Annie Information

Annie is a 1982 American musical comedy-drama film adapted from the Broadway musical of the same name by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan, which in turn is based on Little Orphan Annie, the 1924 comic strip by Harold Gray. The film was directed by John Huston, scripted by Carol Sobieski, and stars Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Ann Reinking, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters, Geoffrey Holder, Edward Herrmann, and Aileen Quinn. Set during the Great Depression, 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.

The film, released on June 18, 1982, received mixed reviews from critics and was nominated for Best Production Design and Best Song Score and its Adaptation at the 55th Academy Awards. Quinn won both a Best Young Actress at the Young Artist Awards and a Worst Supporting Actress at the Golden Raspberry Awards.

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 remake in 1999. Columbia will release a contemporary film adaptation on December 19, 2014.


In 1933 during The Great Depression, Annie, a young orphan living in the Hudson Street Orphanage in New York City, thinks that her parents simply left her there. One night, Annie comforts one of the youngest orphans, Molly, by singing to her. But the orphanage's cruel and alcoholic supervisor, Agatha Hannigan, hears the singing, so for punishment, she orders the orphans to clean up the orphanage. Later, while trying to flee in a laundry truck, Annie befriends a dog and later names him Sandy after convincing the dogcatcher that he is hers. Escorted back to the orphanage along with Sandy, Annie is to be penalized and Sandy is to be sent to the sausage factory. However, Grace Farrell, a secretary to billionaire Oliver Warbucks, arrives, saying that he wants an orphan to stay at his mansion for a week to help his image. Despite Hannigan's objections, Grace picks Annie and rescues Sandy.

Upon arrival, Annie, Sandy, and Grace meet Warbucks' bodyguards Punjab and The Asp among the other butlers, maids and servants including Cecile, Drake, Mrs. Pugh, Mrs. Greer, Annette, and Saunders. During her stay there, Annie quickly endears herself to everyone there. However, Warbucks disapproves, as he originally desired a boy orphan. Meanwhile, Hannigan, frustrated with the orphans' behavior, is visited by her brother Rooster and his girlfriend Lily.

Annie eventually gains Warbucks' trust. When Sandy detects an assassin who tries to kill Warbucks with a bomb, it is thwarted by Sandy, Punjab, and The Asp. Grace explains to her that the Bolsheviks are displeased that he is living proof that the Capitalist system actually works. After visiting a movie theater, Warbucks and Grace put the orphan to bed. Convinced by Grace to adopt her, Warbucks goes to the orphanage to get the adoption papers signed. Despite Hannigan's attempt to seduce him, Warbucks blackmails her into signing. He goes back to the mansion to tell Annie and is about to give a Tiffany's locket to her, but the orphan says she wants to find her real parents. Deciding to help, Warbucks makes an announcement on a radio show hosted by Bert Healy offering a $50,000 reward to her parents.

A crowd of would-be 'parents' arrives at Warbucks' mansion. Warbucks and Punjab take Annie in the auto-copter to visit President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington DC, where she performs for him and his wife Eleanor. When Annie learns that the search for her parents has not been successful, Warbucks convinces her not to give up. Meanwhile, the Hannigans and Lily plot a scheme using their disguises to collect the reward, drown Annie and split the money three ways (Miss Hannigan reveals that Annie's parents perished in a fire many years back). Hearing what has happened, the other orphans attempt to go to Warbucks' mansion but are locked up by the Hannigans and Lily. The orphans flee and find out that the Hannigans have captured Annie and the money. Hearing the orphans' warning, Warbucks puts out an APB on the felons, and he and Grace search for them while Punjab and another servant search from the auto-copter, ending at a railway drawbridge that is in the upright position. Annie destroys the check and Rooster pursues her to the bridge in an attempt to kill her over his sister's objections. As the police, firefighters, and ambulance arrive with Warbucks, Punjab kicks Rooster into a firefighter's net and rescues Annie. Rooster and Lily are arrested and Annie gets her wish of a good family at a party where President and Mrs. Roosevelt, her orphan friends, and the servants are enjoying themselves. Hannigan is reformed and Grace and Warbucks further develop their relationship.


