annielaurie
annielaurie

September 29th, 2008, 4:09 am #11

I think the whole idea of the movie "saluting" Hollywood was the idea of the producer, Ray Stark, not John Huston. Ray Stark and company bought the rights from Martin for $9.5 million and then went with what they wanted to do. I think they wanted to make something "different" from the Broadway show and instead make it more like the Little Orphan Annie comic strip, the whole thing Martin was trying to get AWAY from.

I have met Aileen on several occasions, most recently about ten years ago, but we always seemed to be talking about her current project(s) at the time rather than rehashing ancient history. The reviews on the movie certainly weren't all negative, but most of the people who didn't like it were people who were expecting it to be just like the play, which it wasn't intended to be. The movie was done in the style of 1965, when movie musicals were among the most popular films, but by 1982, the culture was different, and so was the movie-going public. Everything by then was space and sci-fi. It was not hard to imagine why "E.T." steamrollered over Annie in that summer and killed its popularity. Annie was a great movie done at the wrong time.

Martin hated the way the movie was done, and so did the kids who were currently doing the play. Martin had to caution them not to badmouth the movie in public, even though they didn't like it. Eventually, the movie began to eat into the play's business, and this is one reason the Broadway show closing was announced at the end of October 1982.

Martin talks at length about all this in the interview Tricia Trozzi did with him in 1986 for our newsletter Annie People. Check out his interview on my Web site:

http://members.aol.com/jonmerrill/charnin.htm

I was fortunate in that when I saw the movie for the first time, I had seen the play only once, and that was eight months before, so I went into it with no preconceived notions about what I thought it should be. Those fans who had been following the show since 1977 felt otherwise.




Thank you for your post! What an interesting story about "Camille" and the film editor. I'm going to go to your link now to read the article about Martin Charnin. Wow! 9 million was a lot of money back in the 80's! ok...off to follow your link. Thank you, Jon!
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old fan
old fan

September 29th, 2008, 4:52 pm #12

You're right about the apple bit in the play; I remember reacting badly to the corn bit in the Disney movie, thinking it was mean-spirited of Annie to swipe the corn in a sneaky way. I didn't have that problem with the Orphans' Picnic line, inasmuch as she did ask, and the apple seller admitted that no one was buying them anyway.

In the 1986 National, Annie once said, "Would you like to donate an Orphan to the apples' picnic?"

I really don't remember much about the Disney movie, since I watched it only once or twice, which was painful, but I wanted to take notes for the blog on my Web site as to what I thought was wrong with it:

http://members.aol.com/jonmerrill/disneyannie.htm

It certainly wasn't the WORST movie ever made, just disappointing, because after the perfection of the Lindsay Lohan "Parent Trap" remake by Disney the year before (and I'm speaking as one of the greatest Hayley Mills fans ever when I was a teenager), I was expecting something of much higher quality. As I mention in my blog, the Disney people threw that thing together in a hurry just to make a fast buck. Where is Walt now that we really need him?

By the way, absolutely the worst movie ever made in the entire history of cinema was one called "Watership Down" from the late 1970s. And "Ripe" with Broadway's Daisy Eagan ("The Secret Garden") in the '90s wasn't far behind.


lol, I happened to watch The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills just last night. I am also a HM fan. I saw her perform in Rebecca on stage YEARS ago in Toronto. I also loved The Trouble with Angels and other old movies !
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Jon Merrill
Jon Merrill

September 29th, 2008, 7:36 pm #13

I "fell in love" with Hayley Mills when I first saw "The Parent Trap" in 1961 when I was 16. Being less than a year older than Hayley, I carefully followed her movies for the next several years. "The Chalk Garden" in 1964 I thought was particularly good at showing off her acting. I started to lose interest after "The Truth About Spring" in 1965 which was awful; however, Hayley's next one was "The Trouble With Angels," which I loved.

In 2004 I met Hayley for the first time at a collectibles show in New Jersey when we were both in our late 50s. She signed my original sleeve of "Let's Get Together" and I got a picture of us together.

(Trivia: In 2003, when Elizabeth Smart was found after having been kidnaped in Utah and held captive for nine months, the first thing she wanted to do when she arrived home was watch her favorite movie, "The Trouble With Angels.")

Despite my great affection for the original "Parent Trap," I thought the 1998 Disney one with Lindsay Lohan was "equally good" and extremely well done. Disney hit a home run with that one, unlike that disgraceful ABC-TV "Annie" they had the nerve to put out the very next year.
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old fan
old fan

September 29th, 2008, 8:24 pm #14

I completely agree about The Chalk Garden! Love it ! Oh, and I have the Elizabeth Smart book by her parents, and remember that they watched that movie upon her return. Seemed like a nice family thing to do. I hope Hayley Mills was as gracious in person as I would think. And I agree about the Parent Trap. The original and the Lindsay Lohan versions were on TV the past two nights, on Hallmark channel; my whole family loves both. It is interesting what they took out of the new version, and what lines etc stayed. One thing I wondered is why they changed the names of the twins from Sharon & Susan, to Annie and Hallie- was it something to do with the names of the daughters of the writers or producers ??
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Elin
Elin

September 30th, 2008, 12:38 am #15

From Wikipedia regarding the 1998 version:
The twins in this version are named after director Nancy Meyers's and producer Charles Shyer's daughters Annie Meyers Shyer and Hallie Meyers-Shyer, both of whom have small parts in the movie. Hallie plays a girl at camp at the beginning who asks where the Navajo bunk is, and Annie plays the towel girl at the hotel, who brings Elizabeth the first aid kit.

