Genre: Musical, Family, Comedy
Runtime: 124 Minutes
Often considered stale today but Annie still has a little spark of magic in it. An odd choice for director John Huston, the man that brought critically successful films like Wise Blood and The Man Who Would Be Kind in this sloppy stage adaption, but the kids are cute, the songs are memorable but he film’s weak narrative and characters brings it down. The casting was great, featuring Tim Curry, Albert Finney and even Ann Reinking, who previously starred in All That Jazz. In the abstract Annie is fun, colourful, filled with movement and some memorable musical numbers.
During the great depression in New York City, Annie is a 10 year-old orphan girl who is rescued from a cruel orphanage owned by the alcoholic Miss Hannigan and is soon rescued by a billionaire who wants to Rent-an-orphan for a week by his private secretary Grace (Ann Reinking). Arriving to a rich stiff who seems to forget he wanted an orphan (and not knowing that orphans could be girls strangely) she gets to stay and Warbucks grows attached to little Annie. Warbucks and Grace even go so far as to perform a public search for Annie's parents, creating an opportunity for Miss Hannigan, Rooster (Tim Curry), and Lily (Bernadette Peters) to scam their way to the reward money.
The story itself is a bit sluggish and the character development is very weak. Warbucks is a rich stiff of a character at first who soon becomes attached to Annie and soon has a different look on life. A nice development but it is dragged along. My favourite character from the film would be Miss Hannigan. She is a drunken floozy who seems mean at first but you learn why. She’s just a woman who yearns for a man. And I love how the film had prohibition mentioned. In a few scenes we see Miss Hannigan with a bathtub full of alcohol, which back then was known as Bathtub gin or Moonshine. 1920’s and 30’s America was my favourite part of history at school so that was one thing I enjoyed about the film.
The music was acceptable and no more. Favourite song would be Hard Knock Life, a song you may be familiar with even if you haven’t seen this film. The musical numbers where fun but where no more than good. The story is out of tune, the characters are fun, but don’t last and the film I definitely want be keen to watching again. With a runtime spanning just over 2 hours, it has some nice musical numbers, some annoying children and an innocent family story that will satisfy at a minimum.My Rating: 6.5/10