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Annie
Directed by Rob Marshall
Produced by John Whitman
Written by Irene Mecchi
Starring Alicia Morton

Audra McDonald
Alan Cumming
Sarah Hyland
Lalaine
Victor Garber

Music by Songs:

Alicia Morton
Victor Garber
Kathy Bates
Audra McDonald
Alan Cumming
Kristin Chenoweth
Sarah Hyland
Lalaine
Erin Adams
Nanea Miyata Score: Charles Strouse

Cinematography Ralf D. Bode
Distributed by The Wonderful World of Disney
Release date(s) November 7 1999
Running time 93 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Annie is a musical directed by disney it had its own adaptation. Annie is in the orphanage with Miss Hannigan and the goal of the entire film is for her to find her real parents unaware they're dead.

Synopsis

It all begins one snowy evening shortly before Christmas, 1933, but no one is feeling very festive at the Girls' Annex of The New York City Municipal Orphanage.

11-year old Annie (Alicia Morton, in her film debut, after launching her professional life on Broadway) is gazing out a window at the falling flakes when the silence is pierced by the cries of little Molly (Sarah Hyland), calling for her vanished mother. Pepper (Marissa Rago) angrily erupts over being awakened, but July (Nanea Miyata) jumps to Molly's defense. Annie breaks up the scuffle, and comforts Molly by telling her she was just having another nightmare. Molly admits that he misses her parents terribly, but Pepper, apparently believing that heavy armor is the surest defense, curtly reminds her that they are orphans, that they neither have, nor ever will have, parents. Annie retorts that she is not an orphan - that her parents are alive and are coming back for her, and Molly chirps triumphantly that Annie has a note to prove it. Molly asks Annie to read the note aloud once more, something Annie has done so often that the other girls know its contents quite well:

"Please take care of our little darling. Her name is Annie. She was born on October the 28th [1922]. We will be back to get her soon. We have left half of a silver locket around her neck and kept the other half, so that when we come back for her you will know she is our baby."

The note may be an object of ridicule to Pepper, but to Annie it means that she might live every orphan's dream: to be reunited with the family she has never known. She goes on to imagine what her parents might be like (MAYBE). But after 11 years her patience is exhausted, and if her mother and father are not coming for her, she will go and find them. She gathers a flashlight and her few belongings, admonishes Pepper to look after Molly, and at 4 AM creeps out of the dormitory hall. She does not get far, however, before she collides with the cold, uncaring Miss Agatha Hannigan (Kathy Bates), who manages the annex. Annie prepares for a beating, but instead Miss Hannigan arouses the rest of the group and orders them to " ... clean this dump 'til it shines like the top of the Chrysler Building!" They girls grudgingly recite, "We love you, Miss Hannigan," and then bewail their predicament (THE HARD-KNOCK LIFE).

Later that morning, Mr. Bundles (Ernie Sabella) arrives to distribute the orphans' monthly change of bed linen, and now Annie does escape, by hiding in the laundry bin. Miss Hannigan prepares to send the orphans to their sewing machines (rather than to breakfast), only to learn that Annie has gone out with the dirty linen. As she makes a futile attempt to halt the laundry truck, the orphans celebrate Annie's getaway (HARD-KNOCK LIFE REPRISE). Yet the world outside the orphanage is no warmer or more caring than Miss Hannigan, and Annie finds nothing but apathy along the streets. As cold and hunger begin to set in, she manages to steal an ear of roasted corn from a preoccupied vendor (Frank Cavestani). She then takes refuge among some empty boxes, only to have her meal pilfered by a light-colored canine that is trying to avoid the dog pond. When Annie protests, the dog returns the prize, and she finds herself comforting them both with hopeful reassurance (TOMORROW). When her new friend is about to be seized by a patrolman (Vic Polizos), Annie claims that the dog belongs to her and that his name is Sandy. Ordered to call him, she reluctantly does so, yet soon Sandy obligingly lopes to her side. The policeman warns her to provide a license and leash for her companion, and the fugitives walk victoriously away (TOMORROW REPRISE).

