Jon (Re: 1999 Disney movie)

Alex
Alex

July 5th, 2008, 5:57 pm #1

Hi Jon,

I've just been looking at your website. I read your likes and dislikes page about the 1999 TV movie and I have to say that I completely agree with you. It was a real letdown.

I was most disappointed by Cathy Bates, though. I only got the chance to see the movie in full quite recently and I gave her a chance, knowing that she'd never do justice to Carol Burnett's phenomenal performance in 1981. She was awful, especially in Little Girls. There was none of the manic-ness of Carol Burnett's version.

Alex



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K-the-O ;-)
K-the-O ;-)

July 5th, 2008, 11:19 pm #2

I didn't like Carol Burnett's performance at all. Maybe it was because I was comparing her to all the (stage) Miss Hannigan's I had seen. I didn't like the floozy aspect Carol brought to the role. Miss Hannigan isn't a floozy. I never understood that interpretation of the role.

Kathy Bates, however, brought Miss Hannigan to life in a way Carol did not. I think Kathy could have killed on stage with that role. Unfortunately for her, and the rest of the cast, Disney, well, *Disney-fied* the film so everyone came across as too sweet and nice. Even Annie.

On stage, most of that casting would have worked great, I think.
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Jon Merrill
Jon Merrill

July 5th, 2008, 11:19 pm #3

Hi Jon,

I've just been looking at your website. I read your likes and dislikes page about the 1999 TV movie and I have to say that I completely agree with you. It was a real letdown.

I was most disappointed by Cathy Bates, though. I only got the chance to see the movie in full quite recently and I gave her a chance, knowing that she'd never do justice to Carol Burnett's phenomenal performance in 1981. She was awful, especially in Little Girls. There was none of the manic-ness of Carol Burnett's version.

Alex


Yes, it's too bad they did such a lousy job on that movie. I kind of summed it up at the beginning of my Web page about what I didn't like about the film:

"All in all, the 1999 movie had good people in it, but it was so badly directed and badly scripted that it became a big black eye on the wonderful history of Annie. The production company threw this travesty together simply to make a fast buck, and that's why it turned out poorly. The worst thing about this movie was that the greedy conglomerate called Disney cut one-fourth of the plot of Annie, just so ABC-TV could cram 30 minutes of commercials into a two-hour time slot!"

Jon
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Elizabeth
Elizabeth

July 6th, 2008, 1:24 am #4

I didn't like Carol Burnett's performance at all. Maybe it was because I was comparing her to all the (stage) Miss Hannigan's I had seen. I didn't like the floozy aspect Carol brought to the role. Miss Hannigan isn't a floozy. I never understood that interpretation of the role.

Kathy Bates, however, brought Miss Hannigan to life in a way Carol did not. I think Kathy could have killed on stage with that role. Unfortunately for her, and the rest of the cast, Disney, well, *Disney-fied* the film so everyone came across as too sweet and nice. Even Annie.

On stage, most of that casting would have worked great, I think.
I agree with K-the-O. I LOVE Carol Burnett but I didn't like her floozy costumes and how she overly flirted with Warbucks. I remember my daughter asking me why she was hugging and kissing the radio and it was hard to come up with an answer.

I can't stand the orphans' outfits in the Disney Movie. I don't remmeber anyone saying anything about that. I also thought they could have found an Annie with a stronger voice. Maybe she had a better voice but she was directed to sing the way she did. Cute girl, but in my opinion, Aileen Quinn nailed it. I just wish Aileen's movie would have had the "Tomorrow" scene as in the stage play.
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Zaneeta
Zaneeta

July 6th, 2008, 5:13 am #5

Yes, it's too bad they did such a lousy job on that movie. I kind of summed it up at the beginning of my Web page about what I didn't like about the film:

"All in all, the 1999 movie had good people in it, but it was so badly directed and badly scripted that it became a big black eye on the wonderful history of Annie. The production company threw this travesty together simply to make a fast buck, and that's why it turned out poorly. The worst thing about this movie was that the greedy conglomerate called Disney cut one-fourth of the plot of Annie, just so ABC-TV could cram 30 minutes of commercials into a two-hour time slot!"

