Annie (1982 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Huston
Produced byRay Stark
Screenplay byCarol Sobieski
Based on
Music byRalph Burns
CinematographyRichard Moore
Edited byMichael A. Stevenson
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • May 21, 1982 (1982-05-21) (limited)
  • June 18, 1982 (1982-06-18) (wide)
Running time
128 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$50 million
Box office$57 million[1]

Annie is a 1982 American musical comedy-drama film based on the Broadway musical of the same name by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan which in turn is based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip by Harold Gray. Directed by John Huston and written by Carol Sobieski, the film stars Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Ann Reinking, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters, Geoffrey Holder, Edward Herrmann and Aileen Quinn as the title character.[3] Set during the Great Depression in 1933, the film tells the story of Annie, an orphan from New York City who is taken in by America's richest billionaire Oliver Warbucks. Filming took place for six weeks at Monmouth University in New Jersey.

Produced by Rastar and released by Columbia Pictures on June 18, 1982, Annie received mixed reviews from critics but was commercially successful, earning $57 million against a budget of $50 million. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Production Design and Best Song Score and its Adaptation.

A television film sequel, named Annie: A Royal Adventure! was released in 1995. In their first film collaboration, Disney and Columbia Pictures produced a made for television version in 1999. Columbia released a contemporary film adaptation on December 19, 2014.


In 1933 during the Great Depression, a young orphan named Annie is living in the Hudson Street Orphanage in New York City which is run by Miss Hannigan, a cruel alcoholic who forces the orphans to clean the building daily. With half of a locket as her only possession, she remains optimistic that her parents, who left her on the doorstep as a baby will return for her. Annie sneaks out with help from a laundry man named Mr. Bundles and adopts a stray dog which she names Sandy. Annie is returned to the orphanage shortly after by a police officer.

Grace Farrell, secretary to billionaire Oliver Warbucks, arrives to invite an orphan to live with Warbucks for a week in order to improve his public image. Annie is chosen and she and Sandy travel to Warbucks' mansion where they meet his many servants and two bodyguards Punjab and the Asp. Initially dismissive of Annie due to her being female, Warbucks is charmed into letting her stay. He takes Annie and Grace to Radio City Music Hall to watch a movie and Warbucks begins to develop affection for Annie. Grace urges him to adopt Annie and he meets with Miss Hannigan, convincing her to sign the adoption papers.

Warbucks reveals his plans to Annie, even offering her a new locket but she declines. She explains the purpose of her broken locket and her hope that her parents will return with the other half. Warbucks appears on Bert Healy's radio show and offers $50,000 to find Annie's parents. This causes mass hysteria with many would-be parents appearing to claim the money. To escape the madness Warbucks flies Annie to the White House, introducing her to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor. Roosevelt informs them of his plan to introduce a social welfare program to help America's impoverished and asks Warbucks to head it; Annie encourages him to help. Upon returning home, Annie is disheartened when Grace reveals none of the potential parents knew about the locket.

Miss Hannigan is visited by her con artist brother Rooster and his girlfriend Lily St. Regis; they plot to pose as Annie's parents to gain the reward. The trio search the orphans' belongings and Miss Hannigan reveals Annie's parents died; she possesses the other half of the locket. Annie's friends overhear the conversation and try to sneak out but are caught and locked away. Rooster and Lily succeed with the ruse and Annie is kidnapped minutes after leaving the mansion, but her friends reach Warbucks and tell him the truth; he informs the police thus beginning a citywide search.

Annie convinces the felons to pull over, only to escape and destroy Warbucks' cheque. Rooster chases Annie up a bridge in an effort to kill her; Miss Hannigan never wanted Annie hurt, but can't stop him. Punjab is able to rescue Annie, reuniting her with Warbucks and Grace. Rooster and Lily are arrested and Annie is officially adopted by Warbucks. At a party in which the orphans, a redeemed Miss Hannigan and the Roosevelts attend, Warbucks gives Annie the new locket to which she embraces her new father.


