experiences all the Annies have had onstage over the years.

    On another note: Cartoonist Harold Gray absolutely hated FDR & the New Deal. Daddy Warbucks was often portrayed as a Christ-like capitalist. He came to hate unions & “big government.” He would be spinning over in his grave if he’d have seen this.

    The Annie musical has almost nothing to do with the strip itself. Other than Daddy Warbucks & Sandy, none of the other characters appear. Originally, there was a Mrs. Warbucks but she faded out rather quickly. Also, Gray’s first idea was for his star to be a boy: Little Orphan Otto. IDW is reprinting Gray’s Annie strips in wonderful hardcover volumes. The strips can be a bit of a slog but are worth checking out for history’s sake.

    PS: Miss Hannigan remains a villain in the original musical.

  4. I have Life After Tomorrow and I echo Chuck’s recommendation, it’s fascinating. Is ‘Aileen’ pronounced ‘Eileen’ in the US, as Rob said it throughout? I’ve always heard it as ‘A-leen’, think Ayla Ranzz. I was waiting for Emily to say the name, for comparison, but never heard it… it was like she was as avoiding it!

    Anyway, lovely episode. I love Annie, stage and film version. The original has no big chopper, full details of the plot are in Wiki – the ending is less epic, but great in terms of emotions and earned happiness. Parents still crispy, mind.

    I dislike Dumb Dog but enjoyed Sandy (is that the one you wanted stranded at a drive-in?). My fave, though, is Carol Burnett singing Little Girls, a clever song brilliantly performed and staged. Oh, and You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile is irresistibly singalong-able. Let’s go to the movies together!

    I’ve never been worried about Daddy Warbucks being a paedo… it’s just a family musical, he’s a cynical businessman, for crying out loud!

  5. Great episode. I recall seeing “Annie” once or twice on TV as a kid, but haven’t watched it in decades. I did not remember the cringe-worthy aspects of the film that might not fly with modern audiences, but those things probably went over my head as a child. Now, I’m actually curious about the 2014 remake, and how it did or didn’t address some of those aspects of the original film. I understand the remake is supposed to be a contemporary retelling of the story, which would give the creators some freedom to fiddle with the characters and plot.

    As an aside, one of the best ways for me to earn a punch in the arm or, at the very least, a good eye roll from my daughter is for me to start singing “Tomorrow” to her. As far as I know, she’s never actually seen “Annie.”

  6. I saw Annie in the theater as a kid and feel no shame about that. Is it really a bad movie as some have intimated? The cast alone! CAROL BURNETT alone!

    Loved the passion radiating from Emily.

  7. How about an episode covering the 1950s Li’l Abner movie musical? It’s not great. Some of the songs are fun but the only really memorable moment is Julie Newmar ‘s 1 minuet appearance as Stupyfyin Jones!

  8. Carol Burnett tells a great anecdote about this movie. Not long after she had finished shooting her scenes, she took one of her daughters to the orthodontist. The daughter needed some minor reconstructive surgery to correct an underbite. The doctor mentioned to Burnett that he could do the same procedure on her, and she decided to have it done. Not long afterward, John Huston called her to do some re-shoots. Carol ends the story by saying, “After Miss Hanningan gets locked in the closet, she comes out with a different chin!”

  9. it would seem that the lack of success at the box office for Annie (i’m sure the producers were envisioning blockbuster status) killed the trend that was emerging in the late 70’s/early 80’s of comicbook and comic strip characters getting big budget feature films. You had Superman, Flash Gordon, the Lone Ranger, Annie, Popeye all getting the big screen treatment to varying degrees of success. It wasn’t until Batman ’89 that comics characters got serious looks by Hollywood again iirc

    For some reason i had the second issue of the Annie Marvel adaptation. I was five at the time so i can’t accept full responsibility for my choices at the spinner rack.

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