Annieorphans.com

Perhaps of interest to any Christian or theologically-minded Annie fans in the forum:

https://soundcloud.com/technicolor-jesus/17-annie-1982

The hosts and guests discuss the 1982 film (and briefly the 2014 film) vs. the Broadway musical, with particular attention to issues of economics, race and gender. Pretty interesting stuff.

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That was a pretty well thought out discussion that they did. And it made me see the 1982 film in a different light. I've never really been into the politics subplot of the movie, because I thought it held it up, but hearing about the character growth that it adds makes it a bit more interesting (though I still don't particularly care for it).

If I have a major gripe about the film, it's that they didn't focus enough on Annie wanting to find her real parents. There's basically just a passing reference that you'll miss if you aren't paying attention, "You're the only one who's got folks. Mine are dead," with a close up on Annie's locket. Then it's dropped from the film until Annie mentions it to Warbucks, and it feels like a "Hey, what?" kind of moment, because it was barely mentioned before. In the stage and Disney versions, this was a very poignant moment, because the audience is already well aware that Annie is going to get upset at the sight of a brand new locket, as the search for her parents has been mentioned a number of times. It gives one a sense of sadness, because of previous events. It's like the filmmakers didn't even try to make the moment right in the 1982 film. Even when Annie runs away at the beginning, they make it look more like she was just being mischievous rather than actually having a legitimate reason to run away. And the Summer setting also didn't help. The Winter setting gives the audience the feeling that running away from the orphanage can be a risky idea, because the world outside can be a bitter place, especially in the cold of Winter with no money or coat. The Summer setting undermines this, and makes it look like Annie is having a lot of fun out in the world, when she is supposed to be shivering and cold, with her only reason for moving on being the search for her parents. It's scripting decisions like this that make me wonder if they should have hired different people to make the film; people who actually understood the various layers within the story. (Ironically, I've heard the 1982 version described as having a darker tone than the more comical Disney version. But I personally think the Disney version was darker because of the reasons I just mentioned. In fact the only thing I found darker in the 1982 film was the ending.)

That said, I do enjoy this film a lot. It's not the version I grew up with (I grew up with the Disney version, which I personally think has aged a lot better than the 1982 version has), but it still has a lot of charm, and I can understand why it's considered a classic. And to be fair, the only way I've seen this version is a tape recording from TV, which runs for only 102 minutes, as opposed to the original 128 minute running time, meaning they cut a lot out (there are some particularly obvious cuts in it that are laughable), so some of the things I addressed might be in the film, but I just didn't see them because I was watching the edited version.

I also have to applaud some of the script decisions in the 1982 film. I loved the fact that Warbucks initially is only adopting Annie because Grace told him to, and he doesnt realize how much Annie meant to him until he loses her. In the stage version, he changed a bit too quickly, and I was glad to see the movie change it. Plus, the ending (apart from Hannigan's heel-face turn) is quite awesome, and quite a nice surprise if you're so used to the other versions of Annie.

I talk too much. I'm going to try to make the rest of this comment shorter, and more to the point. The review that Technicolor Jesus did was thought-provoking. I'll have to listen to their other movie reviews, because they are great (I noticed they had a review of "A Little Princess," one of my all time favorite movies, so I'm excited). I love finding up more about the movies I love.

You raise some good points about the 82 movie that had not occurred to me. It is probably my favorite version of the show, since it was the first one I saw and I was heavily influenced by Finney's performance when preparing to play Warbucks in my high school's production of it. (How I wished that Warbucks got to sing his reprise of "Maybe" on stage as he does in the film -- heartbreaking stuff!)

And I like how the movie gives Act 2 a real action-adventure element - very much in keeping with Gray's original comic strip. And, yes, Punjab and the Asp are stereotypes, but, for 1982, it was a well-intentioned nod to the source material and at least an attempt at more diversity.

But I guess the movie does downplay Annie's quest for her parents, especially in losing the Hooverville sequence. (Doesn't Sophie mention she had a daughter about Annie's age?)

Now you've got me wanting to back and watch it right now! Sorry I didn't see your reply for months after the fact... been away from the forum a while!

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