- Movie Rating -

Annie (1982)

| May 21, 1982

Annie is an all-out, full-blooded, hugely produced extravaganza with all of the familiar pieces in place.  There’s Annie.  There’s Daddy Warbucks.  There’s the mean old Miss Hannigan.  There’s Sandy.  There’s Punjab.  There’s all of Annie’s friends from the orphanage.  The movie is full of big, brassy musical numbers, lots of comedy, lots of energy.  This is a big movie!  And yet . . . and yet, something about this film felt empty.

I don’t know, I enjoyed the movie’s willingness to revive the dying art of the movie musical, and I expected something maybe like The Sound of Music or My Fair Lady but I couldn’t get over the sensation that this movie wasn’t grabbing me.  I was entertained, I guess.  Everything looked like it was in place, but something here is notably flat.

I cannot put my finger on what that might be.  The film felt a little dusty to me, like it was trying to grab the spirit of a bygone era of old movies, but felt like movie from 1982 playing dress-up.  I can’t fault anything in particular.  Aileen Quinn is fun as Annie.  She’s got lots of infectious energy which makes up for the fact that she really can’t sing.  Albert Finney is great as Daddy Warbucks who lets the cute little orphan warm his soul.  He’s an odd choice, but as in every role he’s such a good actor that he can take a watery role like this in inject it with greatness.  Carol Burnett is fine as Miss Hannigan, a lousy drunk who runs the orphanage, certainly not out of kindness.

They’re here.  They do their jobs.  The movie has the great John Huston as its director, and yet this movie feels about 10 years out of date, like it might have been more comfortable in the late 60s.  Maybe that’s it.  Maybe the time has come and gone for Little Orphan Annie.  Nowadays, her adventures seem out of place in a world that has so brilliantly pulled Superman from the comic page.  Again, I sat there and I enjoyed what was on screen, but it left me feeling a little empty.  I didn’t get the joy that I was suppose to have.  Am I too old?  Am I too young?  I don’t know.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1982) View IMDB Filed in: Musical