Their victory is short-lived, however, and by nightfall they are fleeing the police. They hide among some newly-impoverished victims of Great Depression. When the police discover the two, Annie covers Sandy's bolt for freedom, and then she is caught and returned to Miss Hannigan's custody the next morning. The orphans are directed back to their halls and Annie is ordered to the front office to await her punishment. Stressed by the situation and teased by the orphans, Miss Hannigan rails against the perils of her job (LITTLE GIRLS). As her taskmaster reappears, Annie learns that she is expected to clean the entire annex - with a toothbrush. There is no way to win; when asked if she is glad to be back, and Annie murmurs, "Yes, Miss Hannigan," she is upbraided for telling a lie. The dismal scene is interrupted by the sudden arrival of Grace Farrell (Audra McDonald), who explains that the City Board of Orphans has sent her. Miss Hannigan, terrified that she is about to lose her position, frantically tries to explain that Annie simply got "mixed up" in the laundry and that the police were called as an overreaction. Grace takes note of the charming little girl who glows through the manager's ranting, and at length she succeeds in explaining that she is the personal secretary to Oliver Warbucks, the fabulously wealthy industrialist. Mr. Warbucks wishes to invite an orphan as his guest for the Christmas holidays, and Grace immediately decides that Annie is her choice. A quick reminder of everything that she has just confessed overcomes Miss Hannigan's objections, Grace and Annie leave the orphanage to the other orphans' cheers, and the hapless manager returns to her lamentations (LITTLE GIRLS REPRISE).

Thrilled to be free of the orphanage at last, Annie is hardly prepared for the overwhelming opulence that greets her at Warbucks' lavish 5th Avenue abode. She instantly endears herself to the butler, Drake (Douglas Fisher), Cecile (Kimberly Lyon), Mrs. Greer (Ruth Gottschall), Mrs. Pugh (Brooks Almy) and the rest of the grand household staff, but she cannot quite comprehend her good fortune; when Grace asks her what she wants to do first, Annie replies, "The floors - I'll scrub them, and then I'll do the windows." Grace quickly explains that Annie is their guest, and then details a list of luxuries that await her (I THINK I'M GONNA LIKE IT HERE). This mirthful introduction ends when Annie literally bumps into the redoubtable Oliver Warbucks himself, but her innocent bravery leaves her unruffled. He is in an unpleasant mood, complaining that his factories are closing down in the grip of the Depression, when he suddenly refocuses upon the little girl in his presence. He asks, stiffly and with no emotion, why she is there, and when Grace reminds him that he plans to entertain an orphan to counter the bad publicity he is receiving, he remains sternly business-like: "Your'e a girl - orphans are boys." But Warbucks is unprepared for this disarming damsel, who with a sigh of resignation says she understands if he wants to exchange her for a boy. She walks slowly away, expressing awe at the size of his "house." Faced with Grace's glare and sensing feelings he seemed to have forgotten, he assures Annie that he is delighted that she will be spending Christmas with him "... in my big house." The tycoon cannot realize that his young guest has already opened a door that will never close.

Still, the signs are unmistakable. Although Annie is thrilled by the chance to see a Broadway show with Grace, Warbucks finds her standing next to him in his executive room; she explains, "I'd kind of like to watch you work." Resistance is pointless, and soon Annie looks on with immense delight as he discusses the gloomy economic scene with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Upon learning that the President is visiting New York City for Christmas, Annie quickly urges her host to invite him for Christmas dinner, and in rapid succession, the invitation is tendered - and accepted. The bewildered Warbucks can only remark, "I wonder what Democrats eat." He tries to claim that he is too busy to go out and celebrate, so Annie counters with, "I've never seen New York before, so I'm happy just to watch you work." He is vexed to learn that Miss Hannigan's iron grip has kept the orphans penned within the annex, and when Annie asks him what the City is like, he scours his memory to recall the last time he has taken a good look at it. The captain of industry is certainly no match for the combined forces of Annie and the metropolis - and they begin to combine their spells (N.Y.C.). Drake asks Grace if they will be needing the car, and she replies, "No, I think she's been cooped up long enough!"

The next few hours are filled with all the magic one feels when looking at the ordinary and seeing its beauty for the first time; it seems that the mogul, his aide and their gleaming, winsome sprite belong together, and all three belong to the City (and vise versa!). The splendor of Manhattan is as obvious as it is overlooked - in the show they attend, BROADWAY LULLABY, the "Star-To-Be" (Andrea McArdle, who - by the way - created the original role of "Annie" for Broadway) offers this simple logic: "Go ask the Gershwins, or Kaufman and Hart, the place they love the best; though California pays big for their art, their fan mail comes addressed ... to N.Y.C!" In due course, the riant trio becomes a foursome, for as they leave 45th Street's Imperial Theatre, Sandy leaps into their horse-drawn carriage - and into their lives. Warbucks praises of New York City morph into a lullaby with Annie dozing in the crook of his arm: "Give in, don't fight; good girl, goodnight. Sleep tight, in N.Y.C."