Jon
Oh I agree!! I'm sorry, but Cathy Bates played the role the same as many previous Hannigans have. The basic, boring way...playing her as that mean ol' lady who hates her job. And I think Carol brought a brand new twist and made her seem like an actual person! I loved how she played an absolute drunk and how crazy she was...to me it seemed like Cathy was sort of one-dimensional, ya know? It seems like people either hate or love the '82 version, and they hate or love the Disney version. I respect both of them, as both have highly talented people in them. And maybe neither of them did "Annie" justice...but they both did bring a new level of attention to "Annie", which in the end was highly important, IMO.
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Alex
Alex

July 6th, 2008, 1:30 pm #6

I agree with K-the-O. I LOVE Carol Burnett but I didn't like her floozy costumes and how she overly flirted with Warbucks. I remember my daughter asking me why she was hugging and kissing the radio and it was hard to come up with an answer.

I can't stand the orphans' outfits in the Disney Movie. I don't remmeber anyone saying anything about that. I also thought they could have found an Annie with a stronger voice. Maybe she had a better voice but she was directed to sing the way she did. Cute girl, but in my opinion, Aileen Quinn nailed it. I just wish Aileen's movie would have had the "Tomorrow" scene as in the stage play.
Hi,

I do like Cathy Bates. I just don't think she played Miss Hannigan well and, yes, that was 99% Disney's fault. They made her play Mrs Mudge as well, for example, and gave her stupid lines like "I'm saving myself for Oliver Warbucks'.

I didn't like her version of Little Girls, partly because of the way it was choreographed (not Cathy Bates' fault) and partly because of the way she sang it. It was quite a strong performance, vocally, but sounded very normal. Carol Burnett sounded quie manic at times and she had all the little laughs and the emphasis jut right. I thought she sang it more like the stage version.

I think the point of Miss Hannigan hugging and kssing the radio is that at the end of the day, she's a pathetic, drunk spinster, without any real romance in her life, so she pretends, using the radio. The girls laughing at her when they catch her and the window blind falling on her as she tries to shut them out is a great lead in to Little Girls.

Miss Hannigan is supposed to be a bit of a drinker and Carol Burnett played that well. It's not Cathy Bates fault that Disney removed it, but removing it left Miss Hannigan without much personality for me. Disney did the same with the orphans, (as Jon said, where was 'Oh my goodness!)and they didn't have much personality either.

I partly agree that she flirts too much with Warbucks. i didn't like the whole 'Sign' number as I thought it was quite irrelevant. I think the point of the flirting, though, is that, as in the radio scene, Miss Hannigan is pathetic, drunk, lonely spinster, with no romance in her life. She wants to have Warbucks' money and live his rich, lavish lifestyle. She finds it really galling that Annie is the one Warbucks chose, who's getting fussed over and spoilt, while she's still stuck with the orphanage, poor and pathetic.

There are pro's and con's to both movies. For instance, I don't like the end of the 1981 movie when Annie is kidnapped, te railway bridge scene. It's not a bit like the stage show. I also think that Annie should've sung Tomorrow in the film and replacing it with Dumb Dog and Sandy was, well, dumb.

As a whole, though, the Disney movie was such a shambles and whether she was poorly directed or choreographed or not, I still don't think Cathy Bates was well cast. If you watch the casting of the Disney movie in Julie's videos, she says that she thinks the Disney movie will be "the best..." and I think that says a lot. The one thing we all seem to agree on is that the Disney movie was a big letdown.

Carol Burnett may have been asked to sing a flirty song with Warbucks and flirt with the man on the radio but she still gave a far more convincing perfomance. Alicia's ''teeth in your mouth" line wasn't a patch on Aileen Quinn's "you'll have ME to deal with" line to Roseanne Sorrentino and Cathy Bates "Get to work...NOW" was just as bad. Carol Burnett never shouted much as Miss Hannigan but the overall effect was far stronger. I love the scene when her shadow appears in the dormitory door and Aileen Quinn and Toni Ann Gisondi freeze. Far more convincing...

