Cast & Crew
Edwin L. Marin
Annie Rooney is the precocious teenage granddaughter of a retired New York policeman, Grandpop Timothy Rooney Sr., and the daughter of Timothy Rooney, Jr., who has undertaken to rear his daughter since his wife died. Annie's romantic notions are not fulfilled by her boyfriend Joey, who is more interested in his car than in her. On their way to a friend's house for a dance one evening, Joey rear-ends Marty White Jr.'s car, and Annie is lovestruck by the suave youth's uptown manners. Marty insists on driving Annie to the party while Joey fusses with his car, and Marty is thrilled when Annie teaches him how to do the latest dance, the jitterbug. Annie spends the next few weeks dating Marty, while Joey becomes involved with Annie's best friend Myrtle. When Marty's mother throws him a birthday party, she refuses to allow him to invite Annie because she is lower- class, but Marty sends Annie an invitation anyway. Timothy Jr., a salesman who is constantly involved in inventions that fail, has invested his small savings in a scheme to turn milkweed into rubber and has quit his regular job. As they have no more money to live on, Grandpop takes a $100 loan against his pension to buy a formal dress for Annie to wear to Marty's party. There Marty's mother is appalled by her son's disobedience, and the upper-class girls snub Annie because she is "common" until, at Marty's insistence, she teaches everyone how to jitterbug. Annie only enjoys her popularity for a short time, however, because her father bursts into the party, having learned that Marty's father is president of Consolidated Rubber, and sets up a demonstration of his new investment. The demonstration is a disaster, however, and completely disrupts the party. Annie is sent home with her father in disgrace, and although Marty still cares for her, she tells him goodbye. The next day, the Rooneys' furniture is about to be taken away because Timothy Jr. used it as collateral, when Marty's father offers to hire him because he was so impressed with his salesmanship. Timothy Jr. rejects his offer because he no longer wants a regular job, but when one of Consolidated Rubber's laboratory men reports that the milkweed experiment actually worked, Timothy Jr. makes a deal with White on behalf of the inventor and secures his financial future. Security is restored to the Rooney home, and Annie is finally welcomed at the White household.
Edwin L. Marin
Roland Du Pree
Edward G. Boyle
Fred Feitshans Jr.
Max H. Golden
John Ducasse Schulze
T. K. Wood
Miss Annie Rooney
Miss Annie Rooney
Peggy Ryan (1924-2004)
Born Margaret O'Rene Ryan on August 28, 1924, in Long Beach, California, Ryan began dancing professionally as a toddler in her parents' vaudeville act, the Dancing Ryans, and was discovered by George Murphy when she was 12. Murphy arranged for young Peggy to dance with him in the Universal musical Top of the Town (1937). She would go on to make a few more film appearances over the next few years - the most striking of which as a starving, homeless girl in John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath (1940) - yet for the most part, she was hardly noticeable apart from a few dance numbers.
Her luck changed when Universal cast her opposite another teenage hoofer, Donald O'Connor in What's Cookin'? (1942). From then on, they teamed in a series of innocuous musicals that were low on production values, but high on youthful pluck. Just check out some of their titles: Private Buckaroo, Give Out, Sisters!, Get Hep to Love (all 1942); Top Man, Mr. Big (both 1943); Chip Off the Old Block, This Is the Life, and Bowery to Broadway (all 1944). They may have not been high art, but jitterbuggin' kids loved it, and given the low investment Universal put into these pictures, they turned quite the profit.
Her career slowed down after the war. In 1945, she married songwriter James Cross, and didn't return to films until 1949, when she made two minor musicals that year: Shamrock Hill, There's a Girl in My Heart. She divorced Cross in 1952 and met her second husband, dancer Ray McDonald, in her final film appearance, a forgettable musical with Mickey Rooney, All Ashore (1953). Tragically, McDonald died in 1957 after a food choking incident, and the following year, Ryan moved to Honolulu after marrying her third husband, Honolulu Advertiser columnist Eddie Sherman. She kept herself busy teaching dance classes at the University of Hawaii, but in 1969, she found herself back in front of the camera as Jenny Sherman, secretary to Detective Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) on the long-running show Hawaii Five-O,. She played the role for seven years, remaining until 1976.
Eventually, Ryan relocated with her husband to Las Vegas, where for the last few years, she was teaching tap dancing to a whole new generation of hoofers. She is survived by her son, Shawn; daughter Kerry; and five grandchildren.
by Michael T. Toole
Peggy Ryan (1924-2004)
Notable as the film in which Shirley Temple receives her first screen kiss.
Hollywood Reporter news items report that Roland Du Pree was originally cast as "Marty," but was replaced by Dickie Moore after Du Pree suffered a broken leg. Du Pree was then recast as "Joey." Contemporary reviews and modern sources note that this film marked Shirley Temple's attempt at revitalizing her film career, which had slowed when she entered her teens. However, the picture received dismal reviews, and Temple did not make another film for two years. Temple received her first onscreen romantic kiss in this film. Although the plot of the 1925 United Artists release Little Annie Rooney, directed by William Beaudine and starring Mary Pickford and Williams Haines, bears some resemblance to Miss Annie Rooney, they are otherwise unrelated. (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30).