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New Madeline Meets Annie

Madeline Meets Annie Double Feature (Madeline and Annie) are a 1998 and 1982 American live-action musical comedy-drama film adaptation of the book series by Ludwig Bemelmans, starring Hatty Jones as the title character, Frances McDormand as Miss Clavel and Nigel Hawthorne as Lord Cucuface aka Lord Covington. The film encompasses the plots of four Madeline books. It was released on July 10, 1998 by TriStar Pictures and adapted from Broadway musical of the same name by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan, which in turn is based on Little Orphan Annie, the 1924 comic strip by Harold Gray. The film was directed by John Huston, scripted by Carol Sobieski, and stars Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Ann Reinking, Tim Curry,Bernadette Peters, Geoffrey Holder, Edward Herrmann, and Aileen Quinn in her film debut. Set during the Great Depression, the film tells the story of Annie, an orphan from New York City who is taken in by America's richest billionaire Oliver Warbucks. Filming took place for six weeks at Monmouth University in New Jersey.

Plot

In 1956 in the city Paris, France, Madeline attends a boarding school run by Miss Clavel, a nun. She is the only orphan and wishes she had a family since her parents died of heart disease. She goes on daily walks, eats her favorite meal "Chicken Hélèn" (named after the cook who makes it), and causes mischief for Miss Clavel. One night, Miss Clavel feels that something is not right, so she runs up to the girls' room and finds Madeline groaning in pain on her bed. Quickly, Miss Clavel dials the hospital, who explains to Miss Clavel that they must take out Madeline's appendix immediately. During her stay in the hospital overnight, after the surgery, Madeline wanders down the hallways, and finds Lady Covington. The two begin to talk, and Lady Covington reveals to Madeline that she carved her name under Madeline's bed, Marie-Gilberte. She asks Madeline to see if it's still there. Their conversation is interrupted by the strict Lord Covington, who orders Madeline to leave. A few days later, when Madeline is ready to go, she discovers that Lady Covington had died because she contracted a rare but deadly parasitic roundworm. She then sees a chicken in Helen's car, and finds out that it's the Chicken Helen that will be served that night.

When Madeline arrives at the school, she meets Pepito, the Spanish Ambassador's son, who is the main target of a kidnapper named Leopold who wants to collect money from the Ambassador since he's rich. That night, Madeline refuses to eat the chicken "Fred" because she made friends with him in the car. She turns half the other girls against chicken and make them vegetarians and cluck, which results in Miss Clavel sending the girls up to bed without dinner, after a discussion with Covington about how he's closing the school down as he has resigned his job due to his wife's death. The girls are hungry so they sneak down to eat. However, they get scared by Pepito, who appears dressed like a demon. When Miss Clavel and Helen find the girls, they reluctantly decide to give them dinner. The next day, Miss Clavel goes to Pepito's house to offer him a toolbox and ends up talking with Leopold who is posing as Pepito's tutor. Then, Miss Clavel takes the girls to an art gallery where Pepito himself steals Madeline's notebook and writes "Beware" in it. The girls wonder why until Miss Clavel tells them that they have been invited to Pepito's birthday. While there, Pepito shows the girls his menagerie and attempts to scare them by dangling a white baby mouse in their face. It works on the other girls, but not on Madeline. Pepito tries to scare her by almost feeding it to his snake but Madeline insists he's bluffing. Pepito calls it off and shows the girls his guillotine that he built with the tools in his new toolbox and almost executes the mouse. Madeline defends the mouse by pushing Pepito away. She lets the remaining caged mice go in retaliation, and this causes the girls to run in horror and subsequently causes Miss Clavel to faint. Madeline starts to fight Pepito, but Miss Clavel stops her and insists they leave. On their way out, Madeline steals Pepito's motorcycle keys. Later, in class, the girls are forced to write lines, explaining their behaviour.

On their walk, Madeline accidentally falls into the Seine River and is rescued by a stray dog named Geneviève. Madeline catches a cold, and when Miss Clavel and the girls leave on their walk, she watches Pepito complaining how he doesn't have his keys. Leopold starts it with a paper clip. Meanwhile, Geneviève finds Madeline and the two try to hide from Lord Covington who is showing the house. Eventually, Miss Clavel finds out about Geneviève, but compromises and says she can sleep in the shed and be kept, but she is not allowed to go in the school. Meanwhile, the girls sabotage the school, so visitors won't want to buy it. Lord Covington comes over that night, and has an argument with Miss Clavel about the school being sabotaged, but Madeline interrupts and admits she did it, trying to back up Miss Clavel, but calling Lord Covington "Cucuface". On his way back home, Covington discovers the dog and turns loose Geneviève despite the pleads of the girls.

