Annie (1982)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Annie</strong> (1982)

(On Cable TV, June 2018) There are a lot of not-so-good things about the bombastic, almost-chaotic musical Annie: It moves more slowly than it should, has a number of overly cute moments, doesn’t quite know what to do with Carol Burnett as the film’s main antagonist and places a lot of weight on the shoulders of young Aileen Quinn. Aaaand, I don’t care. It’s a perfectly serviceable musical at a time when musicals were considered passé, and its best numbers (“Tomorrow”, “It’s the Hard Knock Life”, “Let’s go to the movies”, “Easy Street”) are memorable, hummable and likable. I like the exaggerated caricatures that fill the movie—but then again I like musicals best when they take on a grander-than-life quality that wallows in their particular nature. In that regard, Annie is nearly perfect: it’s a musical that knows that it’s a musical and never lets up an opportunity to exploit that fact to its fullest. Even the political commentary by way of a Roosevelt caricature meeting Daddy Warbucks is hilarious. Veteran director John Huston has fun with the whole thing, and while it could have been sped up a little bit, the result is fun enough. I’m not even bothering to do a better/worse comparison with the 2013 remake, so distinct are the two movies in my mind. 

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