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Jon Merrill
Jon Merrill

September 30th, 2008, 3:30 am #16

I completely agree about The Chalk Garden! Love it ! Oh, and I have the Elizabeth Smart book by her parents, and remember that they watched that movie upon her return. Seemed like a nice family thing to do. I hope Hayley Mills was as gracious in person as I would think. And I agree about the Parent Trap. The original and the Lindsay Lohan versions were on TV the past two nights, on Hallmark channel; my whole family loves both. It is interesting what they took out of the new version, and what lines etc stayed. One thing I wondered is why they changed the names of the twins from Sharon & Susan, to Annie and Hallie- was it something to do with the names of the daughters of the writers or producers ??
Yes, as you would expect, Hayley Mills was very gracious in person. I got to chat with her a little (she did not know that one of "her" kids in "Parent Trap 2," Bridgette Anderson, died of a drug overdose several years ago), but there were a lot of people at the collectibles convention there wanting to talk to her too. Speaking of "Parent Trap 2," Carrie Kei Heim is now a lawyer in New York. I met her at a one woman show given by April Lerman when she was about to graduate from high school in 1987.

I loved the "in jokes" in the new Parent Trap, like Lindsay humming "Let's Get Together" as she got onto the elevator. And of course getting Joanna Barnes to do "Aunt" Vicki this time around was a stroke of genius. There was a new disco version of "Let's Get Together" on the movie soundtrack, but it did not appear in the movie itself.
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old fan
old fan

September 30th, 2008, 1:00 pm #17

Interesting details. I thought I had read something about the name changes, but I like when a new edition of a movie or a movie from a book sticks pretty close to the original. In this case, I think most of the changes were appropriate. I know the original movie was based on a book called Lottie and Lisa (?) which my mother had and I read... sad about the death of the girl in Parent Trap 2( which I did not care for as much.) Glad to hear your meeting with Hayley was pleasant, Jon. Elin, you always provide important details to discussions. Thanks.
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Joined: June 3rd, 2003, 6:48 pm

September 30th, 2008, 8:03 pm #18

Yes, as you would expect, Hayley Mills was very gracious in person. I got to chat with her a little (she did not know that one of "her" kids in "Parent Trap 2," Bridgette Anderson, died of a drug overdose several years ago), but there were a lot of people at the collectibles convention there wanting to talk to her too. Speaking of "Parent Trap 2," Carrie Kei Heim is now a lawyer in New York. I met her at a one woman show given by April Lerman when she was about to graduate from high school in 1987.

I loved the "in jokes" in the new Parent Trap, like Lindsay humming "Let's Get Together" as she got onto the elevator. And of course getting Joanna Barnes to do "Aunt" Vicki this time around was a stroke of genius. There was a new disco version of "Let's Get Together" on the movie soundtrack, but it did not appear in the movie itself.
I once saw a Japanese version, made in the 1970's I think. It was on YouTube.
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VelmaKelly
VelmaKelly

October 2nd, 2008, 12:53 am #19

You're right about the apple bit in the play; I remember reacting badly to the corn bit in the Disney movie, thinking it was mean-spirited of Annie to swipe the corn in a sneaky way. I didn't have that problem with the Orphans' Picnic line, inasmuch as she did ask, and the apple seller admitted that no one was buying them anyway.

In the 1986 National, Annie once said, "Would you like to donate an Orphan to the apples' picnic?"

I really don't remember much about the Disney movie, since I watched it only once or twice, which was painful, but I wanted to take notes for the blog on my Web site as to what I thought was wrong with it:

http://members.aol.com/jonmerrill/disneyannie.htm

It certainly wasn't the WORST movie ever made, just disappointing, because after the perfection of the Lindsay Lohan "Parent Trap" remake by Disney the year before (and I'm speaking as one of the greatest Hayley Mills fans ever when I was a teenager), I was expecting something of much higher quality. As I mention in my blog, the Disney people threw that thing together in a hurry just to make a fast buck. Where is Walt now that we really need him?

By the way, absolutely the worst movie ever made in the entire history of cinema was one called "Watership Down" from the late 1970s. And "Ripe" with Broadway's Daisy Eagan ("The Secret Garden") in the '90s wasn't far behind.


I agree, pretty much, with your assessment of the Disney made-for-tv movie.

They chose Alicia by throwing head shots in the air and whichever one landed face up would become Annie.
And no, I'm not joking. First-hand information. They couldn't decide between the finalists. Each person wanted a different girl and the only way to settle it in time to begin filming was to do it this way.

Pretty sad. But I wouldn't be surprised to hear this type of casting happens often. I mean, look at Annie20th. They allegedly didn't want Joanna but hired her anyway, because there was a deadline. And we all know how that turned out!


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Jon Merrill
Jon Merrill

October 2nd, 2008, 11:12 pm #20

...Yes, not only was there a deadline, but their pool of which kids they could pick from for Annie was limited to only the open call kids, because Turning Point was there filming the final selection. The Equity kids in the next room off camera, Larissa Auble and Alicia Morton, could not even be considered for Annie because of Turning Point's presence.
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