They look for her the next day and go to a circus to cheer themselves up, but Madeline decides to run away with the circus because she feels lonely and wants a real home. She tells her best friend Aggie that she's leaving, and makes her swear not to tell a soul. Aggie swears and hugs her goodbye. Madeline walks away sadly and notices Leopold kidnapping Pepito with the help of the clowns called "The Idiots", since they were really henchmen of Leopold. Madeline tries to confront Leopold, who kidnaps her as well. Miss Clavel, not knowing they have been kidnapped, finds out that Madeline has run away and goes to find her. While on her way, she finds Genevieve and takes her along. The next day, Madeline and Pepito discover a motorcycle that the idiots used in their act. She tells Pepito to drive it, since he drove one, but Pepito reveals that he drives a Vespa. Luckily, he is convinced by Madeline, and the two escape Leopold, who follows them. Miss Clavel sees them chasing them and goes after Leopold. Miss Clavel and Leopold are about to both hit Madeline and Pepito, but Pepito swerves away and Miss Clavel cuts Leopold off, making him and the idiots crash into a river. They are arrested, and Pepito and Madeline are reunited with their families.

But just when everything turns out right, Lord Covington comes and introduces the Ambassador of Uzbekistan,who agreed to buy the school. Madeline confronts Covington and convinces him that his wife is still with him, and in the school as well. Miss Clavel assures Madeline that whatever happens, they'll be together. But this is denied by Covington, who says that Madeline is right, and wishes he could do something about it, but has already sold the school. However, the Ambassador calls it off, letting everybody remain at the school. The movie ends with the girls running off, while Miss Clavel follows them. The real-life setting goes back to a storybook-like setting and the words "Fin" appear.

In 1933, during The Great Depression, a young orphan named Annie is living in the Hudson Street Orphanage in New York City. One night, Annie comforts one of the youngest orphans by singing to her (“Maybe”). The orphanage's cruel and alcoholic supervisor Agatha Hannigan hears the singing, and punishes the orphans by making them clean up the orphanage ("It's the Hard Knock Life"). Later while trying to flee in a laundry truck, Annie rescues a dog being tormented by a group of boys. She names him Sandy after convincing a dogcatcher that he is hers (“Dumb Dog”), and the pair is escorted back to the orphanage. Soon after, Miss Hannigan discovers Sandy and threatens to send him to the sausage factory (“Sandy”). However, Grace Farrell, a secretary to billionaire Oliver Warbucks, arrives, saying that he wants an orphan to stay at his mansion for a week to help his image. Despite Hannigan's objections, Grace picks Annie and allows Sandy to accompany her.

Upon arrival, Annie, Sandy, and Grace meet Warbucks' bodyguards Punjab and The Asp, butlers, maids, and servants ("I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here"). Annie quickly endears herself to everyone there. However, Warbucks disapproves, as he had the absurd notion that only boys were orphans and not girls. Meanwhile, Hannigan drunkenly laments her status as the orphanage mistress (“Little Girls”), and is visited by her lowlife brother, Rooster, and his pickpocket girlfriend, Lily St. Regis; both are obvious con artists, who ask Hannigan to borrow money.

Back at the Warbucks Mansion, Annie and Sandy thwart a Bolshevik assassin attempt to bomb the mansion. Warbucks and Grace take Annie to Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes and a movie ("Let's Go to the Movies").

The next day Grace asks Warbucks if they can adopt Annie ("We Got Annie"). At this point we see that Warbucks and Grace are romantically interested in each other. Warbucks agrees to adopt her and goes to the orphanage to get the adoption papers signed. Despite Hannigan's attempt to seduce him, Warbucks blackmails her into signing (“Sign”). He goes back to the mansion to tell Annie and is about to give her a Tiffany's locket, but the orphan says she wants to find her real parents. She shows Warbucks the broken locket she wears; she tells him her parents have the missing piece of the locket, and that they will use it to prove their identities when they return to the orphanage someday to retrieve her. Deciding to help, Warbucks makes an announcement on a radio show and offers a $50,000 reward to her parents (“You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile”).

A crowd of would-be 'parents' arrives at the Warbucks mansion. To get Annie away from the sensationalism, Warbucks and Punjab take her by auto-copter to the White House to visit President Franklin D. Roosevelt. President Roosevelt tells Warbucks and Annie about his plans for a social welfare program to help the poor, and wants Annie to help as well. Annie performs for Roosevelt and First Lady ("Tomorrow"). Back at the mansion, Annie learns that the search for her parents has not yet been successful.