  • Aileen Quinn as Annie, an orphan, the title character.
  • Albert Finney as Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks, a billionaire businessman who later becomes Annie's adoptive father.
  • Carol Burnett as Miss Agatha Hannigan, a cruel, slovenly drunkard who manages the orphanage.
  • Tim Curry as Daniel Francis "Rooster" Hannigan, Agatha's con-artist brother, who attempted to claim himself as Annie's real father.
  • Bernadette Peters as Lily St. Regis, Rooster's petty-thieving girlfriend.
  • Ann Reinking as Grace Farrell, Warbucks' secretary and love interest. She looked at Annie as her own child, giving her the motherly love she never experienced.
  • Edward Herrmann as Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Democratic President of the United States.
  • Geoffrey Holder as Punjab, one of Warbucks' personal bodyguards and butlers.
  • Roger Minami as The Asp, Warbucks' personal chauffeur and another personal bodyguard.
  • Toni Ann Gisondi as Molly, the youngest orphan who often has nightmares. She is like a little sister to Annie.
  • Rosanne Sorrentino as Pepper, the bossiest Orphan. She claims to have gone to a movie before she came to the orphanage.
  • Lara Berk as Tessie, another Orphan, who constantly exclaims, "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!" throughout the film.
  • April Lerman as Kate, another, older Orphan who serves as a motherly figure to the others; she often wears her hair in pigtail braids.
  • Robin Ignico as Duffy, the oldest Orphan who is close with Pepper.
  • Lucie Stewart as July, an Orphan who scarcely speaks.
  • Lois de Banzie as Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Peter Marshall as Bert Healy, a radio show host.
  • Irving Metzman as Mr. Bundles, a laundry man whose truck Annie stows away in.
  • I. M. Hobson as Drake, Warbucks' head butler who hides his allergy to dogs.
  • Colleen Zenk, Mavis Ray, and Pamela Blair as Cecile, Mrs. Greer, and Annette, Warbucks' maids.
  • Lu Leonard as Mrs. Pugh, Warbucks' maid and cook.
  • Victor Griffin as Saunders, one of Warbucks' servants.
  • Jerome Collamore as Frick.
  • Jon Richards as Frack.
  • Angela Lee as a Dancer.

Several singer-actresses made their debuts in this film as Annie's fellow orphans and principal dancers:

According to Robert Osbourne of Turner Classic Movies, Drew Barrymore had auditioned for the role of Annie while Bette Midler was an early choice for Miss Hannigan, and Jack Nicholson had been considered for the role of Daddy Warbucks.[citation needed]

Sean Connery and Cary Grant were also considered for the role of Daddy Warbucks.[4]


Wilson Hall, at Monmouth University campus, New Jersey, was used as the exteriors of Oliver Warbuck's mansion.
The NX Bridge over the Passaic River in New Jersey where the ending was filmed.

Ray Stark wanted both John Huston and Joe Layton while working as the director and choreographer respectively to also be executive producer on the film, because it was too large an enterprise for one person. Regarding Huston being given the job of directing the first (and what would be the only) musical in his 40-year directing career, screenwriter Carol Sobieski said: "Hiring John [Huston] is an outsider risk, and Ray's [Stark] a major gambler. He loves this kind of high risk situation."[5]


Carol Sobieski, who wrote the screenplay, introduced major differences between the stage musical and the film version. In the stage musical, it is Christmas when Miss Hannigan, Rooster and Lily are caught at the Warbucks mansion by the United States Secret Service thus foiling their plan to kidnap Annie while in the film due to summertime shooting, Annie is kidnapped on the Fourth of July leading to Warbucks organizing a citywide search and a climactic ending on the B&O Bridge. Punjab and The Asp, Warbucks' servants/bodyguards, from the original comic strip appear in the film in supporting roles.

Miss Hannigan's redemption at the end is also a new development on the part of the movie – in the musical, Miss Hannigan briefly baulks at Rooster's intention to make Annie "disappear" with his switchblade but is soon lured by his promises of a life on Easy Street. In Meehan's 1980 novelization, Miss Hannigan shows no qualms whatsoever about Annie being killed. In both of these media, Miss Hannigan ends up being duly arrested alongside Rooster and Lily at the Warbucks mansion.

The film also featured five new songs, "Dumb Dog", "Sandy", "Let's Go to the Movies", "Sign" and "We Got Annie", and cut "We'd like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover", "N.Y.C", "You Won't Be an Orphan for Long", "Something Was Missing", "Annie", and "New Deal for Christmas". In addition, the song "Maybe" has two reprises whereas "Little Girls" and "Easy Street" do not.

Martin Charnin, the lyricist of Annie, was not impressed with the cinematic interpretation. In a 1996 article, he dismissed the adaptation and its production. "The movie distorted what this musical was", Charnin reported. "And we were culpable for the reason that we did not exercise any kind of creative control because we sold the rights for a considerable amount of money." Charnin even said that John Huston, who never directed a musical before, and producer Ray Stark made major changes in the film that destroyed the essence of Annie. Warbucks, played by Finney, "was an Englishman who screamed". Hannigan, played by Burnett, was "a man-crazy drunk". And Annie was "cute-ed up". Worse, the emotional relationship between Annie and Warbucks was distorted. They even downplayed the hit song Tomorrow because "Stark thought it was corny".[6]


Principal photography took place over the course of six weeks at Monmouth College, now University, in West Long Branch, New Jersey, which has two mansions that were used in the film, one of which is the Shadow Lawn Mansion (now known as Woodrow Wilson Hall).[5][7] The NX Bridge, an abandoned railroad bridge over the Passaic River in Newark, was used for location shooting of one of the climactic scenes.[8][9]

Many of the street sets were filmed at Warner Bros. Production designer Dale Hennesy overhauled the old "Tenement Street" back lot set at Warner Bros. Burbank studios by outfitting many of the New York styled apartment and store front facades with actual New York fire escapes and other treatments specifically brought in for this production. Hennesy died during filming and the back lot set was renamed "Hennesy Street" for the late production designer.

