Many of us on this site prefer the 1982 version of the Film "Annie", while others of us perfer the 1999 Disney made-for-TV version.  For those of us who have our favorites, we are not bashful or at a loss to tell other why our version is better than the other. 


I do think it is interesting to read a review with Martin Charnin to get his view on the 1982 movie. 


(Q) Charnin's take on the 1982 film version of the Musical (Annie) directed my John Huston

 staring Carol Burrnett, Albert Finney, Aileen Quinn, Bernadette Peters, Tim Curry and Ann Reinking?


(A) "Terrible, distorted everything!" 


HMM!  Martin Charnin didn't even like it.  Although, he was used to seeing it one way, his way and any detour from that would most likely produce a negative result. 

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"Warbucks would never go Hudson St." - Not so fast! For Annie he would! (At least that is how I always interpreted it. But, yes, at this point in the story, it's probably more logical for him to send Grace, as in the stage version.)

As for Hannigan swatting kids - I appreciate the issues it raises for real-life victims of abuse, and don't intend to minimize that for anyone, but having Hannigan get physical does make her more of a villain. I do recall Kathy Bates' having some line about, "Have I ever raised a hand to you?" and Annie says, "No, but you've threatened to" -- and I guess, for a time, the threat could be terrifying; but kids catch on if a threat is never made good. It just didn't seem like a true moment to me. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing the dynamic between Cameron Diaz's Hannigan and the kids in this year's film. I can't imagine she'll be hitting them, but there's got to be some other reason the kids don't, I presume, like her (probably her soul- and dream-crushing outlook on life, if the trailer is any indication).

I don't know what happend to Aileen as the Star to Be in '82... fill me in!

I like both versions and i have them on Dvd :)

I love both of them so very much! 

1982-Good:the cast, voices, acting, dancing. Carol Burnett's hilariousness, "Oh my goodness" girl (I was Tessie, so you can see where I'm coming from :))

1982-Bad:added songs

1999-Good:cast, voices, dancing, Kathy Bates (Hannigans are always good), KRISTIN CHENOWETH!!!!!!! (loveher), everything but

1999-Bad:No "oh my goodness girl"

I think I liked the 1999 better. I still love the 1982 one. Will, Jada, Jaden, and Willow Smith want to make a new Annie with Jay-Z. Go to yutube and look at Jay-Z's "Hard-Knock Life" IT IS AWFUL! He says the f word and he wants this to be a kids movie. Jaden wants Astro from the xfactor to be in it.....I REALLY hope this doesn't go through.

I am not privy to the production, but am fairly confident Jay-Z's original take on "Hard Knock Life" won't be the version that ends up in the movie. The trailer gives me every reason to look forward to this updated version.

Even though there were a few differences in the original movie, it did not take away the true meaning of the musical. And it will always be a classic to me :)

Reviving an old debate:

First, I think both Aileen and Alicia were lovely as Annie (notice the penchant for As?  Andrea, Allison, Aileen, Alicia=Annie?)

Aileen was a spunkier Annie. 

Alicia was a more passive Annie.

Nothing wrong with either, but I kinda like Aileen's version better.

1982: I liked "Dumb Dog" and "Let's Go To The Movies" (as a theater buff I just love the shots of Radio City Music Hall and the Rockettes.  Since the Roxy was long gone it was the next logical setting).  I hated the "We Got Annie" number and I believe the "Let's Go to the Movies" number was originally much longer- including a dance sequence for Grace.

1999: Included NYC and Something was Missing which should have been in the 1982 movie but I suspect it was because Albert Finney was not a strong singer that they got cut.

Both movies loose points for axing the Hooverville number and the Presidential cabinet reprise of "Tomorrow".

Both movies used the subplot of the orphans figuring out the scam and alerting Warbucks.

I understand why the 1982 film had the kidnapping plot.  It was to give an action sequence to an ending that, in the stage version, relies heavily on the "deus ex machina" of the FBI figuring it out and sending updates to Warbucks at the right time. Movies have to broaden things out.

Kathy Bates and Carol Burnett were fine as Miss Hannigan, but Carol's was the more "theatrical" and memorable take on the character.

Battle of the Warbucks: Finney was probably the more traditional take than Garber's.  Garber is the better singer.

Orphans: 1982 orphans were probably cast a bit better than the 1999 film.  Interestingly, some of the choreography from 1982 made it into the pillow fight in 1999s HKL. I also noticed that in the video of the "Smile" number from the Netherlands stage version of Annie that the using a foot as a microphone bit from 1982 made it into their choreography.

