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The musical revolves around the antics of Mame Dennis, a fun-loving, wealthy eccentric with a flare for life and a razor sharp wit. Her life is suddenly changed when she becomes the ... See full summary »
Mame is an unconventional individualist socialite from the roaring 20's. When her brother dies, she is forced to raise her nephew Patrick. However, Patrick's father has designated an executor to his will to protect the boy from absorbing too much of Mame's rather unconventional perspective. Patrick and Mame become devoted to each other in spite of this restriction, and together journey through Patrick's childhood and the great depression, amidst some rather zaney adventures. Written by
Ross Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film spawned a successful Broadway musical "Mame" in 1966, starring Angela Lansbury. Rosalind Russell was asked to reprise her role, but she declined, saying, "It's not for me anymore. I've done it, I have to move along." See more »
As Mame and Patrick ascend the staircase and she explains that his room still has her weaving loom in it, she can be heard saying, "I began with an enormous rug", but her lips don't move. See more »
With a perfect match between character and actress, Rosalind Russell's unforgettable performance as "Auntie Mame" is almost enough to carry the whole movie by itself. The story is also interesting, if quite contrived, and most of the supporting cast helps out when needed. The variety of settings and situations also helps to make the movie an effective portrait of a life.
The story works best when taken as an appreciative but light-hearted portrayal of a memorable character. Many of Mame's adventures are stylized, and they work best when not taken too seriously. Given that, there are plenty of amusing sequences, and just enough thoughtful moments to maintain some balance.
Russell herself is in her element. With a character whom it is almost impossible to overplay, she gives the role plenty of energy and charm. She also works very well with the other characters, giving believable (given the character) and usually interesting reactions to what they say and do.
In the supporting cast, Forrest Tucker and Peggy Cass make good use of their scenes, and Fred Clark works well as Mame's frequent adversary. Coral Browne gets some good moments as Mame's old friend. The filming was approached in a rather stagy fashion, yet much of the time this seems appropriate. All told, the movie has a number of strengths, yet the memory most likely to remain is Russell's portrait of Mame herself.
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