Originally, the intimate song "Easy Street" was going to be the biggest number in the film. For this purpose, a specially-created outdoor street set was built costing more than $1 million. It took one week to shoot the scene. However, on reviewing the dailies, the scene was considered to be "overstuffed" and "sour." Therefore, a re-shoot was undertaken nearly two months after principal filming had been completed. The scene was replaced with a more intimate number and was shot indoors in a style that mimicked the ambience portrayed in the original 1977 stage musical.[5]


Soundtrack album from Annie by
Various Artists
ReleasedJune 18, 1982
Various Artists chronology

Annie is a soundtrack album for the 1982 film of the same name.

All lyrics written by Martin Charnin; all music composed by Charles Strouse.

No.TitlePerformed byLength
1."Tomorrow"Aileen Quinn & the Orphans1:37
2."Maybe"Aileen Quinn2:00
3."It's the Hard Knock Life"Aileen Quinn, Toni Ann Gisondi & Chorus3:42
4."Dumb Dog"Aileen Quinn0:54
5."Sandy"Aileen Quinn & the Orphans2:02
6."I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here"Aileen Quinn & Ann Reinking3:34
7."Little Girls"Carol Burnett3:36
8."Let's Go to the Movies"Aileen Quinn, Ann Reinking, Albert Finney & Chorus4:41
9."We Got Annie"Ann Reinking, Lu Leonard, Geoffrey Holder & Roger Minami2:22
10."Sign"Carol Burnett & Albert Finney2:51
11."You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile"Peter Marshall, Chorus and Orphans3:01
12."Tomorrow" (White House version)Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney, Lois deBanzie & Edward Herrmann2:24
13."Easy Street"Carol Burnett, Tim Curry & Bernadette Peters3:18
14."Maybe (Reprise)"Aileen Quinn & Albert Finney1:37
15."Finale/I Don't Need Anything But You/We Got Annie/Tomorrow"Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney, Chorus and the Orphans4:37
Total length:41:32


Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, Annie has a score of 54% based on 26 reviews with an average rating of 5.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "John Huston proves an odd choice to direct, miring Annie in a sluggish, stagebound mess of an adaptation, but the kids are cute and the songs are memorable."[10] On Metacritic the film has a score of 39 out of 100 based on 10 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[11]

Box office[edit]

Annie opened theatrically on June 18, 1982 and grossed $5.3 million in its wide opening weekend, ranking #5 at the box office. The film grossed $57 million domestically against a budget of $50 million, making it the tenth highest-grossing film of 1982.[12][13]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Annie received Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Music, Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score. Additionally, Carol Burnett and Aileen Quinn each received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical and New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture – Female (Quinn). Quinn won the Young Artist Award, Best Young Motion Picture Actress. The movie was nominated for a Stinkers Bad Movie Awards for Worst Picture.[14]


Home media[edit]

The film was released on VHS, Betamax and CED Videodisc on November 5, 1982 by RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video. It was re-issued in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1994, and 1997 (in a "Broadway Tribute Edition" to coincide with the original play's Broadway 20th anniversary revival that year). There were two widescreen LaserDiscs released, one in 1989 and another in 1994. The film was released in a widescreen DVD edition on December 12, 2001.

A "Special Anniversary Edition" DVD was released on January 13, 2004 (four days before producer Stark's death). Despite the fact that the first DVD was widescreen, the DVD was in pan and scan (but with DTS sound). Reviewing the disc for DVD Talk, Glenn Erickson, while praising the film overall, called the pan and scan transfer an "abomination that's grainy and lacking in color." He also noted that the short retrospective featurette with Ms. Quinn contained clips from the film in the correct aspect ratio. Erickson also called the music video of "It's the Hard-Knock Life" by Play "pretty dreary" and attacked the other, child-oriented extras by saying "Musicals and kids' films aren't just for tots ... and this disc is little more than a headache."[18] However, several countries in Region 2 received widescreen versions of this edition including the United Kingdom. The film was released as a "sing-along edition" on Blu-ray on October 2, 2012 in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the film and the 35th anniversary of the Broadway version set a revival in November 2012.


