Thinking outside the box can get a family in and out of trouble in Miss Annie Rooney by writerGeorge Bruce, producer Edward Small, and director Edwin L. Marin. Lester White, Fred R. Feitshans Jr. and Darrell Calker handle cinematography, editing, and music. Filming showcases California’s Edward Small Productions studios.
The drama lasts 82 minutes. Its distributor was United Artists. Its USA-release date was May 29, 1942.
The movie begins with 14-year-old Annie Rooney (Shirley Temple) calling home an apartment in a large complex in a lower-class neighborhood. She has for family:
Sixteen-year-old boyfriend Joey (Roland Dupree) prioritizes his car over Annie.
Annie and Joey enjoy playing records and practicing jitterbug moves. They go to join friends. Joey’s car slams into 16-year-old Marty White Jr.’s (Dickie Moore) car.
Unlike Joey, Marty can afford to think beyond car repairs. His father is Consolidated Rubber owner/president Marty White Sr. (Jonathan Hale). He offers to escort Annie to the party. Joey repairs his car.
Marty does not know the jitterbug. He is a quick study with Annie. The two start dating. Joey turns to Annie’s best friend Myrtle (Peggy Ryan).
Mrs. White (Gloria Holden) disdains Annie. She excludes Annie from Marty’s birthday party guest list. Marty sends Annie the invitation and roses.
Annie has no formal dress. Tim has nothing left after:
Grandpop secures a $100 loan against his pension.
Annie goes to a fancy dress shop. The saleslady (Frances Morris) helps Annie find an evening gown, sandals and wrap. Annie’s outfit passes muster at the most exclusive and formal of dances.
Annie does not pass muster with the party’s guests and hosts. Mrs. White is angry about the presence of a guest whom she deems unwanted and unworthy. Marty’s friends think that Annie does not belong in upper class environments.
The ice breaks when Marty convinces Annie to teach his friends the jitterbug. Annie feels accepted. But then Tim pushes his way in. He tries to demonstrate his synthetic rubber invention.
Annie and Tim are expelled from the White mansion. Annie breaks up with Marty. She sleeps what she thinks is her last night in her own bed.
The movie ends with:
The furniture being collateral on Tim’s invention;
Consolidated Rubber lab results confirming milkweed’s rubber-making capabilities;
Tim keeping the furniture and receiving payment on his invention;
Annie passing muster with Marty’s family and friends.