The film, released on June 18, 1982, received mixed reviews from critics and was nominated for Best Production Design and Best Song Score and its Adaptation at the 55th Academy Awards. Quinn won both a Best Young Actress at the Young Artist Awards and a Worst Supporting Actress at the Golden Raspberry Awards.
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. The orphanage's cruel and alcoholic supervisor Agatha Hannigan hears the singing, and punishes the orphans by making them clean up the orphanage. 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, and the pair is escorted back to the orphanage. Soon after, Miss Hannigan discovers Sandy and threatens to send him to the sausage factory. 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. 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, 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.
The next day Grace asks Warbucks if they can adopt 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. 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.
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. 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, 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.
- 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.
- Ann Reinking as Grace Farrell, Warbucks' secretary and love interest.
- Tim Curry as Daniel "Rooster" Hannigan, Agatha's con-artist brother.
- Bernadette Peters as Lily St. Regis, Rooster's petty-thieving girlfriend.
- 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