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Annie Was a Wonder (1949)

Approved  |   |  Short  |  29 January 1949 (USA)
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In this entry in the Passing Parade series, narrator John Nesbitt tells the story of Annie Swenson, who worked as a cook/housekeeper in the Nesbitt home when he was growing up. Annie was ... See full summary »


(as Edward Cahn)


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Title: Annie Was a Wonder (1949)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Annie Swenson
Howard Negley ...
Mr. Nesbitt (as Howard J. Negley)
Ruth Lee ...
Mrs. Nesbitt
Sven Hugo Borg ...
Gus (as Hugo-Sven Borg)
John Nesbitt ...
Narrator (voice)


In this entry in the Passing Parade series, narrator John Nesbitt tells the story of Annie Swenson, who worked as a cook/housekeeper in the Nesbitt home when he was growing up. Annie was one of thousands of Scandinavian immigrant girls who came to America in the early years of the 20th century in search of a better life. Written by David Glagovsky <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

29 January 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Nesbitt's Passing Parade: Annie Was a Wonder  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[first lines]
Narrator: We take this story from a time now gone from the American passing parade forever, the day of the hired girl. Before the First World War, 45,000 lonely immigrant girls arrived each year. Their wages were fifteen dollars a month. They worked 84 hours a week, 14 hours a day. Whatever their names, Bridgette or Herta or Mary or Helga, they were, in a way, the last wave of pioneers seeking a new world. Our first one was Annie Swenson, from Vallborg, Sweden. We'd never had a servant ...
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Follows The Incredible Stranger (1942) See more »


Rock of Ages
Music by Thomas Hastings (1830)
Lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady (1776)
Sung a cappella by Kathleen Freeman Twice
See more »

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User Reviews

Affectionate Film Debut For Kathleen Freeman
22 July 2005 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews


Our Swedish hired girl ANNIE WAS A WONDER in those long ago days before the First World War.

This Oscar-nominated gem is a tribute to the European women who came to America looking for work - $15 a month, 84 hours a week, 14 hours a day

  • in the years preceding World War One. Warmhearted & utterly charming,

it is also a showcase for character actress Kathleen Freeman (1919-2001), starring as Annie Swenson. A talented performer of stage, screen and television, Miss Freeman continued to entertain audiences right up until her death at age 82.

Often overlooked or neglected today, the one and two-reel short subjects were useful to the Studios as important training grounds for new or burgeoning talents, both in front & behind the camera. The dynamics for creating a successful short subject was completely different from that of a feature length film, something akin to writing a topnotch short story rather than a novel. Economical to produce in terms of both budget & schedule and capable of portraying a wide range of material, short subjects were the perfect complement to the Studios' feature films.

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