Meanwhile, the Hannigans and Lily plot a scheme to collect the reward, drown Annie, and split the money three ways (“Easy Street”), and Miss Hannigan reveals that Annie's parents perished in a fire many years back. Hearing what has happened, the other orphans attempt to go to Warbucks's mansion but are locked up by the Hannigans and Lily. The orphans flee and find out that the Hannigans have captured Annie and the money. Warbucks puts out an APB on the felons, and he and Grace search for them while Punjab and another servant search from the auto-copter. Rooster and Lily are arrested.

Annie gets her wish of a good family at a party. President and Mrs. Roosevelt, her orphan friends, and the servants are enjoying themselves; Hannigan is reformed; and Grace and Warbucks further develop their relationship. ("Finale/I Don't Need Anything But You/We Got Annie/Tomorrow")

Cast

  • Hatty Jones (Madeline)
  • Rachel Dennis (Lucinda)
  • Eloise Eonnet (Sylvette)
  • Morgane Farcat (Marie-Odile)
  • Pilar Garrard (Beatrice)
  • Emilie Jessula (Elizabeth)
  • Alice Lavaud (Veronica)
  • Christina Mangani (Chantal)
  • Jessica Mason (Serena)
  • Alix Ponchon (Lolo)
  • Bianca Strohmann (Vicki/Victoria)
  • Clare Thomas (Aggie)
  • Kristian De La Osa (Pepito)
  • Frances McDormand (Miss Clavel)
  • Nigel Hawthorne (Lord Covington aka Cucuface)
  • Stéphane Audran (Lady Covington)
  • Arturo Venegas (Mr. Spanish Ambassador)
  • Katia Caballero (Mrs. Spanish Ambassador)
  • Chantal Neuwirth (Helene The Cook)
  • Ben Daniels (Leopold the Tutor)
  • Julien Maurel (Idiot Popovov No. 1)
  • Aileen Quinn as Annie, an orphan, the title character.
  • Albert Finney as Oliver Warbucks, a billionaire businessman and later becomes Annie's adoptive father.
  • Carol Burnett as Miss Agatha Hannigan, a cruel, slovenly drunkard who manages the orphanage.
  • Tim Curry as Daniel "Rooster" Hannigan, Agatha's con-artist brother.
  • Bernadette Peters as Lily St. Regis, Rooster's petty-thieving girlfriend.
  • Ann Reinking as Grace Farrell, Warbucks' secretary and love interest.
  • Edward Herrmann as Franklin D. Roosevelt, the President of the United States.
  • Geoffrey Holder as Punjab, one of Warbucks' personal bodyguards and butler.
  • Roger Minami as The Asp, Warbucks' personal chauffeur and another personal bodyguard.
  • Toni Ann Gisondi as Molly, the youngest orphan who often has nightmares.
  • Rosanne Sorrentino as Pepper, the bossiest Orphan.
  • Lara Berk as Tessie, another Orphan, who constantly exclaims, "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!" throughout the film.
  • April Lerman as Kate, another, older Orphan who serves as a motherly figure to the others; she often wears her hair in pigtail braids
  • Robin Ignico as Duffy, another Orphan who is close with Pepper.
  • Lucie Stewart as July, an Orphan who scarcely speaks.
  • Lois de Banzie as Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Peter Marshall as Bert Healy, a radio show host.
  • Irving Metzman as Mr. Bundles, a laundry man whose truck Annie stows away in.
  • I. M. Hobson as Drake, Warbucks' head butler who hides his allergy to dogs.
  • Colleen Zenk Pinter, Mavis Ray, and Pamela Blair as Cecile, Mrs. Greer, and Annette, Warbucks' maids.
  • Lu Leonard as Mrs. Pugh, Warbucks' maid and cook.
  • Victor Griffin as Saunders, one of Warbucks' servants.
  • Jerome Collamore as Frick
  • Jon Richards as Frack
  • April Lerman would later portray "Lila Pembroke" on the first season of Charles in Charge.
  • Martika (born Marta Marrero II) graduated to the hit TV series Kids Incorporated, and from there moved on to a successful solo career.
  • Amanda Peterson, later of Explorers and Can't Buy Me Love fame, is a principal singer/dancer for the number "Sandy".
  • Shawnee Smith has since appeared in such films as Not My Kid and most recently the Saw series.
  • Meredith Salenger, later of The Journey of Natty Gann, had an uncredited cameo as a dancing orphan.
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