I was watching Annie (1981) the other day, a debatably disregarded children’s classic which has critics split on the merits of worth, despite featuring some of the most memorable and revisited songs in film history (Tomorrow, It’s The Hard-Knocked Life) being performed with the passion of virtue. A youthful Aileen Quinn, known best for playing the lead character of Annie and for absolutely nothing else, channels her inner Shirley Temple to be too adorable to not smile when she prances about. It seem John Huston, who is responsible for a slew of low budgeted films and television shows before helming Annie which would become one of his last directing projects, just didn’t know how to capture his audience. A movie faux pas like this bewilders my unorthodox perspective as I happened to find Annie entertaining. I initially didn’t make any intentional attempt to relive watching Annie, it is at heart a children’s film of which I presumed was likely better in memory and could potentially be just as terrible as much of the criticism I’ve read has warned me of. Also, having been a childhood fan of Annie, I secretly didn’t want to tarnish my innocent fondness for it. It was by happenchance that I would flip through cable and see Annie playing, still relatively early in the tale’s progression. Out of nostalgia, I kept myself focused for a moment, convinced that I would soon witness something groan inducing enough to surf through other stations. Before I knew it, the movie was over. Annie is still charming in its delivery while parading an ensemble of very colorful characters. The children were naturally the spotlight treat of adolescent spunky fun, though the likes of Albert Finney as the boisterously brash Daddy Warbucks is hilarious to watch shouting his way through the daily business routine while his exotic bodyguard, Punjab (Geoffrey Holder), incapacitates anybody who steps dangerously too close to Warbucks. Seeing comedy legend Carol Burnett do her shtick is a hoot in itself. It is the presence of an endearing personal favorite actor of mine that took the stage as Rooster Hannigan and in my opinion offered another convincingly engaging performance. I am talking about none other than this man…
This person is Tim ‘Where Are My Fucking Awards’ Curry.
Do you recall this actor? You should, he is always the most interesting character in many of the most interesting features produced. Thus we encounter the true nature of this article. My personal enjoyment for Annie was just a red herring (pun intended if anybody caught it) to what I more sincerely wish to discuss. Not to steer too far from the Annie lane, Tim Curry as Rooster was what I’d describe as the cookie cutter villain, a Disney’s Aladdin, Jafar-esque persona that is designed and portrayed to be the obvious antagonist with a devilish grin and a sinister glare. However, what Tim implemented was more intricately designed than what one would expect of the role he was placed in. As a child, it is obvious that Rooster is the villain as it is also obvious that he was directed to be an animated cliché. However, when Rooster was charming, it was difficult to see any fault in his intentions. Then further, when Rooster was hostile, he intimidated me in a way that was resounding enough to shatter my relaxed perception of his gentlemanly façade.
Tim Curry’s legacy unfortunately thrives only through fandom appreciation. He the voice on dozens of shows, he is darkness incarnate on Legend, and he even is a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, all extraordinarily portrayed roles by a man who is masterful of his craft. However, what Tim Curry is not, is an accolade award rich actor. One award, just one damn award has this man ever been given in his illustrious career and 3 legit nominations (omitting any Razzies)! It was a Daytime Emmy award for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series as the voice of Captain Hook in the animated series Peter Pan and the Pirates. Great show by the way, also a childhood favorite of mine. Still, is this all that this man can be recognized for? Granted, he hasn’t been given much screen time in most of the productions he is featured in, but still one would think that the witty mannerisms Curry has displayed in either Stephen King’s It as the terrifying Pennywise the Clown or in Clue as the questionable butler would have garnered a bit of award love? As a bit of a comparison, I opted to look up another actor who has played virtually the same damn character in every movie I’ve ever seen him in but seems to be the poster child for what people consider comedic talent. Will ‘I Can Do This Shit All Day Because Acting Like An Idiot Is Easy’ Ferrell. What has this man accomplished in his modest career? 3 awards and a staggering 40 nominations. This for the guy who played in that horrendous Bewitched movie. This is the kind of shit that made Ozzy bark at the moon. Now, these wins and nominations vary from prestigious (Emmy, Oscar) to miscellaneous appreciation (Saturn, MTV), but what a jip for Mr. Curry. For the man of many charismatic personalities, I thank you for your contributions to entertainment, Tim Curry. You creepy dude!