What's new

A Few Words About A few words about...™ Annie -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
13,612
Real Name
Robert Harris
What to make of Annie?

I've never seen it on screen. My first viewing was on laserdisc. Panned and scanned. And it appeared mis-directed, mis-edited (which would be impossible), and always having the camera in the wrong place. All of that I blame on the pan and scan.

Back in 1981, and I don't recall why, I was the lot where Annie was being shot, and happened to be introduced to an older woman, working out of a trailer. One of my idols. She was the supervising editor on the show, and had been cutting film for sixty years -- back to D.W. Griffith on Orphans of the Storm. Throughout time, one of the earliest of greatest women film editors.

But back to the film. Finally seeing it in Panavision, things worked far better. To be sure, it's an odd film. Time, the depression, doesn't seem to be precisely right, but that's okay.

Young Aileen Quinn, the moppet who plays Annie is certainly spunky enough. The songs work. Albert Finney, as Daddy Warbucks is superb.

And yet, it's not a great musical. It's absolutely a good one.

Will ten year-old girls like it?

No idea. Never been one. Know very few.

As a Blu-ray, however, the production is superb. Image and audio quality shine, as one would suppose they should on a Sony release.

As directed by the legendary John Huston...

The filmmaker behind so many great macho and noir productions, directing a musical about an 8 or whatever year-old orphan girl.

Who sings?

Still not sure about this one.

Image - 5

Audio - 5

RAH
 

haineshisway

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
4,891
Location
Los Angeles
Real Name
Bruce
An absolutely grotesque movie version of a wonderful Broadway show. There is, in my estimation, not one thing that works and sadly that includes Miss Burnett, who should have been perfect but isn't. Everything that worked about the show is missing in the film. Glad to hear the transfer is aces, though.
 

Dick

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
8,653
Real Name
Rick
Robert Harris said:
Will ten year-old girls like it?
No idea.  Never been one.  Know very few.
Well, I can answer this. When the laser disc first emerged, I rented it and had my lady friend's daughter and a bunch of other little girls over to watch it, and they sang along with every song -- they had already memorized them from somewhere -- and had a great time. Of course, that was back in 1982 or 83.
Personally, I can't get into it. I find it unappealing in any number of ways. It is overbearing and excessive. A couple of the songs are ok (for children, "Tomorrow" was practically an anthem). But others are near-insufferable for me. Yes, Albert Finney is good - the only reason I would even consider re-watching this in its proper aspect ratio. Carol Burnett I just could't take, and I'm a big Burnett fan.
I am glad Sony has released this in a decent edition for its many fans. Wish I could count myself among them.
 

Mark Oates

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
874
I dunno, it has a certain weird charm. It's certainly a damn sight better than that appalling thing Disney did for TV.
 

Adam Lenhardt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2001
Messages
23,689
Location
Albany, NY
I think it works very well until Annie departs the orphanage. "It's a Hard Knock Life", in particular, is an excellent example of how musicals can be translated. to film. But once Annie makes it outside, most of the changes come in, and none of them are for the better. "Let's Go to the Movies" was Hollywood patting itself on the back in the most obnoxious fashion. The absence of "We'd like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover" and "New Deal for Christmas", which probably weren't a great fit for Reagan's America, gutted the political underpinnings of the music. The addition of Punjab and The Asp from the comic strip felt out of place. The biggest problem, though, is that none of the musical numbers that were added were anywhere near the standard of those that were removed.
 

Matt Hough

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
22,715
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
And I can't stand "It's a Hard-Knock Life" in the movie. It's turned into this Cirque du Soliel extravaganza with hundreds of orphans, most of whom are never seen again after the number. It seems Joe Layton is SO desperate to make a charming, endearing number from the stage version into the production number to end all production numbers that it screams MONEY and HOLLYWOOD every second it's on. It turned me off VERY early in the viewing of the movie when it was first released, and it never won me back, especially since so many wonderful songs from the stage show were dropped along the way to that preposterously overproduced Pearl White-themed climax.
 

Mark-P

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2005
Messages
5,466
Location
Camas, WA
Real Name
Mark Probst
Oh well, I see this thread is going to be a pile-on for the Annie-haters. I'll still enjoy it, and will be happy to upgrade this one into high-definition, especially with the high marks it gets from RAH.
 

A few sound effects are missing on this disc, notably the grunts from a bully Annie slugs in the alleyway. The foreign tracks are complete. I don't know if this is a case of the film having different mixes since it did play in 70mm in certain theaters. It just seems odd that these effects are missing when other effects in the same shot are present.
 

GMpasqua

Screenwriter
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
1,431
Real Name
Greg
Originally Posted by haineshisway /t/325384/a-few-words-about-annie-in-blu-ray#post_4004276
An absolutely grotesque movie version of a wonderful Broadway show. There is, in my estimation, not one thing that works and sadly that includes Miss Burnett, who should have been perfect but isn't. Everything that worked about the show is missing in the film. Glad to hear the transfer is aces, though.
I must agree with you. The stage version was very different in tone and much more adult themed. This was a fairly intimate show but on screen it's blown up to epic proportions.

The show took place during Christmas. Annie roams the dark streets of New York at night in the cold winter - it just made her a tougher character, plus she was closer to 12-14 on stage. The film takes place in the summer and Annie escapes for only one morning - removing much of the grit.

The film removed the best moments from the stage show: Annie singing "Tomorrow" to Sandy, the removal of most of "Easy Street" (Which stopped the show on stage) the deletions of "NYC" and "We've Like to Thank You Herbert Hoover", plus making Hannigan sex crazed and removing the Christmas theme were all mistakes.

And the camera did look like it was in the wrong place much of the time. Plus some of those orphan extras seemed out of place in more ways than one, and enough with the street extras dialog - it almost over shadow's the main character's dialog

As a film "non adaptation" of "Annie" it's works okay, but when compared to the stage original it's not really "Annie"
 

haineshisway

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
4,891
Location
Los Angeles
Real Name
Bruce
Just a little correction to MattH - Hard Knock Life's awful choreography isn't by Layton - it's by Arlene Phillips. From what I understand, Layton was pretty much around in name only. Miss Phillips did the work.
 

Matt Hough

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
22,715
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
Originally Posted by haineshisway /t/325384/a-few-words-about-annie-in-blu-ray#post_4004518
Just a little correction to MattH - Hard Knock Life's awful choreography isn't by Layton - it's by Arlene Phillips. From what I understand, Layton was pretty much around in name only. Miss Phillips did the work.

Thanks for the correction. I'd like to believe that the blame for that terrible conception could be laid at her feet and not his.
 

Dave H

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2000
Messages
5,784
I remember being forced to watch this in 6th grade music class...it was pure torture. lol
 

Matt Hough

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
22,715
Location
Charlotte, NC
Real Name
Matt Hough
I put on the original cast album of Annie today and listened to "I'm Gonna Like It Here." The difference in pure joy and effervescence is incalculable between it and the rudimentary treatment it gets vocally in the film. Most of the music suffers in comparison the same way.
 

Moe Dickstein

Filmmaker
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2001
Messages
3,277
Location
West Hollywood, CA
Real Name
T R Wilkinson
Does anyone know if this disc has corrected the framing issues of the earlier widescreen DVD?
http://web.archive.org/web/20040225073411/http://www.dvdfile.com/software/cut_list/annie.html
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
346,048
Messages
4,765,112
Members
141,652
Latest member
Schoening32
Top