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

Thursday, August 26, 2010


ANNIE (1982). Director: John Huston.

In 1932 Manhattan, a little orphan named Annie (Aileen Quinn) who lives in a home run by the nasty Miss Hannigan (Carol Burnett) is chosen to spend a day with the super-wealthy Oliver Warbucks (Albert Finney). But there's trouble afoot when Miss Hannigan's brother (Tim Curry) and gal (Bernadette Peters) -- along with Hannigan -- concoct a scheme to kidnap Annie for cash. Based on the Broadway hit, this is a good, old-fashioned musical comedy served up with flair and bolstered by excellent performances and a tuneful and memorable score. ("You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" is probably the best number, although "Tomorrow" is more famous.) Little Quinn is marvelous; a very funny Burnett nearly steals the picture as Hannigan, and Ann Reinking is effervescent as Warbuck's singing and dancing secretary. Peters and Curry are also wonderful, as is Lois de Banzie as Eleanor Roosevelt. Although Albert Finney is woefully miscast as Warbucks, he givers it the old college try and does have a terrific sequence with Burnett. The splendid Reinking also appeared in Movie, Movie, Micki + Maude and All That Jazz, but did not have many non-Broadway credits.

Verdict: Very entertaining movie with Burnett in top form. ***1/2.

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