  • Aileen Quinn as Annie, an orphan, the title character.
  • Albert Finney as Oliver Warbucks, a billionaire businessman and later becomes Annie's adoptive father.
  • Carol Burnett as Miss Agatha Hannigan, a cruel drunkard who manages the orphanage.
  • Tim Curry as Daniel "Rooster" Hannigan, Agatha's con-artist brother.
  • Bernadette Peters as Lily St. Regis, Rooster's petty-thieving girlfriend.
  • Ann Reinking as Grace Farrell, Warbucks' secretary and love interest.
  • Edward Herrmann as Franklin D. Roosevelt, the President of the United States.
  • Geoffrey Holder as Punjab, one of Warbucks' personal bodyguards and butler.
  • Roger Minami as The Asp, Warbucks' personal chauffeur and another personal bodyguard.
  • Toni Ann Gisondi as Molly, the youngest orphan who often has nightmares.
  • Rosanne Sorrentino as Pepper, the bossiest Orphan.
  • Lara Berk as Tessie, another Orphan.
  • 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, another Orphan who is close with Pepper.
  • Lucie Stewart as July, an Orphan who scarcely speaks.
Supporting characters
  • 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.
  • Colleen Zenk Pinter, Mavis Ray, and Pamela Blair as Cecile, Mrs. Greer, and Annette, Warbucks' maids.
  • Lu Leonard as Mrs. Pugh, Warbucks' cook.
  • Victor Griffin as Saunders, one of Warbucks' servants.
  • Jerome Collamore as Frick
  • Jon Richards as Frack
Several singer-actresses made their debuts in this film, as Annie's fellow orphans and principal dancers:

  • April Lerman would later portray "Lila Pembroke" on the first season of Charles in Charge.
  • Martika (born Marta Marrero II) graduated to the hit TV series Kids Incorporated, and from there moved on to a successful solo career.
  • Amanda Peterson, later of Explorers and Can't Buy Me Love fame, is a principal singer/dancer for the number "Sandy".
  • Shawnee Smith has since appeared in such films as Not My Kid and most recently the Saw series.
  • Meredith Salenger, later of The Journey of Natty Gann, had an uncredited cameo as a dancing orphan.
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.


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."


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, foiling their plan to kidnap Annie. But 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.

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", says Charnin. "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 says 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".


Principal photography took place over the course of six weeks at Monmouth University in 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). An abandoned railroad bridge over the Passaic River in Newark was used for location shooting of one of the climatic scenes

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.


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


Annie received generally mixed reviews from critics; it currently holds a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 24 reviews. The film grossed $57 million in the United States, making it the 10th highest grossing film of 1982.

Awards and nominations

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.

  • Young Artist Award 1981-1982
    • Best Young Motion Picture Actress - Aileen Quinn
  • Razzie Award
    • Worst Supporting Actress - Aileen Quinn
  • Academy Awards
    • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration - Dale Hennesy and Marvin March
    • Best Music, Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score - Ralph Burns
  • Young Artist Award 1981-1982
    • Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture - Toni Ann Gisondi
  • Hollywood Foreign Press Association
    • Best Actress, Musical/Comedy - Carol Burnett
    • Best Actress, Musical/Comedy - Aileen Quinn
    • Best New Star of the Year - Female - Aileen Quinn
  • Golden Raspberry Award
    • Worst Picture - Ray Stark
    • Worst Director - John Huston
    • Worst Screenplay - Carol Sobieski
    • Worst New Star - Aileen Quinn

Home media

The film was released on VHS and CED Videodisc on April 5, 1983 by RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video. It was re-issued in 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, 2000.

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." However, several countries in Region 2 received widescreen versions of this edition including the United Kingdom. The film is set for a "sing-along edition" release 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). The adaptation was also available as an Annie Treasury Edition and as a limited series.

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

A Royal Adventure! (1995)
Main article: Annie: A Royal Adventure!
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.

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)
Main article: Annie (1999 film)
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)
Main article: 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 is writing new songs for the film. In January 2013, Sony Pictures selected Will Gluck to direct the film. Oscar nominee, Quvenzhan Wallis was cast as the title character. The film is scheduled for release on December 19, 2014.


  • A scene in John Waters's 1994 black comedy Serial Mom portrays the murderous protagonist, Beverly Sutphin (Kathleen Turner), as she kills an obnoxious neighbor while the latter watches Annie, displeased at the woman's refusal to rewind videotapes before returning them to the video store.
  • The November 22, 2014 episode of Saturday Night Live features a vignette referencing the 2014 film. Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz, the episode's host) receives a visit from Daddy Warbucks/Jamie Foxx (Jay Pharaoh), who asks to see Annie. A recognizable Annie (Vanessa Bayer) approaches, but he asks to see "the new, black Annie". A 43-year-old African-American woman (Leslie Jones) then approaches, displaying a tough attitude.

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