Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


MISS ANNIE ROONEY (1942). Director: Edwin L. Marin.

"Barbaric! -- But it's fun!"

Sweet little Annie Rooney (Shirley Temple) sort of has a kind of steady in pal Joey (Roland Dupree), who loves jazz and jalopies, but she really flips when she meets the sincere and kind-hearted Marty (Dickie Moore), who invites her to his birthday party. "Where on Earth did you meet someone with that name?" asks his snobbish mother, played by Dracula's Daughter herself, Gloria Holden. Alas, Annie's father (William Gargan) is an out of work inventor with aspirations, and Master Marty lives on Sutton Place, and how can Annie afford to buy the proper dress for such a high-toned address? Grandpa (Guy Kibbee) puts on his thinking cap, and it all works out in the end. The good-natured tone of the piece and the excellent acting from the entire cast help disguise the fact that this is really just a lower case Alice Adams, but it does explore the indignations of poverty with some veracity. June Lockhart plays a snobbish girl at the party and Peggy Ryan is Annie's good friend, Myrtle. Although now in her early teens, Temple had lost none of her charm or acting ability. Moore, Gargan and Kibbee are also perfectly swell. Speaking of swells, Shirley wins them over by demonstrating how to dance the jitterbug.

Verdict: If you don't like this movie "you're not hep to the jive!" ***.

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