Alex

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K-the-O ;-)
K-the-O ;-)

July 7th, 2008, 12:29 am #7

Oh I agree!! I'm sorry, but Cathy Bates played the role the same as many previous Hannigans have. The basic, boring way...playing her as that mean ol' lady who hates her job. And I think Carol brought a brand new twist and made her seem like an actual person! I loved how she played an absolute drunk and how crazy she was...to me it seemed like Cathy was sort of one-dimensional, ya know? It seems like people either hate or love the '82 version, and they hate or love the Disney version. I respect both of them, as both have highly talented people in them. And maybe neither of them did "Annie" justice...but they both did bring a new level of attention to "Annie", which in the end was highly important, IMO.
"I'm sorry, but Cathy Bates played the role the same as many previous Hannigans have. The basic, boring way...playing her as that mean ol' lady who hates her job."

Um...Miss Hannigan IS a mean old lady who hates her job! LOL

The only other movie Hannigan was Carol. So, what other Hannigan's are you using for comparison: Dorothy Loudon? Marcia Lewis? Ruth Kobart? Because, none of them were basic or boring by any stretch of the imagination.

My problem with Carol is that she made the character cartoonish rather than human. Maybe she was directed that way, I don't know. But it was as though she tried to hard to be funny and for me, that was a turn-off.


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Alex
Alex

July 7th, 2008, 8:27 am #8

Hi,

Dorothy Loudon and the others were very good as Miss Hannigan and I agree that they weren't basic or boring, but they all played the character well, in exactly the same way. Carol Burnett brought something unique to the role, which another actress, following the same script, with the same director and same 'floozy' costumes and radio-hugging scenes, couldn't have done. Smoochingwith the radio did make Miss Hannigan seem very cartoon-like but it wasn't Carol Burnett's fault. scenes like that were the director's attempt at being funny. It didn't work very well and at times, Miss Hannigan did seem a bit cartoon-like but, when a character's supposed to be horrible, one of the villains of the piece, I'd rather they be exaggerated and cartoon-like than dull, as Cathy Bates' Miss Hannigan was, dull and not in the least bit frightening.

Of course, it would be best if Miss Hannigan was neither "too funny" or "basic and boring" but, if it was a straight choice between the two, I know which I'd prefer.

Alex
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CindyS
CindyS

July 8th, 2008, 2:07 am #9

Really, everybody, it's important to remember that things are written differently for the screen than for live theater. Look at what they did to Grace with Ann Reinking...I mean, in the play version I couldn't for the life of me picture ANY Grace doing that "We Got Annie" dance. But, again, it was for the movie. Personally, I thought Carol Burnett was brilliant. She played the role beautifully and gave what it needed to be successful on film.

Just my opinion, though. God bless.
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zaneeta
zaneeta

July 9th, 2008, 4:05 am #10

"I'm sorry, but Cathy Bates played the role the same as many previous Hannigans have. The basic, boring way...playing her as that mean ol' lady who hates her job."

Um...Miss Hannigan IS a mean old lady who hates her job! LOL

The only other movie Hannigan was Carol. So, what other Hannigan's are you using for comparison: Dorothy Loudon? Marcia Lewis? Ruth Kobart? Because, none of them were basic or boring by any stretch of the imagination.

My problem with Carol is that she made the character cartoonish rather than human. Maybe she was directed that way, I don't know. But it was as though she tried to hard to be funny and for me, that was a turn-off.

K-the-O...didn't mean to offend you...and yes, I do know that Hannigan is a mean lady who hates her job...but like I said, there are many more dimensions to her than just that. And the point I was trying to make was that Cathy played on just that, being one dimensional...and I've seen other Hannigans (Broadway, regional theatre, etc.) who gave her many more dimensions and levels.
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