questions for Julie

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

October 2nd, 2008, 4:25 pm #1

Julie, what was your personal reaction when the 1982 movie came out? Did you see it with your castmates? Was there a lot of talk among the Broadway cast (children and adults) about the movie? Do you think Martin had any idea it would hurt Broadway ticket sales the way it did? It didn't seem to hurt his own income!
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Julie Stevens
Julie Stevens

October 2nd, 2008, 5:05 pm #2

Elizabeth:

I remember being a bit disappointed in the movie when it first came out because I thought some of the casting choices were wrong and I didn't think they needed to make Rooster such a dark character. I didn't love the whole chase scene up the side of the bridge and couldn't understand why they added Punjab and the Asp characters. I did not see the film with my castmates, but we all did see it. I don't remember any of us thinking that the film would kill the show but we did know that it was possible we would close. I think our move from a small theatre into the Uris (now Gershwin), which was one of the largest theatres on Broadway, hurt ticket sales a lot. With the movie out, people stopped paying to come and see the show live. Perhaps the show could have held on a little bit longer had we been in a smaller theatre.


All of that said, I was still 12 when the movie came out so I collected the stickers and toys just like every other kid.

Julie
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mari
mari

October 2nd, 2008, 6:00 pm #3

what parts were miscast do you think? did you like that they tookout tomoorw
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Julie Stevens
Julie Stevens

October 2nd, 2008, 6:10 pm #4

No, I did not like that they turned "Tomorrow" into a throw-away song. It could have been fantastic up on a big screen. I wasn't crazy about Albert Finney as Warbucks, thought that Ann Reinking was perhaps a bit too old to play Grace, and thought the role of Annie could have been played by a stronger singer and actress.

I also thought Ray Stark (the Producer) was out of his mind for allowing John Huston to direct the film. He was way out of his comfort zone and had no affection for the show.

Julie
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Broadway Fan
Broadway Fan

October 2nd, 2008, 8:27 pm #5

I agree with everything Julie has said. "Tomorrow" is my favourite song from the musical and those women singers ruined it for me. The 1999 movie was alot better, in my opinion. It wasn't amazing, but an improvement. I think i'll stick to seeing the show.
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sarah
sarah

October 3rd, 2008, 8:12 am #6

There's an interview with Charles Strouse in The Stage newspaper this week-he mentions how much he hated the movie and still does! I
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JB
JB

October 3rd, 2008, 3:07 pm #7

I appreciate the movie in the fact that my parents weren't theatre goers and I would have never found out about the musical if it hadn't been for the movie. Albeit, it was years later after it came out....a much beloved relic of my childhood.
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annielaurie
annielaurie

October 3rd, 2008, 6:26 pm #8

No, I did not like that they turned "Tomorrow" into a throw-away song. It could have been fantastic up on a big screen. I wasn't crazy about Albert Finney as Warbucks, thought that Ann Reinking was perhaps a bit too old to play Grace, and thought the role of Annie could have been played by a stronger singer and actress.

I also thought Ray Stark (the Producer) was out of his mind for allowing John Huston to direct the film. He was way out of his comfort zone and had no affection for the show.

Julie
Julie, I'm curious if you ever saw the 1982 movie as an adult and if so, did your opinion of it change?

Re: Ann Reinking cast as Grace. I remember as a kid thinking she seemed too harsh for the part. I didn't buy her as a young romantic. As an adult I can't shake that her voice sounds like a drinker/smoker type husky voice. I have no idea if she drinks or smokes, but she just has that voice quality. Perhaps, "sexy" is a nicer way to describe it?? Anyhow, I had been used to a more "innocent" sounding Grace.

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Julie Stevens
Julie Stevens

October 3rd, 2008, 6:31 pm #9

Yes, the movie grew on me as an adult but I still think it could have been better, with the right director.

Julie
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KW
KW

October 4th, 2008, 12:50 am #10

Julie, I'm curious if you ever saw the 1982 movie as an adult and if so, did your opinion of it change?

Re: Ann Reinking cast as Grace. I remember as a kid thinking she seemed too harsh for the part. I didn't buy her as a young romantic. As an adult I can't shake that her voice sounds like a drinker/smoker type husky voice. I have no idea if she drinks or smokes, but she just has that voice quality. Perhaps, "sexy" is a nicer way to describe it?? Anyhow, I had been used to a more "innocent" sounding Grace.
Ann Reinking does have a raspier voice than the usual sopranoish Graces. I did like Ann's aliveness on screen .. I felt she breathed a really big fresh air of excitement into her character. She is/was also an amazing, amazing dancer.

I think if they took out the ridiculous July 4th ending complete with Carol Burnett riding on an elephant, the absurd street chase with a miniature stuntman climbing up a bridge and Punjab hanging from a helicopter, take out the inane Dumb Dog/Sandy song, and put back tomorrow like the 1999 movie did, it wouldn't be half bad. While that sounds sarcastic, it's not so much. I thought Aileen was good in a way... I'd prefer an Andrea McArdle type over her anyday but she sang on tune passably, she had a cute spunk, certain facial expressions she did were very right and she wasn't over the top in her acting. I didn't think Albert Finney was bad.. I believed him completely in transforming from a gruff, hard nosed businessman to falling in love with little Orphan Annie. Carol Burnett was different than a stage version of Miss Hannigan but I found her alluring and way believable.
I just think the main problem with the original movie is that it strays so far from the stage version and people love the stage version. The stage version was perfectly, succinctly simple and wonderful. Annie sitting center stage with Sandy while belting out tomorrow wistfully - it's such magic in it simplicity. The most famous song from the show and the scene that was a show stopper, and they take it out!??? Huh? While you do need to oomph things up to a large screen for a movie, the 1982 movie just went so extremely far away from what the stage musical was about.

It is a shame we will never have a movie that duplicates the wonderfulness of the stage version.
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