Movie Review: Annie (1982)

Starring: Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney and Carol Burnett

Directed by: John Huston

During the prohibition era of the 1930’s Annie is stuck inside an orphanage which is managed by the child hating tyrant Miss Hannigan. Her situation seems hopeless until she is selected by munitions Industrialist Oliver Warbucks’ aide to spend a week living with him to improve his public image. Annie’s charm begins to grow on Mr. Warbucks and he attempts to help her find her long lost parents.

After watching the 2014 version of Annie which starred Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx my wife soon realised that her favourite version of Annie, this one, was on Netflix after all, she was just not looking hard enough. After being impressed by what I watched last night with the apparent lesser of the Annie movies I was eagerly looking forward to seeing what the more acclaimed version had to offer.

I will be the first to agree with the majority of people and accept that the eighties version of Annie is better overall than the more recent 2014 version although it’s not quite the difference in quality as many suggest. While this movie had better musical numbers and an all round better tone as it was set during the thirties rather than today but I still feel that the newer version of the movie had a better feel good and emotionally driven story. The best aspect of this film was the musical numbers, the songs were better delivered and the actors and actresses who were singing them were cast appropriately. Each song felt like a spectacle and the dance choreography to go with each performance was great to watch.

Carol Burnett who played orphanage manager Miss Hannigan was wonderfully suited to her role and gave a fantastic performance and when I compare her to Cameron Diaz who was cast in the same role there’s not a contest, Cameron Diaz was awful in comparison. Burnett is most famed for being a broadway star and this movie really capitalised on the use of professional singers and dancers. Ann Reinking is another member of the cast who is more famed for her work within the dance industry as opposed to the world of movies but she was brilliant as Grace Farrell, Mr Warbucks’ personal aide, as each musical performance she was involved in looked amazing. Aileen Quinn was very good as Annie and displayed a natural charm about her that made her easy to like and watch. I really like the time period chosen too as I feel musicals just work better when they are set in an older time. Musicals such as this, Oliver Twist, Mary Poppins, The Greatest Showman and Les Miserables are overall better to watch than a musical set in the present day.

The one thing that I preferred in the 2014 Annie movie was the performance and character of the rich billionaire tycoon. While this movie had Albert Finney playing Oliver Warbucks, who was good in his role as a powerful businessman who plays to the beat of his own drum I just preferred Jamie Foxx as William Stacks. He was a lot more relatable and I felt that he had a greater emotional connection with Annie which helped the dynamics of their relationship. I think that if I had watched this version of Annie before the one that I watched yesterday maybe my opinion yesterday might’ve been different but as I watched them in reverse order I was able to enjoy both movies for what they were whereas many people only really enjoy the older movie.

Overall, this was a fun movie which had some great musical numbers and dance performances to boot. While I prefer this movie to the newer 2014 release the gulf in quality isn’t as great as many suggest.

8/10

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