Soon Grace gives Miss Hannigan incredible news: the billionaire mogul wants to adopt her "nothin' but trouble" orphan. After excusing herself from the front office to release a scream of consternation, the manager signs the necessary papers. As Grace departs the office, a sinister-looking pair enters and does little to brighten Miss Hannigan's mood. They are her delinquent brother, Daniel Francis "Rooster" Hannigan (Alan Cumming) and his feather-brained floozy, Lilly St. Regis (Kristin Chenoweth). Learning that Annie is about to become an heiress, Rooster begins to scheme for some way to use his sister's connection with Annie to deliver them all to a life of ill-gotten ease (EASY STREET). Meanwhile, Warbucks is about to present Annie with the good news - and about to receive some unexpected news in return. He has already realized that although his efforts to overcome the heartbreak of his own, orphaned childhood have made him very wealthy, the riches surrounding him pale beside the joy Annie has brought. Not knowing quite how to express himself, he tries to show his feelings by replacing Annie's broken locket with a new and very costly one. In the headlong rush that has followed his discovery of true happiness, he has overlooked part of what makes Annie so special: the fierce loyalty of her love. He might as easily separate a bear cub from its mother as remove Annie's only link with her parents. Although he is clearly stung by her rebuff, his own love shows its share of loyalty; if finding her parents means so much to Annie, and he has the resources to help her, then they are hers to command.

Among the most popular of Manhattan's radio programs is "The Hour of Smiles," hosted by Bert Healy (Jerry Whitman) and the Boylan Sister (Bobbi Page, Linda Harmon and Edie Lehmann-Boddicker). The orphans sneak downstairs to enjoy the show (YOU'RE NEVER FULLY DRESSED WITHOUT A SMILE) and some respite from their taskmaster - when they hear Annie's voice, along with Warbucks' offer of $50,000 to the couple that can prove they are Annie's mother and father. This results in a burst of celebration, with Duffy (Danelle Wilson), Pepper and Molly in turn portraying Healy, and July, Kate (Lelaine) and Tessie (Erin Adams) giving their collective impersonation of the Boylan Sisters. The girls turn from singing to dancing, which Miss Hannigan soon rudely interrupts. Not long afterwards, an unkempt couple appears, claiming to be Annie's father and mother. The "mother's" misstep soon reveals that they are really Rooster and Lilly, but their plan offers promise, provided Miss Hannigan can furnish key details from Annie's past. Miss Hannigan demands a large cut of the 50 grand, and that she replace Lilly, who is too easily tripped up. When the former asks what is to be done with Annie after they succeed, Rooster produces a switchblade and slides it near his throat; the child will be removed - permanently. The three once again fantasize over the fruits of their fiendish labors (EASY STREET REPRISE). Meanwhile, the Warbucks estate is flooded with false claimants, none of which apparently knows anything about Annie's birth date or her locket. The locket itself provides no help; some 90,000 such items had been produced and sold between 1918 and 1924, so the Federal Bureau of Investigation cannot trace Annie's family through it. Still, no one - and especially not Annie - can now mistake the fact that her happiness is Warbucks' only concern, and that her absent parents might not be her only source of love after all.

Now, unlike the speedy, industry-efficient manner in which he tried to bring Annie into his life, the mogul quite literally waltzes, slowly and gently, into hers (SOMETHING WAS MISSING). He assumes nothing, but instead asks her if she would consider becoming his daughter. While she will not give up hope of finding her family, she allows, with building affection, that " ... if I can't have my real parents, I think I'd really like it if you'd be my father!" This seems to settle the matter, and Warbucks asks US Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (Kurt Knudson) to come to his home to finalize the adoption. Grace forgets formalities, if only for an instant, and embraces both the tyke and the tycoon. What is more, because it is Christmas Eve, Warbucks calls for a splendid party to celebrate the wonderful turn of events; the entire staff is to be invited. Grace and Drake begin preparations, but not before Annie completes a vision of her family in the making: "Miss Grace," she adds, "will you be there too? Because, it's really great when you're both together!" The Warbucks mansion soon becomes the site of a grand Yuletide festival. Annie descends the stairs in what comic strip fans will recognize as a modified form of her trademark red dress and curls, emitting her equally well-known "Leapin' Lizards!" Warbucks and Annie greet their future together (I DONT NEED ANYTHING BUT YOU).

