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Headscratchers / Annie (1982)

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  • This one's from the 1982 version: Miss Farrell makes it perfectly clear when she comes for Annie that Warbucks is a close personal friend of whoever's in charge of this sort of thing and could easily get Hannigan fired. However, when Warbucks later comes to adopt Annie for good, he makes it clear that he knows exactly how badly Hannigan is screwing over the other orphans—why doesn't he get her fired?
    • Rule of Drama and/or Adults Are Useless?
    • He figures it's easier to try and bribe her first before pulling strings? After all, he only takes Annie as a Publicity Stunt, and it's never made clear the fate of the orphanage after the movie, and whether Hannigan is still in charge. So it's not like he particularly cares about the orphans beyond Annie, else he could have adopted all of them, or brought the orphanage outright instead of pulling strings. So it seems like he's making empty threats to get what he wants rather than actually caring for the other orphans.
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    • During the "Sign" number, Warbucks produces photos of Hannigan "dancing in [her] scanties" (amongst other questionable activities), to which she replies indignantly "You had me followed?" It's possible that Annie clued him in on what a hard sell Hannigan might be and that he had a private eye gather some information beforehand so that he could turn the screws if Hannigan tried to refuse. There's also nothing saying that he couldn't report Hannigan after he secured Annie.
    • The movie novelization says that Warbucks doesn't really know the man in charge – Grace was lying to get Hannigan to hand Annie over. Though of course that's just the novelization, and whether he knew him or not, he could easily have contacted him after learning about Hannigan's abuses from his private eye. Still, the fact that he had Hannigan followed might imply that he planned to report her. It was just convenient to use the information to bribe her first, and then he gets sidetracked by the search for Annie's parents.
  • In the 1982 movie, Mr. Warbucks offers a $50,000 reward for Annie's parents or information on them. Wouldn't any halfway decent reporter be able to find information on the accident that killed her parents? The fact that she is an orphan would make some reporter question why she is an orphan, yet none of them thought to pull up public records?
    • Miss Hannigan mentions she has specifics on Annie right before "Easy Street," but as you can see in that scene she doesn't exactly have an organized filing system. It's also likely that she chased off the media when or if they showed up. Failing that, maybe the media figured the big cash reward would be enough to bring the parents out of hiding, so they just planned to sit on their butts.
    • The movie is also set during the Great Depression, it's easy enough to imagine that parents would drop off unwanted babies or young children at the nearest orphanage on the basis that they can't feed themselves, never mind extra mouths. At 10, it is unlikely that Annie was dropped off as a baby or toddler due to the Depression (since Annie would have been born around 1923), especially since she came with jewelry that could be sold for cash or bartered for food. But given the necklace info is never released (as an ace to prove the 'real' parents), Miss Hannigan could always deter possible reporters by telling them Annie's parents dropped her off before heading to a different town to look for work, sending the reporters on wild goose chases to different cities. Given they wanted the money themselves, they just needed to try and distract anyone sniffing for information until after they've managed to get the money themselves.
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    • Remember, nobody even knows the names of Annie's parents. Without that information, it would be hard for even the most diligent reporter to find out anything in this day and age, let alone in the 1930s when they'd have to physically go from place to place looking at records.
  • In the song "Let's Go to the Movies", the lyric "only happy endings, that's our recipe" pops up more than once, however, the movie that Annie, Miss Farrell, and Daddy Warbucks watch ends with a man telling a woman that they will live a happy life, then noticing she is unresponsive and being shocked/sad and telling her to "come back" and not to "leave", and then it just ends. They call that a happy ending?
    • It's a hell of a dark joke, considering that the movie (Camille (1936)) was famous for its Downer Ending. It's even alluded to in "Let's Go to the Movies" in the line that mock film tropes of the time: "Bette Davis is probably lying/And Greta Garbo is probably crying/While Robert Taylor is locked in her dying embrace."
    • For that matter, why on earth did Warbucks and Grace take 10-year-old Annie to see a movie that not only has a Downer Ending, but is about a High-Class Call Girl? Of course they're still getting used to having a child around, but why not take her to see King Kong (1933), or the 1933 Paramount Alice in Wonderland, or anything else more family-friendly?
      • You have to remember that it was a different era from ours; multiplexes did not exist, nor did the MPAA rating system - the closest thing to that was the Hays Code that wasn't even fully enforced at that time. If you wanted to go to the movies, you probably had to settle for whatever your local theater was playing at that time, and in the days of the Great Depression, people looking to take their minds off their troubles for a couple of hours were probably glad to go see any movie that was playing. Radio City Music Hall only had room for one movie at a time, and Warbucks isn't really the kind of guy who would be caught at a cheap theater. Besides, given that it was Annie's first trip to the movies ever, she probably didnt even care what was playing, and was happy just for the experience.
    • How did the grand live musical number that takes place before the movie (and that very nearly eclipses it) come about? It's pretty clear from the "sold out" signage on the Radio City Music Hall marquee that Warbucks bought the whole house for Annie, himself, Grace and Punjab, but did he also personally hire the chorus girls? And the platoon of ushers that greet them? Or are these just an Acceptable Break from Reality included in the film in order to make the experience of Annie seeing her first movie that much more special?
  • At the end of the movie, we see Miss Hannigan riding an elephant at the celebration. Why was she let off the hook? She may not have kidnapped Annie directly but she was definitely an accessory to the whole scam. Surely Rooster and Lilly would've told the cops about it during their arrest. They had the other half of the locket, which of course would've come from the orphanage.

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