Cinemalphabet: A is for Annie (1982)
I have no idea why a reworking of Orphan Annie’s story is so freaking satisfying and hilarious, despite the presence of austere director John Huston! Why that’s like getting Sidney Lumet to direct a musical based on The Wizard of Oz! Someone should get on that! In any event, the film is one of my all time favorite musicals. And now that the Willow Smith Annie Reboot is picking up steam it seemed like a good time to revisit the 1982 version. On the remake, I am not as scoffy as others seem to be. I think Willow Smith would be a cute Annie. That said, Willow’s choice of Brad Pitt as Daddy Warbucks is bit bonks, albeit inspired. If I was casting this thing I’d be all over Ken Wantanabe for Daddy Warbucks. But if it’s going to be a white actor, then obviously Bruce Willis or Mandy Patinkin would be my choice. Though Mandy would be the better choice if there is to be gratuitous singing.
Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks is beyond amazing and hilarious. His deadpan portrayal is brilliant. I still laugh whenever I think of him saying, “DROP PAGE…DID I JUST DO A COMMERCIAL?” I also enjoy how he always talks in all caps. Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan is also brilliant. I can’t imagine the kind of actor they’ll get to play this role in the remake. My money would be on Angela Bassett or Loretta Divine. Someone who could bring cheek and bitterness in equally charming measures.
Speaking of charm…Oh nobody can touch the glorious Miss Ann Reinking. She was the perfect foil to Finney’s bluster and has the some of the best gams in the bidness. Definitely google her and read all about her career.
Can we talk about the one-two punch of Tim Curry and Bernadette Peters, whose combined combustible star power shuts down their big number. They damn near upstaged Carol Burnett!