Before the adoption formalities begin, however, Drake is obliged to present a shabby and foreboding couple as "The Mudges." Sandy immediately senses something is amiss and growls accordingly, but "Ralph and Shirley" seem to have all the necessary papers to establish that they are Annie's real parents; they can even produce the missing half of the locket. What is more, they seem to know nothing about the reward money; they simply showed up now because they can finally support their little girl, and because " ... the very nice, very attractive lady at the orphanage ..." directed them here. Shocked by this sudden shattering of their hopes, Warbucks and Grace ask that the couple return the next day (Christmas) for Annie and their certified check of $50,000. Annie is relieved to be free from their midst - she sees nothing of herself, or of anyone she would care to be near, in this disheveled and ominous brace of strangers. Warbucks attempts to put the best face he can on this deep disappointment, but Annie turns and scampers upstairs in tears. Grace tries to console her (MAYBE & TOMORROW REPRISE), but tomorrow promises only to be the cruelest of Christmases.

Yet all is not lost. Brimming with hubris, Miss Hannigan chortles, " ... my heart is filled with glad tidings of great joy ..." as she and Rooster put their Christmas Day cozenage into action. But they have also planted the seeds of nemesis, leaving Lilly with the orphans, which is much like assigning a chicken to guard a fox. On 5th Avenue, Warbucks has been in continual touch with President Roosevelt and the FBI, but so far nothing has arisen to challenge the "Mudges'" story. "Ralph and Shirley" seem to be everything they claim. Back at the orphanage, however, Lilly has been entertaining the girls with several hands of poker, and she winds up owing them nearly $500. "Beginners' luck!" declares Pepper to their disgruntled pigeon. Fortunately for Lilly, she remembers how rich she will be when Aggie and Rooster return from Warbucks; unfortunately for her, however, she remembers this out loud, and Molly exclaims, "That's where Annie is!" Duffy rifles through Lilly's purse and finds incriminatingly false identification, so soon the girls force her to " ... fess up." Lilly nows remembers something else - that someone has let her take the blame for his conniving in the past. The plot is quickly unraveling, but will it be exposed in time to save Annie?

Soon afterwards, Annie's counterfeit family takes the check - and her - and attempts to flee the premises, but as they near their exit, Lilly bursts through the doors and exposes the scam. While she and Rooster begin to bicker, Miss Hannigan grabs the check and bolts for the hallway, but she is driven back by the orphans, who arrive to administer a verbal coup-de-grace: "We love you, Miss Hannigan!" The "Mudges" reverse course but are blocked by a phalanx of Secret Service agents, who then part to reveal President Roosevelt himself. The plotters have left an impressive paper trail of fingerprints and aliases behind them, as the President quickly reveals. When she is placed in handcuffs Lilly declares, "It ain't Easy Street, but at least I'm wearin" silver!" Miss Hannigan has one card left to play, or so she hopes, and she pleads with Annie to " ... tell everyone how good I always been to ya!" "Miss Hannigan, I would," Annie beams with impunity, "but the one thing you always taught me was, 'Never tell a lie!'" That is all for Miss Hannigan - as she is hauled from the Warbucks premises, strapped into an appliance truck, she bellows the closing lines from LITTLE GIRLS: She is headed " ... straight for the nuthouse, with all the nuts and the squirrels! There I'll stay, tucked away, 'til the prohibition of little girls!"

The orphans are overjoyed to realize that their antagonist is finally gone from their lives, but President Roosevelt has more to tell Annie. Her note has been traced to an apparently honorable couple named David and Margaret Bennett, but when she asks where they are, it is left to Warbucks to break the news: they passed on long ago. This brings a painful end to what had been Annie's fondest hope, and yet - she wisely reasons that her parents loved her and that only their passing kept them from coming for her. Her irrepressible spirit soon resurfaces, and she points out the bright side: "At least I'm not a Mudge!" The President then guarantees the other girls that a respectable family will adopt each of them, and when Grace announces that Annie has picked out presents for the liberated lasses the Chief Executive joins them for a look under the Christmas tree. With all debts to the past finally paid, Annie can turn to the future - now she can become Annie Bennett Warbucks. "I love you very much, Annie," her new father tells her, to which she gleefully replies, "And I love you, Daddy Warbucks!" As they reprise I DON'T NEED ANYTHING BUT YOU, Warbucks can finally give Annie her new locket - and present a diamond ring to Grace.