Annie was one of my sister’s favourite films when we were growing up, so it was a film that I saw myself quite a bit, and I have to say I too have good memories of it myself.
The film was released in 1982 and stars Aileen Quinn as the titular Annie. The film is a musical and was based on a stage musical from the late Seventies, which in turn was based on a newspaper comic strip Little Orphan Annie which dates back to the 1920’s. Annie is an orphan with a curly mop of very orange hair. She lives in an orphanage run by Miss Hannigan, who makes the lives of Annie and the other orphans an unpleasant one.
One day though, Annie’s life changes for the better, when the secretary of Oliver Warbucks (Albert Finney), a hard headed billionaire, turns up at the orphanage looking for a child to live with Warbucks for a week as a publicity stunt. Annie is chosen, and whilst Warbucks is not best pleased (he would have preferred a boy), as time goes by Annie starts to melt his cold heart, and eventually Warbucks adopts Annie as his own daughter.
Whilst happy at leaving the orphanage, Annie has always been convinced that she is not actually an orphan, and that her mother and father are still out there somewhere. Warbucks decides he will try to help Annie out, and makes an appeal for her parents to come forward.
Many people decide to come forward, thinking they can claim some of Warbucks millions in the process, but they are all turned away as fakes. That is until one pair come along with a convincing story, and Warbucks must sadly say goodbye to his new daughter, thinking she has been reunited with her real parents.
These new parents for Annie turn out to be Miss Hannigan’s criminal brother, Rooster (Tim Curry), and his girlfriend Lily. Luckily though, Annie’s orphan friends had over heard the pair plotting with Miss Hannigan at the orphanage, so they make an escape and go to tell Warbucks, who races to the rescue.
Annie is a fine family film featuring lots of memorable songs including “It’s a Hard Knock Life“, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” and “Tomorrow“. The cast all give great performances, especially the young orphan girls who sing and dance extremely well given their young ages.