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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Annie (1982)

A young orphan (Aileen Quinn) is chosen to spend a week as the guest of a billionaire (Albert Finney) for publicity purposes. But it isn't long before the girl has attached herself to the billionaire and his staff including his personal secretary (Ann Reinking, those legs!). But the devious orphanage supervisor (Carol Burnett) hatches a plan with her brother (Tim Curry) and his girlfriend (Bernadette Peters) to scam the billionaire for money. Directed by John Huston from the hit Broadway musical, the film is hardly the disaster its reputation would lead you to believe. But it's not very good either. Granted, there's nothing in Huston's filmography to lead one to believe he had the temperament for a movie musical (though the dance sequences in his MOULIN ROUGE are very well done) and his direction is pretty static here. But no one seems willing to address the elephant in the room ... it's just not a very good musical. I'm not just talking about the film but the source material. I've seen ANNIE on stage and it reeks of mediocrity. Without rethinking the musical for film, it was never going to work. But it does provide an opportunity for Carol Burnett who hasn't fared well in her film career with a decent role which she plays to the hilt. I have to confess I broke out into a grin watching Albert Finney dance! The 1999 TV version fared better but it's still not a good musical ... period. With Edward Herrmann as FDR, Geoffrey Holder, Peter Marshall and Lois De Banzie.

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