The idea behind "Sweepstake Annie" is quite good. However, it shows its roots as a low-budget film--with some poor acting and very poor writing. Had these been corrected, it would have been a very entertaining and timeless film.
Annie is an adult (at least chronologically speaking) who lives with her parents and siblings. As for this family, most of them are very, very one dimensional--so annoying and transparent that it really impacts on the film. The mother is a high-strung and very selfish hypochondriac, the brother is a free-spending jerk and the sister is a nasty little piece of work as well. Only the dad, who is VERY impotent in this home, has any redeeming value. Even Annie is problematic--she is a horrible enabler and really, really stupid. Had everyone been more subtlety written, it would have been a lot better. But, the family is too awful and Annie is too much of an idiot to make the film work.
On a lark, Annie buys an Irish Sweepstakes ticket. She lucks out--winning the first prize of $150,000 (a HUGE amount back in 1935). Even before she collects, her family of leeches behave as if it's their money and talk about all their plans on spending it. Annie's nice boyfriend is disgusted by this and tells them all off. Now here it makes little sense. Annie breaks up with him BUT then tells her family that she's giving them a small portion (they deserved none) and is keeping the rest and moving out. So, although she agreed with the boyfriend, she kicks him off to the side. And, without anyone in her life who really cares about her, Annie stupidly blunders from her family to strangers who are at least as bad! And, because she is an idiot and never seems to learn her lessons, it's up to the man to come to her rescue (making feminists cringe as they watch).
The bottom line is that I was very frustrated with the film. Annie NEVER learned a darn thing throughout the film. Although she only gave her family $25,000 (a lot back in the day), when they blew through it and tried to move in with her at her new apartment, this milquetoast lady said nothing--letting them run roughshod over her. It was painful to watch, believe me. And, in one of the very last scenes, she then throws away ALL her fortune and it's only saved because he old boyfriend had been working undercover watching over this naive nut! Plus, why would the boyfriend even care?! She treated him badly--and, oddly, this was the ONLY person she treated this way in the film. A big disappointment despite a nice idea for the story.
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