Both films have their good points.  I will give the edge to 1982 but give kudos to 1999 for being more faithful to the stage version (except, as was pointed out, for that stupid decision to have Miss Hannigan pretend to be Annie's mom).

I'd forgotten about Hannigan as Shirley Mudge! Yeah, that really doesn't work, on any level.

Nice pro and con post, Jeff!

I will say, for all that "Something was Missing" was -- missing -- from 1982, I do very much like Warbucks' reprise of "Maybe," and wish it could be incorporated into the stage show. I would put it right after Annie runs out of the room in tears, after the toast to "Annie Mudge" (boy, I'd cry, too); have it lead in to the pivotal moment where Warbucks ("who's never asked for any man's help," we are told in Act I) asks FDR (a Democrat, no less!) for his help; and then we go on as before, with Annie coming downstairs on Christmas morning to sing her reprise of "Maybe."

I love both versions of Annie but I love the 1999 version. It was the version the I grew up with (being a 90s kid). I honestly wish that they would have recorded the original production in the 70s/80s. Since I was born in the 90s I never got to see the original broadway production with Andrea. Even the recent revival would have been nice to see. But I will always love the 90s movie! I'm pretty sure I ruined our casete tape my watching it so many times. I got to play annie a few years ago and it had to be one of the best experiences of my life.

Good thoughts Mike and Katherine.

I find it a bit amusing, or ironic, that the guys responsible for the musical felt that the 1982 took a wrong path for Annie.  Considering Annie creator Harold Gray's political views, he'd probably object to the musical's take on his characters.  For Gray, FDR and Miss Hannigan would both be villains. Daddy Warbucks was, at best, a mostly absentee dad and not above "offing" bad guys (The Mudges would probably have been put 6 feet under for threatening Annie).

Chances are that if Gray had still been alive in the early 70s "Tomorrow" would have never come.

That is absolutely true, Jeff. I had no real handle on how to play Warbucks until I read The Life and Times of Little Orphan Annie, a history of the comic strip and all that came after (I think published in conjunction with the 1982 film). Getting a feel for why and how much comic strip Warbucks detested the New Deal and all FDR stood for helped me play Act 1 with more understanding of the character, and make some peace with the change of heart necessary for Act 2 (again, that moment where he "swallows his pride" and asks FDR for help finding out about the Mudges).

And, yes, there's no way comic strip Warbucks would've let the Mudges leave the mansion alive! (Funnily enough, I had remembered Rooster falling to his death in a moment of poetic justice from the bridge in the 1982 film, but I believe -- I haven't watched the Blu-ray yet -- I was mistaken on that?)

Hi Mike,

Rooster is taken into police custody, he doesn't die.  That'd be too grim for a family film.:)

I think that the book you read is the book that inspired Martin to create the musical (if I recall the book shown in that PBS special about the recent revival).

I understand the protectiveness the creators of the musical felt.  That said, they have altered the musical themselves since the original Broadway run.  They added a song for Nell Carter in that 1997 revival, which had more drama off stage than on.  They added a song in 2000 for Warbucks because of Anthony Warlow's casting in the Australian production. Both of those songs got axed from the recent revival.

Charnin, Strouse and Meehan got a bundle for selling the film rights. I think the figure was like $9 million (which is part of the reason that 1982 film cost $40+ million and the impressive, for 1982, box office of $54 was a let down). I kinda think that if they were getting residuals from video sales and TV play  they'd probably not be quite as harsh on the film.

To be fair to the movie though, it was the introduction to Annie for most folks.  I would guess more people have seen that film than have seen a live production.  So when they go to a live production they are wondering why it is so different.

I wonder if the creators have gotten tired of people asking "Where's Punjab?" or telling them they missed a song they loved from the film (that they didn't write) after seeing the stage version after the 1982 movie.

Every Broadway musical that makes it to film is altered to some degree.  The Sound of Music movie eliminates songs, adds songs and changes song order. More people know that version than the stage version. In fact, when NBC did the live version last year they had to put a notice at the start identifying it as based on the stage version and not the movie.

Heck, The Producers was a musical based on a movie then remade as a movie based on the stage musical.  The movie version of the musical was different than the stage version (confusing ain't it). And just to tie it to Annie, Thomas Meehan wrote the book for Annie and the Broadway version of The Producers (he even has a cameo in the film remake of The Producers).


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