Comic book adaptation

Marvel Comics published a comic book adaptation of the film by writer Tom DeFalco and artists Win Mortimer and Vince Colletta in Marvel Super Special #23 (Summer 1982).[19] The adaptation was also available as an Annie Treasury Edition[20] and as a limited series.[21]


The 1993 Hindi film, King Uncle, starring Jackie Shroff, Shahrukh Khan, Anu Agarwal, and Naghma, is loosely based on this film.

Annie: A Royal Adventure! (1995)

A sequel, Annie: A Royal Adventure! was made for television and aired on ABC on November 18, 1995. It starred Ashley Johnson, Joan Collins, George Hearn, and Ian McDiarmid. Aside from a reprise of "Tomorrow," there are no songs in it. No cast members from the 1982 film appeared in this sequel. Rooster, Lily and Grace Farrell were cut out of the sequel.

In the film, Warbucks (Hearn), Annie (Johnson), an eccentric scientist (McDiarmid), and one of the orphans travel to England, where Warbucks is to be knighted by the King. However, the kids get mixed up in the scheme of an evil noblewoman (Collins) to blow up Buckingham Palace while all the heirs to the throne are present for Warbucks' knighting, thus making her queen.

Annie (1999)

A made-for-TV movie version was broadcast on ABC on November 7, 1999, starring Kathy Bates as Miss Hannigan, Victor Garber as Daddy Warbucks, Alan Cumming as Rooster, Audra McDonald as Grace, Kristin Chenoweth as Lily, and newcomer Alicia Morton as Annie. Produced by The Walt Disney Company in association with Columbia TriStar Television, it received generally positive reviews and high ratings. It also earned two Emmy Awards and a 1999 George Foster Peabody Award. Although truer to the original stage musical than the 1982 version, it condensed much of the full story in an attempt to make it more viewable for children. The film also featured a special appearance by Andrea McArdle, star of the original Broadway production.

The film has aired on cable on Hallmark Channel, ABC Family, and Starz after its premiere on ABC.

The 1999 version is more comical than the 1982 version's slightly darker tone.

Annie (2014 film)

On January 20, 2011 it was announced that Will Smith was planning to produce Annie, a remake of The 1982 film. On May 25, 2012 it was announced that Jay-Z was writing new songs for the film.[22] In January 2013, Sony Pictures selected Will Gluck to direct the film.[23][24] Oscar nominee, Quvenzhané Wallis was cast as the title character.[25] The film was released on December 19, 2014.


  1. ^ a b c "Annie". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  2. ^ "ANNIE (U)". British Board of Film Classification. May 6, 1982. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  3. ^ "Annie". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  4. ^ Oneill, Therese (October 20, 2015). "16 Things You May Not Have Known About 'Annie'". Mental Floss. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Turan, Kenneth. "Annie", The New York Times, p. SM 40, May 2, 1982.
  6. ^ Rizzo, Frank (September 29, 1996). "Another Tomorrow For 'Annie,' Goodspeed's Guardian Angel". Hartford Courant.
  7. ^ "When 'Daddy' Warbucks moved into Monmouth U". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  8. ^ "Jon Merrill's "Annie" movie trivia". December 31, 2002. Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  9. ^ Vianna, Joao (August 20, 2010). "City of Newark announces 2010 Passaic Riverfront boat Tours". Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  10. ^ "Annie (1982)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  11. ^ Retrieved January 19, 2015
  12. ^ "Box Office Information for Annie". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  13. ^ "Annie Yesterday, Today and 'Tomorrow': All About Broadway's Favorite Little Orphan". Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  14. ^ "1982 5th Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinkers Awards". Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  15. ^ a b "4th Annual Awards". Young Artist Awards. Young Artist Foundation. Retrieved 2008-03-26. Toni Ann Gisondi, Annie
  16. ^ a b "1982 RAZZIE Nominees & "Winners"". Golden Raspberry Award Foundation and John Wilson. April 11, 1983. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  17. ^ "Annie (1981)". The New York Times. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
  18. ^ "Annie (1982) : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  19. ^ Marvel Super Special #23 at the Grand Comics Database
  20. ^ Annie Treasury Edition at the Grand Comics Database
  21. ^ Annie at the Grand Comics Database
  22. ^ Jay-Z To Take On Annie Soundtrack, Screen Rant, May 25, 2012
  23. ^ Will Gluck Helming ‘Annie’ Remake For Sony, Will Smith And Jay Z Retrieved January 30, 2013
  24. ^ Will Gluck to Helm ANNIE Remake; Willow Smith No Longer Attached Retrieved January 30, 2013
  25. ^ "Quvenzhane Wallis to Star in Will Gluck's ANNIE". February 24, 2013. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved 2014-04-17.

External links[edit]